moyogo's little blog

Blogging about Open Source, fonts, language technology, maps and random stuff happening wherever I am.


Lingála, Unicode, A12N, and keyboard layouts

The are very few Lingala Language resources available on the web. Yet the ones that are available are not consistent with one another, i.e. they have different orthographies and spellings. After searching and asking questions here (fr) and there. I seems the correct orthography is with ɛ and ɔ (open e and open o) and with some accents to mark intonations to remove ambiguities. Most written linguistic litterature uses these characters. It seems only regular users don't, most probably because they don't have any way of input. This is why is tentatively made a few Lingala and African (Subsaharian) keyboard layouts (feel free to use, test, modify and email suggestions or questions).

A great references for Lingala characters and more African writings is the A12N (Africanisation) website as well as the linked Unicode notation for African languages. It is unfortunate but true that Unicode does not yet support all African characters (mostly capital equivalent of already supported small letters). For those interested in Lingala, there is a Lingala Wikipedia and a great Lingala dictionnary (fr-ln) by Pascal Grouselle (en-,de-,fr-ln with ɛ's and ɔ's are on their way).


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