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Entry no.: 596

27 Oct 2008, 8:00 PM

Tags: , , ,

Comments: 90

Design Romanian diacritic marks

How did we end up looking half-illiterate?

Lack of standards, wrong standards and then slow adoption of good standards—no wonder the Romanian diacritics turned into an endangered species. Magazine headlines, television supers and advertisements cheerfully disseminate incorrect letters.

The situation is so bad that even on national banknotes the spelling is bastardized (if you know who designed this, please encourage the person(s) to quit design):

Bad typography: A-caron incorrectly used instead of A-breve on Romanian banknotes

Shameless incompetence: A-caron incorrectly used instead of A-breve on Romanian banknotes, as pointed by Bogdan Dumitrache.

What happened? How did we end up looking like idiots?

An introduction

Romanian glyphs

There are five special letters in the Romanian alphabet referred to as diacritics.

In the sense of diacritics as being signs added to letters to alter their pronunciation or to make distinction between words, the Romanian alphabet does not have diacritics. There are, however, five special letters in the Romanian alphabet (two of them are associated with the same sound), formed by modifying other latin letters. Strictly speaking they are not diacritics, but are generally referred to as such.1

Romanian language has 5 special letters—they are not diacritics _per se_, but are generally referred to as such: Ăă — A/a with BREVE for the sound /ə/; Ââ — A/a with CIRCUMFLEX for the sound /ɨ/; Îî — I/i with CIRCUMFLEX for the sound /ɨ/; Șș — S/s with COMMA BELOW for the sound /ʃ/; Țț — T/t with COMMA BELOW for the sound /ʦ/.

Romanian language has 5 special letters—they are not diacritics per se, but are generally referred to as such.

Although we only have 5 diacritics (Czech language has 15) we, sometimes, manage to get 3 out of 5 wrong. Most of the time we get 2 out of those 3 wrong: Ș and Ț.

Common mistakes

The most common mistakes are:

Letter A with Tilde or Letter A with Caron incorrectly used instead of Letter A with Breve. Cristian Kit Paul, 2008.

Letter A with Tilde or Letter A with Caron instead of Letter A with Breve.

Letter S With Cedilla incorrectly used instead of Letter S with Comma below. Cristian Kit Paul, 2008.

Letter S With Cedilla instead of Letter S with Comma below. Letter S With Cedilla is used in Turkish language.

Letter T With Cedilla incorrectly used instead of Letter T with Comma below. Cristian Kit Paul, 2008.

Letter T With Cedilla instead of Letter T with Comma below. Turns out that Letter T With Cedilla is not used in any living language, only for semitic transliterations.

While the first mistake is caused mainly by indolence, the second one and the third have an epic story behind and deserve a closer look.

The story of Ș and Ț: an epic clusterfuck

Imagine everything going atrociously wrong. For 20 years!

For those English-language graphic designers affected by diacritics nostalgia, here's the cure: imagine everything going atrociously wrong—for 20 years!

The timeline

  • 1987. Romanian language is associated with ISO 8859‑2 (Latin 2)—the international standard stipulates S-cedilla and T-cedilla glyphs. Romanian officials are oblivious to the matter. Very, very bad.
  • 1995. Unicode consortium specifies in version 1.1.5 codepoints U+015E (Latin Capital Letter S With cedilla), U+015F (Latin Small Letter S With cedilla), U+0162 (Latin Capital Letter T With cedilla), U+0163 (Latin Small Letter T With cedilla) as suitable for both Turkish and Romanian, and defined them as containing the cedilla accent. Turkish language indeed uses cedilla in U+015E, U+015F but does not make any use of U+0162, U+0163. Romanian language doesn't use any of them. Very bad.
  • 1995. Windows 95 launches with no support for Romanian language by default. Support is available on CD-ROM Extras for Microsoft Windows 95 Upgrade. The typeface ILP Rumanian B100 substitutes Q/q with Ă/ă. Dark ages. Bad.
  • 1997. Apple’s MAC OS 7.6.1 honors Romanian S/s with comma below and T/t with comma below diacritics with MacRomanian (ten years before Microsoft). Interesting enough, its tables do not resolve U+015E, U+015F, U+0162 nor U+0163 (no S/s with cedilla nor T/t with cedilla)—at all! Good.
  • 1997. Adobe Glyph List (AGL 1.0 and 1.1) specifies "Tcommaacent" and "tcommaaccent" instead of Tcedilla/tcedilla (no resolve for Scedilla and scedilla). The consequence of this decision is that Romanian documents using the (unofficial) Unicode points U+015E/F and U+0162/3 (for Ș/ș and Ț/ț) are rendered in Adobe fonts in a visually inconsistent way using S/s with cedilla and T/t with comma below. Good going bad...

It takes ten years for The Romanian Standards Association to react.

  • 1997. It takes ten years for ASRO to react. In 1997 the association complains to ISO about the S-cedilla and T-cedilla standardization requesting an amendment. Good.
  • 1998. The revised version of ISO/IEC 8859‑2 (Latin 2) is ratified without the requested amendment. A note mentions that "the letters S and T with cedilla below may be used to substitute for the letters S and T with comma below". Very bad.
  • 1998. Adobe switches 015E/F back to T/tcedilla. Defines 0218/9 as S/scommaaccent, 021A/B as T/tcommaaccent before Unicode's 3.0 revision but after Apple's MAC OS 7.6.1. Good.
  • 1999. In its release 3.0 the Unicode consortium adds the mappings U+0218 (Latin Capital Letter S With comma below), U+0219 (Latin Small Letter S With comma below), U+021A (Latin Capital Letter T With comma below), U+021B (Latin Small Letter T With comma below), and defined them as containing a “commaaccent”. Great.

After 12 years The Romanian Standards Association standardizes the right glyphs.

  • 1999. The Romanian Standards Association adopts SR 13411 standard that stipulates S/s-comma and T/t-comma as official Romanian letters. Good.
  • 2001. ISO publishes ISO/IEC 8859-16 also known as Latin-10 or "South-Eastern European" incorporating Romanian SR 13411 standard, in spite of strong opposition from USA's representatives and from Mr. J. W. van Wingen, Netherlands' representative. Finally Romanian language's standard form is also the correct one. Good.
  • 2001. Microsoft Office v. X for Mac OS X is released crippled, without support Unicode font display or input. Office documents with diacritics created on Windows won't display properly on the Macintosh. Bad.
  • 2001. Apple immediately aligns their OS X to ISO/IEC 8859-16. Good, but...
  • 2001. Unfortunately, Mac OS X does not recognize the "*commaaccent" glyphnames that are defined by Adobe for Romanian and Baltic languages (such as Tcommaaccent, Rcommaaccent, Kcommaaccent, Ncommaaccent) but instead only recognizes the "*cedilla" names (T/tcedilla, R/rcedilla, K/kcedilla, N/ncedilla) or the "uni****" names (uni0162, uni0156, uni0136, uni0145). This means that Mac OS X will fail to recognize the glyphs T/tcommaaccent, R/rcommaaccent, K/kcommaaccent, N/ncommaaccent and map them to their respective Unicodes. [Adam Twardoch2] Bad.
  • 2001. Microsoft along with other software vendors disregards ISO/IEC 8859-16. Ugly.
  • 2001. Microsoft Windows XP is launched. In order to correctly encode and render both S-comma and T-comma, one has to install the European Union Expansion Font Update. Unfortunately, there is no official way to add keyboard support for these characters. In order to type them, one has to either install 3rd party keyboards, or use the Character Map. Bad.
  • 2003. Macromedia Freehand MX (11) is released without OpenType support. Bad.
  • 2003. Adobe releases Creative Suite 1 applications with Unicode support. Designers are able to produce inter-platform Romanian typography without hacking fonts. Good.

Mr. Cristian Secară protests in his letter to Microsoft Romania.

  • 2003. People protest against Microsoft practices—most notable is Mr. Cristian Secară with his 2003 open letter to Microsoft Romania (link in Romanian). Good.

After 16 years The Linguistic Institute of the Romanian Academy finally answers.

  • 2003. The dormant Linguistic Institute of the Romanian Academy finally honors the request concerning the exact form of the glyphs under letters S and T—says it must be a comma. Very late, still good.
  • 2004. Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac is released with Unicode support. Good.
  • 2007. Six years late and five months after Romania (and Bulgaria) joined the EU, Microsoft releases updated fonts that include all official glyphs of Romanian alphabet. This font update targeted Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Vista. Good, at last.
  • 2007. Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 is released without support for comma-below variants of S/s and T/t in any of its three bundled fonts.3 Bad.
  • 2007. Mac OS X ignores the glyph-to-Unicode mapping provided in the “cmap” table of OpenType PS (CFF/.otf) fonts, while it uses it for OpenType TT (.ttf) fonts. For OpenType PS fonts, Mac OS X uses the glyph-to-glyphname mapping provided in the font and then maps the glyphnames to Unicodes itself.4. Bad.
  • 2007. The subset of Unicode most widely supported on Microsoft Windows systems, Windows Glyph List 4, still does not include the comma-below variants of S/s and T/t. Bad, as usual.
  • 2008. Some OpenType fonts from Adobe and all C-series Vista fonts implement the optional OpenType feature GSUB/latn/ROM/locl. This feature forces S-cedilla to be rendered using the same glyph as S with comma below. When this second (but optional) remapping takes place, Romanian Unicode text is rendered with comma-below glyphs regardless of code point variants.5 Good.
  • 2008. Very few Windows applications support the locl feature tag. From the Adobe CS3 suite, only InDesign has support for it. Bad.
  • 2008. Apple updates iPhone OS X to version 2.1, adds Romanian keyboard and correct glyphs for Romanian diacritics. Good.
  • 2008. Some Nokia phones still use incorrect S-cedilla and T-cedilla glyphs.6 Some Sony Ericsson phones use an uneven T with comma below and S-cedilla combo. Bad.
  • 2010. Apple launches the iPad in the US and a few European countries—from where it is unofficially imported to Romania—without support for Romanian language. iPad's current iOS 3.2 (7B367) can display the full range of Romanian letters with diacritics but lacks the keyboard for typing them. Expected, but annoying.
  • 2010. Current version(s) of Android officially supported by the carriers (1.5–2.1) cannot display correctly all letters with Romanian diacritic marks and are completely unable to generate them (via keyboard) out of the box. In order to make diacritics available for typing, Romanian Keyboard for Android (sporting itself a Turkish S-cedilla on its icon) has to be downloaded and installed. [See comments 5157 below.] Back-to-1995-kind-of-bad.

This is how the puzzle looks to me, so far (if you have new/more pieces of this—or corrections—please let me know).

But there's room for some more bad news.

More bad news: the keyboards

Romanian keyboard layouts

The current Romanian National Standard SR 13392:2004 establishes two layouts for Romanian keyboards: a "primary" one and a "secondary" one.

Romanian SR 13392:2004 primary layout. Source: Wikipedia.

Romanian SR 13392:2004 primary layout. Source: Wikipedia.

The "primary" layout is intended for more traditional users that learned long ago how to type with older, Microsoft-style implementations of the Romanian keyboard. The "secondary" layout is mainly used by programmers and it doesn't contradict the physical arrangement of keys on a US-style keyboard. The "secondary" arrangement is used as the default one by the majority of GNU/Linux distributions.7

Sorin Paliga, author of Romanian Keylayouts for MAC OS:

Apple is indeed the only company which sells localized physical keyboards on the Romanian market, but must now re-locate the specific Romanian letters on the physical keyboard according to the Romanian standard. Sooner or later Apple must do that, but the sooner the better.

It turns out that the localized keyboards Apple ships to Romania—although functioning perfectly—are not standard compliant. And that's not all.

Physical keyboard engraving

After 11 years from cedilla to comma switch, Macintosh keyboards are still marked with the wrong glyphs. Surreal!

Even if Apple's OS X was ahead of the diacritics adoption curve and it was the first hardware manufacturer (is it the only one, still?) to ship localized keyboards, they have a glaring bug—for years now: the Romanian keyboard is marked with the wrong glyphs!

Even though it works correctly, the S-comma key is engraved with S-cedilla and T-comma key is engraved with T-cedilla.

Totally surreal, I know!

Apple keyboard erroneously inscribed with Letter S With Cedilla instead of Letter S with Comma below. Cristian Kit Paul, 2008.

Apple keyboard erroneously inscribed with Letter T With Cedilla instead of Letter T with Comma below. Cristian Kit Paul, 2008.

Apple's Mac OS gets the Romanian glyphs correctly for 11 years now, but their keyboards are still erroneously inscribed.

I filed this with Apple's bug tracker: bug ID 6287188.

Romanian keyboard on iPhone

The new iPhone firmware 2.1 ads a Romanian keyboard with diacritics.

Romanian iPhone keyboard setting. iPhone diacritic marks are dead on correct. Cristian Kit Paul, 2008.

Romanian keyboard setting. iPhone diacritic marks are dead on correct.

In order to use them, switch the Romanian Keyboard on (Settings → General → International → Keyboards → Romanian → On), then press the globe-key and you’ll notice the space bar reading “Spațiu” instead of “Space”. Then tap and hold one of the keys (A, I, S or T) and a row of additional letters will unfold, containing the diacritic marks.

On iPhone tap and hold one of the keys (A, I) and a row of additional letters will unfold, containing the diacritic marks. Cristian Kit Paul, 2008.

On iPhone tap and hold one of the keys (S or T) and a row of additional letters will unfold, containing the diacritic marks. Cristian Kit Paul, 2008.

Tap and hold one of the keys (A, I, S or T) and a row of additional letters will unfold, containing the diacritic marks.

Bottom line

Current status: embarrassment

Computers are supposed to be able to process text with ease, consistency and predictable output. In Romania—year 2008—they’re still unable to accomplish this basic task.

Computers are supposed to be able to process text with ease, consistency and predictable output. In Romania—year 2008—they’re still unable to accomplish this basic task.

Academic intelligentia, when not sleeping, gets busy thinking of maddening spelling reforms. Local computer manufacturers happily crank out garage-quality boxes, completely oblivious to how are those boxes supposed to work. Foreign manufacturers enlist Romania at “others”. Microsoft does only what’s best at: adds in entropy via maligned standards only to be wrestling its own mess later on. Big publishing, advertising and print shops have built closed ecosystems that often work with hacked keyboard layouts and fonts (if they care). The web goes with the flow.

And so we’re stuck with this embarrassing mess—what’s really exasperating, though, is that in 20 years indolence has become a de facto standard: we know we stink but we’re comfortable with that.

Take a stand

How can we improve the situation? Well, by using the correct diacritics, obviously.

But if/when that proves difficult, we should better drop diacritics altogether than use some sloppy substitutions (ã or ǎ instead of ă, ş instead of ș, ţ instead of ţ). As Bogdan Dumitrache puts it:

Lack of diacritics? Well, today I changed my mind regarding the topic. After I’ve seen them used wrong on the Romanian banknotes—look at the caron instead of breve in “BANCA NATIONAL …”—and in many other public places, I think I prefer them not tő bê ŭşed åt ãll.

Why?

Why? Because it makes you a shitty designer.

Long explanation: Because using the wrong substitution bastardizes the language—those letters do not exist in Romanian. Because it’s misleading for those who don’t know any better—they’ll think it’s perfectly acceptable to align to the bad practice. Because substitutions turn into a baggage of backwards-compatibility issues. Because it makes you a shitty designer. And because, well, in the end, it’s just bad taste.

Short explanation: Because wearing no underwear is preferable to wearing it on the outside, over the trousers.


1 Wikipedia, Romanian alphabet entry.

2 Typophile.com forum post by Adam Twardoch—Fontlab Ltd. Product and Marketing Manager, MyFonts typographic consultant.

3 According to i18n.ro, a romanian internationalization, localization and translation knowledge base (link in Romanian).

4 Idem 2.

5 Wikipedia, Romanian alphabet article.

6 The report refers to Nokia S60 platform (Nokia E61, Nokia E61i), other Nokia platforms might not be affected.

7 Wikipedia, Keyboard layout article.

Comments

Reply no.: 1

27 Oct 2008, 1:18 PM

Radu:

Thoroughly documented and informative article.
If only shitty designers read your blog and cared…

Reply no.: 2

27 Oct 2008, 1:33 PM

Kit:

Thank you, Radu. It's not really for the hopelessly irresponsible designers—nobody can change them—but for those who didn't know or didn't really paid any attention to this matter, and a memento for those who know but tend to forget.

Reply no.: 3

27 Oct 2008, 4:18 PM

johno:

Great article. And, of course, it's not only Romanian that suffers from this malady.

Reply no.: 4

28 Oct 2008, 2:12 PM

Kit:

I'm sure that many had hard times with diacritics, but probably few had such hard times, Johno.

ISO 8859‑2 (Latin 2) standard, Unicode version 1.1.5, Microsoft's philosophy and local incompetence were such harmful blows that we still suffer the consequences, more than 20 years later.

Reply no.: 5

28 Oct 2008, 6:35 PM

Iulian:

I have a NOKIA 6120 that performs flawlessly when it comes to correct diacritics usage. I was actually surprised to see T/S-comma and A-breve being dispayed while browsing the Internet, instead of the usual T/S-cedilla and A-caron.

Reply no.: 6

28 Oct 2008, 9:00 PM

Kit:

Thanks for the observation, Iulian—I've updated the respective bullet point.

Reply no.: 7

28 Oct 2008, 9:48 PM

Iulian:

Too bad it's gotten to the point where it's a surprise to see the correct diacritics being used/displayed frowny face

Reply no.: 8

29 Oct 2008, 11:57 AM

sorin:

Nice article about Romanian support. I've missed to note the http://www.i18n.ro website.

Reply no.: 9

30 Oct 2008, 2:24 AM

George:

Bookmark worthy. Congrats on the research work!

I wrote a rather lengthy piece myself on this several years ago, in PC Magazine Romania, where I made the same attempt to document the mess that we're in and to raise awareness regarding long term consequences. I was surprised then to have been met with hostility by some technical readers who were quite comfortable with the status quo. I am equally disappointed to see, all these years later, fellow Web developers who can't be bothered to read up even the basics about character sets. We shouldn't blame it all on Microsoft or the lack of keyboards.

I do disagree with one point that you are making. Dropping the pesky letters altogether is absolutely not a solution. Not in any circumstance that involves something other than ephemera. My main concern in the article that I wrote was not so much glyphs, but codepoints. That's what makes or breaks forward compatibility. We are fortunate enough that Google seems to handle the codepoint soup well, but if I worked for a website which accumulated content, I would make sure that my text can be properly indexed (proper names and everything) and that my databases can be properly sorted in the future.

Reply no.: 10

30 Oct 2008, 5:37 AM

Bogdan:

@george:
The suggestion to drop the impossiblydifficulttoreproducecorrectlyglyphs® was sarcasm towards the indolent Romanians. That our status as a culturally relevant nation is mediocre might be understandable, considering our location at the periphery and our troubled history, the isolation in communism, etc. When these standards were created in the west, we simply weren't a priority. Also the Romanian language have that pesky sh, similar with the Turkish one - although ours was first :), actually the Czechs invented it at the beginning of the 19th century - a situation which added to the confusion. I myself prefer the shape of the s with cedilla, the Turkish one, but the problem arises in the t with cedilla, because you cannot really center it under the t hook. Nevertheless, our Academy doesn't give a fucking shit on the fucking standards and the users of our language don't care and respect a fucking bit their mother tongue anyway. The romantic times when the Romanians, educated in Berlin and Paris, gave a fucking fuck about building and polishing the sound and the form of their language are over. Our generation is not up to the job of dealing with 5 annoying glyphs. We blame the 'others', the 'rich and arrogant' creators of the standards, for our misery. Let's face it, we are unable to manage that complexity. Because we don't love or care about our language, as we don't care about our cities. These bastard letters we use are the termopane of our writing. A down to earth, real tipographik approach to our incapacity of solving the issue, is to scrap the whole thing altogether. That is, not to use diacritics at all :P

Reply no.: 11

30 Oct 2008, 4:33 PM

Dragos:

Not sure that I remember correctly (long time ago) but I think that when Apple introduced the Romanian keyboard and fonts in the '90-ies they had the ă written with caron, besides the usual cedilla under s and t. I know I was quite angry at their crappy implementation back then, but anyway happy that somebody takes the time to consider it.
Is there any historical record about how ş and ţ were supposed to look, for example 40 years ago?
As far as I know, the comma under s and t was supposed to be smaller than the usual punctuation comma, and this can be seen in lots of books published in Romania before 1989, using "traditional" typographic methods.

Reply no.: 12

30 Oct 2008, 4:51 PM

chuck:

I tend to believe that you described a purely aesthetic problem. Language and writing are invented, not discovered, and this makes them conventions. They were evolveing or more precisely changing slowly over time some hundreds/thounsands of years ago. The change is faster now when communication is more advanced between cultural groups. More importantly, I think they change through being used by the regular people who care not for typography or grammar.

I dont see the improvement in using the "corect" glyph instead of the "incorrect" one. Everybody can understand what is written on the bancnote that you used as an example, even if it s not the "correct" glyph, I think even if it was a point many people would still understand.

The form of the glyph is not so important in my opinion, but the absence of the glyph is, the word could have a totally diferent meaning.

Maybe it's not the right comparison, but when I was in the school I was learned that I should write "sint" and now the kids are learning that corect is "sunt" so in the end I think it's not a matter of correct and incorrect form but merely of adapting to constant change.

Reply no.: 13

30 Oct 2008, 6:01 PM

Vali:

Great article, I never really paid attention to the Șș and Țț, looked at my old designs and found only 2 mistakes, now I know what to look for in diacritics

on a side note my OSX keyboard is engraved correctly (it shipped with Tiger)

Reply no.: 14

30 Oct 2008, 8:22 PM

Kit:

Chuck, á txt is prtty müch undrstndable évn heåvily mutilątd and with missng vowls—let alone w/o diacrïtx or the wrng ones—but that doesnt mean we sẖld write lke thŝ, because as designers we are the custodians of the visual communication language.

It is more than esthetics. It's culture. We should stand accountable for vandalizing it.

Reply no.: 15

30 Oct 2008, 11:46 PM

pars:

great work.

however, our language changes, as we are changing.

i mean, we are writing this in English, instead of Romanian as a pure, functional convention, so more people can join the discussion.

yes, we are lazy on searching for the correct stuff, but that is our nature.

nature that transforms. i think this is the culture also.

Reply no.: 16

31 Oct 2008, 5:02 PM

alecs stan:

great article ! thanks for the time it took to write it, and thanks because you care.

Reply no.: 17

31 Oct 2008, 9:22 PM

Rob Keller:

Very nice article and thorough history of these diacritics!

Reply no.: 18

1 Nov 2008, 1:54 AM

Lucian:

Free software translations into Romanian often had no diacritics for some time. Current translations now use the correct form.

Romanian translations for Debian Lenny are supposed to be free of sedila diacritics. As far as I can see the newly launched Ubuntu 8.10 lacks them.

The default romanian keyboard layout on Debian and Ubuntu (at least) inserts the correct ones too. At least free software seems to get it correct. Though late too.

Wikipedia România knows about the use of sedilla characters in it's texts, but refuse to change all articles to commabellow because of the major fuckage that would create for XP users without the servicepack.

Reply no.: 19

1 Nov 2008, 12:33 PM

Kit:

Thank you for reporting from the Linux front, Lucian—that's a territory I was afraid of while mining for information because of its astronomical diversity and my lack of knowledge.

Reply no.: 20

3 Nov 2008, 11:47 AM

Iulian:

The saaad, sad truth is that it does come down to conventions, regardless of all the rules.

If enough people use caron, cedilla and tilde (if they use them at all, given the growing diacritics-laziness), we'll end up stuck with them.

Reply no.: 21

3 Nov 2008, 2:42 PM

Kit:

I don't buy this "we should go with the flow" stance.

A lot of people spit on the sidewalk—I trust we will not consider this a rule and abide by it. Sometimes we're not supposed to be mimicking the behavior of a certain group, but we're supposed to be changing it. It's called education.

My article tries to demonstrate that for a long while most people did not have any choice but to disregard the language rules. Those times are about to end as the correct standards are set and their implementation is well on its way. Now they do have a choice and we should inform those who don't know—and remind those who tend to forget—which is the correct one.

Reply no.: 22

3 Nov 2008, 4:03 PM

Ovidiu Hrin:

... not to mention the fact that the spacing between A L A ( in ...NationaLA... ) on the banknote depicts the attention to detail and interest in good letterspacing and the attention to detail we as a nation are very well known for. Poor typography as well ( see also the distance between RO MANIEI to catch my drift ).

Reply no.: 23

4 Nov 2008, 2:53 PM

Simon Pascal Klein:

Informative piece with an apt summary. Thank you.

Reply no.: 24

5 Nov 2008, 1:57 PM

Iulian Puiu:

Great article. Congratulations. :)

Reply no.: 25

8 Nov 2008, 2:22 PM

Kurko Janos:

Most informative and alarming!
As some here already noted the main issue here is not necessary about the actual design or the aesthetics of the diacritics.
is about the lack of decency, professionalism and poor education!
(taking about designers / officials from the Romanian Academic environment etc.)

We can change this! ;-)

Reply no.: 26

10 Nov 2008, 8:58 PM

Cristian Ciupitu:

Excellent article! Thank you.

Reply no.: 27

14 Dec 2008, 8:59 AM

alex n:

Great article Kit, i guess it involved a great amount of digging.

@Ovidiu Hrin: that's the space between two separate words: 'Naţională' and 'A'

Reply no.: 28

8 Jan 2009, 5:37 AM

SAM:

I am--and absolutely certain of what I am saying--for eliminating the diacriticals from the Romanian language. The peculiar sounds of Romanian langauge are no farther or closer from the letters that carry them than many English phonems that are nowhere near the actual values of the letters that represent them. So, why not save a lot of dough, effort and other things, and just forget about the ş, ţ, î, etc...

Reply no.: 29

30 Jan 2009, 11:07 AM

cB:

- an excellent article!!! smart comments!
off topic: 'Please use English for comments. Be responsible.' - may I ask you why just in english?

Reply no.: 30

30 Jan 2009, 11:40 AM

Kit:

Thank you, CB.

English helps people aggregate knowledge: a few days ago Czech type designer David Březina could reference this article in his article on diacritics, for instance.

English is like an open standard—keeps this web site open. I don't see a benefit in making it closed and provincial.

Reply no.: 31

4 Feb 2009, 11:34 PM

Adrian:

I still haven't figured out why letters Y and Z switch when you change the keyboard layout to Romanian in Windows XP. It is also "available" with the Legacy standard in Vista.
As I recall this is not an issue on MacOS X. I believe it wasn't in OS 9 either.

Reply no.: 32

26 Feb 2009, 12:02 AM

Buchwald:

They say ignorance is bliss. Not in this case. :) Your article is a real blessing for us, the 'juniors'.

Reply no.: 33

7 Mar 2009, 1:35 PM

RandomPixels:

this is a great article, and it reminded me of the flag colors' standardization problem.

congrats and keep up the good work!

Reply no.: 34

23 Mar 2009, 12:46 PM

Umur Çelikyay:

This is a fascinating article my friend. You have painstakingly covered all of the issues. I am Turkish and so much of what you are talking about seems so familiar. It took the computing industry years to adapt Turkish characters into the various computer operating systems. In the beginning, the organizations responsible for Turkish standards did next to nothing to accommodate or oversee the integration. I am sorry that I do not have the kind of specific details you have, with dates, etc.

Today, the Unicode implementation is seemingly complete but we have ended up with a keyboard layout that is not fitting the Turkish language at all. The letters `Q` and `W` which do not exist in Turkish have prominent places on the keyboard while common letters are assigned to awkward locations.

The biggest issue is not that though. Out of pure laziness, many Turkish people--in some cases even educated people--are refusing to use the proper diacritical characters and substituting others. in the end the same "embarrassing mess" exists for Turkish too. Unfortunately most people do not seem to care.

Reply no.: 35

23 Mar 2009, 3:07 PM

Kit:

Thank you for taking the time to share with us the similar situation you're experiencing in Turkey.

And I'm sure that our countries are not alone in this—left behind (for various reasons, including our own fault) and struggling to get back in line.

Thank you again.

Reply no.: 36

20 Apr 2009, 8:05 PM

Mihai Olteanu:

I just have one point to make: it seems that  (A with circumflex) doesn't really exist in the written language, as this implies appearance at the beginning of the word, yet, â/ used at the beginning of the word turns into î/Î; your article gives the impression that  really is a valid character.

Reply no.: 37

21 Apr 2009, 2:29 AM

Kit:

Interesting observation, Mihai, yet not entirely true—if you're using upper case (like BANCA NAȚIONALĂ A ROMÂNIEI on the bancnotes), A circumflex is obviously a valid character.

Reply no.: 38

24 May 2009, 9:09 PM

"ON Diacritics" at WebBlogNet:

ON Diacritics

Read more in ON Diacritics »

Reply no.: 39

14 Jun 2009, 4:02 AM

cug:

Glad to see people care.

Standards are valuable if they are followed.
However standards have no chance in Romania. Not enough people to give a damn about them. I work as a programmer and use the special characters when writing in Romanian. And you couldn't believe how many fellow programmers ask me: "why do you strugle to use those special characters?". "well, because it's the correct way to do it, because people who read don't have to think twice in order to understand some of the words". "but, why?".
Or: "I'm not able to see the special characters in your IM Status". "You don't have the fonts. You can install them. Here's the link". "Bweah!.."
Let's say these are non-educated people, although programmers and supposedlyy wary of computing concepts like fonts, characters and glyphs.

Another great pain in the Romanian language is the â vs î wudgeukolit. The latest standard, 2005, is to use â inside of the word and î at the head and tail.
And here you are, some newspapers find the standard incorrect and ignore it completely. So do some printing houses. So do even some people involved in translation projects.
What could you expect but the "e lătúri" kind of feeling. A Standard needs
each and every to comply to meet its definition.

But let us not forget the nice and dandy:
Windows Vista and the soon 7 come with the romanian fonts available out of the box, as well as the standard keyboard layout for people to be able to write the special characters should they like to.
ro.wiki*.org will be able to switch from cedilla to commabelow characters once the adoption rate becomes inviting.
The Linux distribution I used have never had problems. UTF-8 locale allow for șț to be used even in file and directory names. Lots of fonts supporting the special characters as first class members.

You mentioned Cristian Secară in the article. It's Secară and not Secărică

Reply no.: 40

14 Jun 2009, 12:37 PM

Kit:

Thank you for taking the time to comment here, CUG.

Sorry for the name confusion (Secărică instead of Secară) — I corrected that already thanks to your note.

Reply no.: 41

13 Aug 2009, 8:07 AM

SpookyET:

I remember reading a story about how 4 people wrote the latest edition of the DEX dictionary at the Romanian Academy. The day after it has been published, TV stations have started to write "niciun" instead of "nici un". Since when do the words 'nici', meaning 'not even', and 'un', meaning 'one' need to be one word?

How in the bloody hell 4 self-obsessed, over-educated individuals can be in charge of the language of 22 million? It makes no sense. Why is the communist-loved and forced î still in the dictionary? We have had â for far longer. There is no point in having two symbols for the same sound. Should one be crucified for writing "âmpărat" instead of "împărat"? If it's so important to keep the Latin heritage, let's use a closer to Latin pronunciation, 'impărat' or even closer 'imperat' from 'imperator' (Latin).

Reply no.: 42

9 Sep 2009, 9:18 PM

FarAwayFromRomania:

Thank you very much for this info.Why don't you make a online petition to be signed ? I'm in Before is too late !

Reply no.: 43

22 Sep 2009, 2:30 PM

Costi:

For Mihai Olteanu:
The point about  not existing in the written language might seem valid, but only when referring to the hand written language (per se - that is language written by hand).
HOWEVER... Think about TITLES. Such as:
CÂND OARE VA FI GATA AUTOSTRADA BUCUREŞTI - PLOIEŞTI?
or the ever popular:
CÂINE RĂU
You can also consider capitals written by hand...
So should it or should it not be considered a valid written caracter?!? In my opinion (and I believe I've somewhat made a point here) it should!

Reply no.: 44

27 Oct 2009, 3:53 PM

Tom:

Excellent post.

Reply no.: 45

21 Nov 2009, 2:51 PM

"Decât o Revistă" at Kit·blog:

Decât o Revistă, cover. Click here or on the image to enlarge. From the launch of Omagiu Magazine in 2005 (noted here) nothing cool happened in the Romanian printed magazine landscape....

Read more in Decât o Revistă »

Reply no.: 46

28 Nov 2009, 4:08 PM

bogdi:

Thank you for this article, I so badly needed an English language resource to point people to, when trying to explain the romanian diacritics (or lack of thereof) problem. I'm painfully aware of it and want to help solve it in a correct manner. Yóü rułę.

Reply no.: 47

8 Dec 2009, 11:08 PM

"Follow the money" at Kit·blog:

Uncovering the genocide While in a previous post I was pointing toward an anonymous drive-by hit-and-run, my friend Bogdan takes a step further and authoritatively exhumes the prominent victims of a high-profile...

Read more in Follow the money »

Reply no.: 48

20 Dec 2009, 6:24 PM

günter:

I'm missing one point. Since when is uning the comma instead of the cedilla the published standard? The autor complains that everything whent wrong for so many years, but states that the academy gave a definite answer to the question only in 2003.

Reply no.: 49

23 Dec 2009, 7:55 AM

alexpro:

Do you have any information about Windows 7 and/or Office 2010? Maybe some problems will go away....

Reply no.: 50

5 Mar 2010, 3:43 PM

dann:

I was looking for more informations about romanian diacritics, and it was a pleasure to read this nicely
written article. Very informative and clean!

By the way the article was the first item in the google search list!

Reply no.: 51

29 Jun 2010, 11:10 AM

Dragos Stefan:

For the record, the included fonts in the Google Android operating system (the Droid family made by Ascender) are a complete mess. T with comma is wrongly placed on the codes of T with cedilla, while the the codes for T with comma are empty. It is impossible to correctly type in Romanian on a stock Android phone.

Reply no.: 52

29 Jun 2010, 12:51 PM

pax:

I have an Android handset bought from Vodafone Romania but I couldn't find the diacritics (long pressing the a, t, s) doesn't get me anywhere, even when the locale is on Romanian.

Reply no.: 53

29 Jun 2010, 1:50 PM

Kit:

Thank you Dragos — and Pax for confirming this — I'll apend your report to the "saga".

Reply no.: 54

29 Jun 2010, 7:46 PM

Mihai:

Detailed story for Android:
U+014E, U+015F = Ss with cedilla glyphs
U+0162, U+0163 = Tt with comma glyphs
U+0218, U+0219 = Ss with comma glyphs
U+021A, U+021B = nothing

With the standard Android keyboard you can't produce any form of ST (comma or cedilla).

The "Romanian Keyboard for Android" (http://www.androidzoom.com/android_applications/tools/romanian-keyboard_gkaz.html) generates the U+01xx characters.

Reply no.: 55

29 Jun 2010, 11:36 PM

Dragos Stefan:

A mail I got from Ascender today is saying that "...these are all known bugs and have been fixed. The new fonts are going to be redelivered in the fall with the next rev of Android."
Time will tell.

Reply no.: 56

30 Jun 2010, 9:27 AM

Kit:

Thanks for contributing to this, Mihai. Are you sure U+0162, U+0163 render as Tt with comma glyphs? Those codes should resolve to Tt with cedilla — thus leaving Android unable to display the correct Tt with comma glyphs. Even if it does, it is not good at all, because Tt with comma glyphs should be mapped to U+021A, U+021B.

What Android version(s) are we talking about? 2.1? 2.2 anyone?

So current version(s) of Android is (are) not capable to display letters with Romanian diacritic marks correctly and are completely unable to generate them out of the box. In order to make diacritics available "Romanian Keyboard for Android" has to be downloaded and installed. Is this correct?

Reply no.: 57

30 Jun 2010, 9:36 AM

Kit:

Ouch! The Romanian Keyboard for Android sports a glaring Turkish S-cedilla on its icon.

Reply no.: 58

30 Jun 2010, 9:22 PM

"Romanian diacritic marks" at Kit·blog:

How did we end up looking half-illiterate? Lack of standards, wrong standards and then slow adoption of good standards—no wonder the Romanian diacritics turned into an endangered species. Magazine headlines, television supers...

Read more in Romanian diacritic marks »

Reply no.: 59

28 Jul 2010, 3:47 PM

Michal:

Thank you for this article which helped me understand the situation of Romanian diacritic marks a bit. It's really a pain in my eyes when reading YouTube comments from Romanian and Moldovan users without diacritics. For me as a Czech, writing without them is something absolutely beyond my imagination. Of course, there are many Czechs crippling our language by ignoring diacritics, but I think situation in Slovakia is much worse. We should preserve the standards and treasure our languages with all those Č's, Ă's and Ů's - they are a part of it.

Reply no.: 60

10 Aug 2010, 12:33 AM

Mihai:

Sorry Kit, I did not check this comments for a while.
Yes, U+0162, U+0163 render with comma (bad), and U+021A, U+021B are missing.
Tested on Froyo (2.2), with Nexus One.

Used http://www.androidzoom.com/android_applications/reference/unicode-map_glyl.html to see the font, and I have also got the font and installed on Windows, then inspected it with this http://mihai-nita.net/2007/09/08/charmapex-some-kind-of-character-map.

Reply no.: 61

10 Aug 2010, 12:44 AM

Kit:

So my observation that "current version(s) of Android is (are) not capable to display letters with Romanian diacritic marks correctly and are completely unable to generate them out of the box" stays relevant. Thanks, Mihai.

Reply no.: 62

15 Sep 2010, 2:15 PM

Lucian Marin:

For those of you using InDesign CS4/5 on multiple-page documents in Romanian, here's 2 ways you could do batch find & replace to add romanian glyphs.

  1. Using the Multi-Find/Change plugin, an interface driven script which groups and runs queries previously defined and saved using the regular Find/Change dialog box.
  2. Using ID's own "FindChangeByList" script (to be found in the main menu: Window > Automation > Scripts), which runs template rules defined in a text file (FindChangeList.txt on a PC). Here's a few examples that you would usually run on a document:
    text {findWhat:"Romania"} {changeTo:"Rom<00E2>nia"} {}
    text {findWhat:"Bucuresti"} {changeTo:"Bucure<0219>ti"} {}
    More advanced text & grep rules can be also defined.

Reply no.: 63

4 Oct 2010, 4:18 PM

Alex:

Wow, this is a really informative discussion, thanks for sharing the results of your research.

I would like to point out a few ideas that others mentioned, but which were not discussed further by the other readers:
  • Dropping diacritics altogether - originally I thought this was a good idea; after all - English only uses 26 letters, yet they can express a broad range of sounds, at the expense of... WYSIWYGiness (-: (you cannot pronounce what you read, you have to do some post-processing before generating the sound) and word length. The learning curve is shallow in the beginning, but after a period of adaptation, you understand the patterns and you can read words quickly and correctly.

    The reason I think it is a bad idea is because Romanian writing is [for obvious reasons] optimized for Romanian words, hence the diacritics. For example words like "țeapă, țeapa, țară; față, fată, fata" would require more complex parsing and spelling rules:
    - 'tz' or 'ts' instead of 'ț' forces you to use 2 characters intead of one;
    - writing 'a' instead of 'ă' implies that the brain's parser will have to look at the context (neighbor letters, and in the worst case - neighbor words) before it can correctly predict how to pronounce it.

    Some languages, such as English, took the "context determines pronounciation" path, while others, such as Romanian, took the "WYSIWYG" path (as long as you know how to read each letter, you can read any word).

    My point is that Romanian would do absolutely fine if there were no diacritics; because diacritics are just a convention, as Chuck pointed out. But given that things are as they are, it's easier to keep them (for backwards compatibility reasons).
  • Language and writing are conventions - there's nothing inherently wrong with one glyph or the other; what matters is that there has to be a standard people can adhere to.

    My favourite example is "român vs romîn". A while ago, the other version was considered correct and everyone was happy. Then things got changed, people had to update their parsers. So what? It didn't make the language better or worse, it just made it different.

    In the previous point, the conclusion was that Romanian was optimized in the following way: more letters in the alphabet, less letters in words.
    In this point the conclusion is different - there are 2 letters for the same sound, hence the alphabet contains some redundancy that adds no value to writing.

    Should this be seen as a flaw? If yes - let's get rid of it; if not - then what's wrong with using 'tz' instead of 'ț'?
I think that the highlights should be:
  • At last, there's a clear standard;
  • If your system still handles Romanian incorrectly, it is your fault;

Perhaps it is important not to talk about this in terms of 'right' and 'wrong' (it can be a sensitive issue for some), but in terms of conventions. For instance, an adept of "român" should say: "I am not arguing that romîn is inferior to român, because I understand that my spelling option was just an arbitrary choice. Nevertheless, the choice was made, and we have to stick to it". This shifts the focus of the discussion to the real issue, without transforming it into a heated "us vs them" debate.

Reply no.: 64

1 Feb 2011, 4:15 AM

Titi Amzar:

Cedilla for the "Ș" and "Ț " does not have its origin in the Turkish language but was taken from Spanish via French. ISO organization and its technical sub-committee has taken a correct decision in 1987. If we used typefaces with cedilla more than 100 years, we had to use them further... Or to give up all diacritics - simply because English does not use them?!...

Reply no.: 65

25 Feb 2011, 12:06 AM

doctorunet:

Titi, I believe you are right.
If we would have adopted the ISO standard as it was set back in 1987 and 1998 we would've been in a much better situation today and the adoption rate for writing with diacritics could have been much higher. I can't get why so many fuss about cedilla. It was used in our language before, Titu Maiorescu stated in his book "Despre scrierea limbii rumăne" that cedilla should be used for s and t. The use of comma was an error made in printing houses at best (or at worse). I actually suspect it was just a misinterpretation of the glyph and that people mistaken cedilla with comma. It is hard to believe that prior to digitalization fonts were cut with t and s with comma and such characters vanished suddenly with the digitalized versions.

Reply no.: 66

26 Feb 2012, 11:58 PM

Costin Oproiu:

I still have problems using romanian diacritic marks on Yahoo groups. Dou you have a hint?

Reply no.: 67

10 Apr 2012, 12:14 PM

Elijah Lynn:

I read this article about 4 days ago when I first arrived in Romania for the first time. I did not read the comments about the comma actually being the mistake.

Anyways, I thought I would share this image where the exact same phrase on two nearby signs uses both a comma on one and a cedilla on the other.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/117339978429227094107/posts/SxaTpkyqWJj

Reply no.: 68

29 May 2012, 10:00 PM

Cristian Adam:

I've also caught a few diacritics blunders here:
https://plus.google.com/107732192814812927690/posts/JdpL2hVJqbw

Reply no.: 69

13 Jun 2012, 9:12 PM

Tae:

Dragon Age 2 bundles the Minion Pro Bold and Myriad Pro Regular fonts, while the credits for the Audio and Localization section from EXTERNAL PARTNERS reads the following.

Translation
Albion Localisations (Poland)
Robert Böck (Germany)
ExeQuo (France)
ITI Ltd. (Russia)
Synthesis International S.r.l. (Italy and Spain)
Florian Vanino (Germany)

Detailed story for Dragon Age 2
U+015E, U+015F = Ss with cedilla glyphs
U+0162, U+0163 = Tt with comma glyphs
U+021A, U+021B = Tt with comma glyphs
U+0218, U+0219 = Ss with comma glyphs
U+F6C1, U+F6C2 = Ss with cedilla glyphs

Without this language file you can’t play Dragon Age 2 in Romanian language.

Reply no.: 70

18 Jun 2012, 4:53 PM

Dragoș:

The kerning on the Romanian Bill isn`t very good either.

Reply no.: 71

19 Jun 2012, 9:13 PM

Tae:

Electronic Arts and BioWare released the Dragon Age 2 game without support for playing in Romanian language. The 2 fonts located in the reply № 69 can render all the Romanian letters, but lacks the language file for playing the game. BioWare needs support for Romanian in Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3. Electronic Arts also releases Battlefield 3 without support for Romanian language.

Detailed story for Dragon Age 2 character translations in PL to EN:
Polish = Bartrandowi,
Google Translate = nothing.

Polish = Cullenie,
Google Translate = Cullen.

Polish = Izabelą,
Google Translate = Isabella.

Polish = Varriku,
Google Translate = nothing.

More character translations might be provided as well. The word przypieczętowałeś is not translated.

Reply no.: 72

5 Aug 2012, 10:34 PM

Cristian:

I've written an article about Romanian diacritics in movie subtitles: http://cristianadam.blogspot.de/2012/08/romanian-diacritic-marks-in-movie.html

In August 2012 the old diacritics and the usual failures are still present in TV movie subtitles.

Reply no.: 73

27 Nov 2012, 12:35 PM

Anto:

Help! I need a typog file with the slovenian fonts (mainly with the caron, which is the one that is troubling the printers).

thank you in advance if you answer this

Reply no.: 74

13 Jan 2013, 9:07 PM

Tae:

Bogdan, reply #10 has bad language. Quote the text on the rules. Flames, trolling or bad language will get your response deleted and your IP possibly banned. However, it thinks that French, Italian and Spanish are in Dragon Age: Origins.

Reply no.: 75

5 Jun 2013, 10:57 AM

Relu:

Good job you've done here!

Reply no.: 76

16 Jun 2013, 3:05 PM

Tae:

Quote in reply 69.
Robert Böck (Germany)
Florian Vanino (Germany)

Unquote.

Florian Vanino and Robert Böck are fluent in German and starts translating text to German language. Can you convert grave (`) and acute (´) accents into curly quotes with the same one? You fail in Romanian language!

Reply no.: 77

22 Jul 2013, 5:56 PM

Paul:

Get a life and do something relevant with it instead of debating semantics.

Reply no.: 78

22 Jul 2013, 6:03 PM

paul :

quit this idea. it's stupid. in the digital era, on website and media we perfectly understand letters without having all the correct markings. it's easier. unless you are a traditionalist old-timer that really cares about the ancestors' original letterings. it's useless to fight this battle. people are seeking easier ways to communicate, globally, uniform. i hate diacritics marks! always did! i hate people that use them, especially on texting and online. it looks goofy!
best regards!
ps: i was a university teacher for 7 years and still wouldn't advice people to use tem anymore. couldn't we understand eachother anyways without using them?

Reply no.: 79

22 Jul 2013, 9:33 PM

Daniel Ringby:

Two fuck-ups on that banknote, in fact. The second being the absence of circumflex above 'a' in 'României'.

Reply no.: 80

23 Jul 2013, 12:55 AM

Dorothea:

I'd add another piece of info to your timeline:
2013: Google STILL treats diacritic marks as distinct letters, thus forcing webmasters and SEOs to give up correct writing on websites. A brief example: the average internet user submits search queries without diacritics (examples: "paturi","sosete","tantari"). If a website uses these terms the correct way, WITH diacritic marks (examples: "pături", "şosete", "ţânţari") then the search engine will not recognize it. Thus, the website will not rank for relevant searches, written without diacritic marks, and it will not get visitors.

Also:

2013: While Germans are able to register domain names containing any of their special letters (Ä,Ö,Ü), .RO domain registrars still don't accept diacritic marks. Would be nice to register românia.ro or bucureşti.ro.

As for your conclusion, I cannot agree with the removal of diacritic marks. There's no solid argument against it, except for my personal attachment to books and literature. I have given up nationalist feelings a long time ago, nevertheless I remained madly in love with the Romanian language - its complexity, diversity (mix of Latin, Russian, Persian, Greek and so many moer), it's dialects, it's echo on the TV screen or on the streets. Every second I enjoy whispering these distinct shades of A, T and S, every second I like to make fun of foreigners who fail to say "BunĂ ziua". I just don't want all of this to change any time soon.

Reply no.: 81

23 Jul 2013, 11:05 AM

Sorin Paliga:

What the text lacks is the detail that the only officially responsible institution to set things right from the very beginning was and is the Romanian Academy (Academia Română) via the Institute for Linguistics (Inst. de lingvistică), nobody else. This institution was and is the only responsible for this remarkable mess.

Reply no.: 82

26 Jul 2013, 2:59 PM

Prospero:

Kit, thank you for the original (excellent) article. I am trying to learn Romanian and found it informative and inspiring - one is drawn to a language which commands such intelligent loyalty.

Oh, and 'Paul' - it seems not quite right for a 'university teacher' to speak so easily of hate, to characterize precision as 'goofy' and to mis-use the word 'semantics'.

Reply no.: 83

8 Aug 2013, 9:28 PM

Tae:

Dragoş looks like the poster types in grave accent (`) instead of an apostrophe (') due to problematic keyboard driver semantics.

Quote from the Rules: Flames, trolling or bad language will get your response deleted. Unquote.

It is OK to post bad language without getting your IP being banned.

Reply no.: 84

13 Aug 2013, 1:18 PM

Tae:

D. Stefan has fat-fingered that post. It should read:

T with comma is wrongly placed on the codes of T with cedilla, while the codes for T with comma are empty.

Reply no.: 85

13 Aug 2013, 1:29 PM

Tae:

Font Rina from CheapProFonts have t comma below mapped in t cedilla while mappings for y grave is empty.

Reply no.: 86

29 Sep 2013, 2:55 PM

anny:

How did we end up looking like idiots? We are proud when we shouldn't and we aren't proud when we should.

We are stuck in traditions made just some tens of years ago (1860s, 1881, 1904, 1953, 1964, 1993, 2005), yet we are forgetting traditions that we've kept for thousands of years.

And to pile up, we prefer to stop learning (if ever).

Reply no.: 87

13 Oct 2013, 6:34 PM

Cristian:

Google finally fixed the Roboto font in Android 4.3
Android has now proper Romanian support in the virtual keyboard and in the fonts.

WASD Keyboards had produced the first keyboard which conforms with the secondary keyboard layout from the ASRO SR13392:2004 standard.

Read more about the keyboard here: http://cristianadam.blogspot.de/2013/10/ro-tastatura-ro-pro.html

Reply no.: 88

4 Nov 2013, 8:45 PM

iji:

I'd wait until everyone would fix things and then I'd change the Romanian alphabet to: a, ə, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, ɨ, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, ʃ, t, ʦ, u, v, w, x, y, z. :D

Reply no.: 89

28 Aug 2014, 8:03 PM

Mihai:

It's been a while :-)
Update on Android:
- the Romanian keyboard produces the proper characters
(including the right comma forms of Ș and Ț, U+021A, U+021B, U+0218, U+0219)
- the default Android fonts contain the proper glyphs (comma forms at U+02xx and cedilla forms at U+01xx)

Probably happened earlier, but I don't know when exactly.

August 2014, Android 4.4 (KitKat)

Reply no.: 90

9 Sep 2014, 6:18 PM

Mihai:

Wonderful news, in case you did not notice already: the Andoid keyboard received a Romanian dictionary.

The Ș and Ț use the comma form, and the words use the "Â in the middle" spelling.

So now you can type by "sliding" and everything.

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