Vanessa’s Qué Bueno Bakery is the latest Unicode Adopt-a-Character sponsor!
Unicode is the non-profit responsible for coordinating the Unicode Standard, which specifies how to encode text in virtually every modern electronic system. It is how every computer knows that when I type an “A” it should be an “A” everywhere. In addition to the standard alphabets that most English or Romantic language speakers are used to, the Standard sets Han characters (the unified character set for Korean, Japanese, and Chinese) and fun stuff like Emoji. More importantly, Unicode also standardizes a lot of far lesser-used text characters that helps promote continued scholarship and electronic usage for languages and character sets most of us have never heard from.
Just from Unicode 11, announced the first week of June, there were a number of areas with added support:
- For the Mazahua language, a Mesoamerican language recognized by law in Mexico
- For Mayan numerals used in printed materials in Central America
- For Sanskrit manuscripts written in Bengali
- For Gurmukhi manuscripts
- For historic documents of the Buryats of the Barguzin Steppe
While people love emoji these days and they would likely get made either way, supporting Unicode enables support for these lesser-known scripts, which is pretty darn cool in my book.