SIL International Media Release

Release of new non-Roman fonts

(June 2007) SIL International has announced the release of two new fonts for non-Roman scripts, Zaghawa Beria and Namdhinggo SIL L.

The Zaghawa Beria alphabet is built around a sampling of the markings on livestock, like the branding on the above camel's neck.

Neck branded with the letter m: The letter m in the Zaghawa Beria font.

Zaghawa Beria

A sample of the Zaghawa Beria alphabet. The Zaghawa Beria alphabet is built around a sampling of the markings on livestock—especially camels—within the language region of western Sudan and eastern Chad. This concept has its origins in the work of a Sudanese schoolteacher who developed the first version over 25 years ago. The script has since been improved for the Zaghawa Beria language by local scholar Siddik Adam Issa.

Since the Zaghawa Beria script is not yet in The Unicode Standard, the Zaghawa Beria font is not Unicode-compliant.

Namdhinggo SIL L

A sample of the Namdhinggo SIL L alphabet. The Namdhinggo SIL L font has been designed to support literature development in the Limbu language and other languages which use the Kirat Sirijonga script, a population numbering approximately 400,000 in Nepal and India.

According to traditional histories, the Kirat Sirijonga script was developed by King Sirijonga in the 9th century. It then fell out of use before being reintroduced in the 18th century by Teongsi Sirijonga (1704–1741), whom many revered out of deference to the first Sirijonga. Since the latter Sirijonga was apparently martyred for the sake of this script, it was named in his honor by the Limbu scholar Iman Singh Chemjong.

Although the Kirat Sirijonga script has been accepted into The Unicode Standard, this font does not yet support that international standard. A Unicode-based version of Namdhinggo SIL L is in the final stages of development. The current font uses an encoding that is common among other fonts for the script.

The Open Font License logo. Both fonts are released under the SIL Open Font License, which gives users a broad range of privileges, including allowing the licensed fonts to be used, studied, modified and redistributed freely as long as they are not sold by themselves. SIL intends to release all future fonts under the OFL and to issue OFL versions of existing and older font packages as time permits. To date SIL has released 12 fonts under the OFL.

OFL fonts released during 2007

Related links of interest