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Author Topic: Coptic / Arabic  (Read 976 times) Average Rating: 0
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mike
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« on: October 11, 2013, 06:30:22 AM »

Don't they have capital letters? Because I see some Coptic posters tend to ignore them and wonder what is the reason.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2013, 06:30:31 AM by Michał Kalina » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2013, 06:31:39 PM »

If Arabic is like Syriac, then there aren't "capital" letters so to speak, but there are "initial" forms of the letter when it begins a word.  I think Coptic has capital letters, but I don't recall seeing posters here using Coptic, so I can't say anything about that. 
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2013, 06:48:16 PM »

Coptic didn't originally have a capital/lowercase distinction, but capital forms were added at some point in the script's history (I don't know when; I'm sure I've read it, but I don't remember). With a few exceptions (Aa Qq Tt, etc.), the capital/lowercase forms only differ in their height, just like in the Latin script you are reading right now. Arabic does not have this distinction. The initial forms that Mor writes about aren't any bigger than medial or final forms. I don't really know what any of this has to do with Coptic posters ignoring capital letters in English, though.
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2013, 06:54:32 PM »

If Arabic is like Syriac, then there aren't "capital" letters so to speak, but there are "initial" forms of the letter when it begins a word.  I think Coptic has capital letters, but I don't recall seeing posters here using Coptic, so I can't say anything about that. 

Yup, Arabic is like that. Coptic uses a modified Greek Alphabet like Slavic languages do, so I assume there are capitals in Coptic.
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2013, 02:50:56 AM »

Just realized that if Rome hadn't fell I might be using Greek scrip now.
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2013, 06:02:28 AM »

the capital/lowercase forms only differ in their height, just like in the Latin script you are reading right now

On
w, u, o, p, s, k, z, x, c, c, m

remaining letters have different forms.
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2013, 11:44:24 AM »

If Arabic is like Syriac, then there aren't "capital" letters so to speak, but there are "initial" forms of the letter when it begins a word.  I think Coptic has capital letters, but I don't recall seeing posters here using Coptic, so I can't say anything about that. 

Yup, Arabic is like that. Coptic uses a modified Greek Alphabet like Slavic languages do, so I assume there are capitals in Coptic.
Yes, there are.
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2013, 11:44:24 AM »

Coptic didn't originally have a capital/lowercase distinction, but capital forms were added at some point in the script's history (I don't know when; I'm sure I've read it, but I don't remember). With a few exceptions (Aa Qq Tt, etc.), the capital/lowercase forms only differ in their height, just like in the Latin script you are reading right now. Arabic does not have this distinction. The initial forms that Mor writes about aren't any bigger than medial or final forms. I don't really know what any of this has to do with Coptic posters ignoring capital letters in English, though.
Actually it is not that languages do not have capitals, but do they have lower case.  The distinction between the two (as opposed to writing a whole text in majuscule or in miniscule) did not come until printing, when the distinction in a piece of writing could be maintained throughout, and introduced in Belgium in 1563.
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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2013, 02:21:02 PM »

Yes, but the question was asked in the form "Do they not have capitals"?
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« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2013, 03:37:12 PM »

Yes, but the question was asked in the form "Do they not have capitals"?

Was the Jeopardy! clue: kids on tumblr?
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« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2013, 03:39:30 PM »

Coptic didn't originally have a capital/lowercase distinction, but capital forms were added at some point in the script's history (I don't know when; I'm sure I've read it, but I don't remember). With a few exceptions (Aa Qq Tt, etc.), the capital/lowercase forms only differ in their height, just like in the Latin script you are reading right now. Arabic does not have this distinction. The initial forms that Mor writes about aren't any bigger than medial or final forms. I don't really know what any of this has to do with Coptic posters ignoring capital letters in English, though.
Actually it is not that languages do not have capitals, but do they have lower case.  The distinction between the two (as opposed to writing a whole text in majuscule or in miniscule) did not come until printing, when the distinction in a piece of writing could be maintained throughout, and introduced in Belgium in 1563.

Isa, maybe you or your 2.0 version know of a nice one volume English text on the history of "writing technology"? Jeremy?
« Last Edit: October 12, 2013, 03:39:42 PM by orthonorm » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2013, 04:21:28 PM »

Hmm. I know David Crystal wrote a book a few years ago on text messaging, and I've seen a few corpus studies that make use of text messages, but that's about it. This isn't really anything I've ever had reason to look into. Maybe Isa knows more.
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« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2013, 06:11:36 PM »

i stopped using capitals after i started studying arabic.
i still use them in official letters though! don't want to get sacked / laid off!
 Wink
i don't write in coptic as i couldn't get coptic fonts to work on my mac and i gave up.
my coptic is not that good yet to write it, so no rush there!
thanks ialmisry for putting the beautiful coptic alphabet there
 Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2013, 06:19:49 PM »

i don't write in coptic as i couldn't get coptic fonts to work on my mac and i gave up.

I wish I knew anything about Coptic so that I could help you.

And you are the only human on earth whose prose is made more endearing and lovely by the lack of capital letters.

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« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2013, 06:26:13 PM »

well, thank you, you gentleman!

i am thinking of leaving all my 'i's as small letters for my work emails too,
but i don't know if i'm a decade or 2 ahead of this inevitable turn of fashion...
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« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2013, 06:32:29 PM »

well, thank you, you gentleman!

i am thinking of leaving all my 'i's as small letters for my work emails too,
but i don't know if i'm a decade or 2 ahead of this inevitable turn of fashion...


Are you aware of the poet e. e. cummings? I learned about him in grade school, and like most, probably am just aware primarily of his orthographical oddity of not using capital letters for the most part.
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« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2013, 07:00:58 PM »

i stopped using capitals after i started studying arabic.
i still use them in official letters though! don't want to get sacked / laid off!
 Wink
i don't write in coptic as i couldn't get coptic fonts to work on my mac and i gave up.
my coptic is not that good yet to write it, so no rush there!
thanks ialmisry for putting the beautiful coptic alphabet there
 Smiley

Isn't there a Mac version available via the Coptic fonts page on copticchurch.net? That's where I got my Coptic fonts from. I use a PC, not Mac, but they seem to work okay for me.

Tenouwst `m`Viwt nem `Psyri@ nem Pi`penuma e;ouab@ ,ere ]ekklycia@ `pyi `nte niaggeloc.
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« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2013, 08:02:34 PM »

i stopped using capitals after i started studying arabic.
i still use them in official letters though! don't want to get sacked / laid off!
 Wink
i don't write in coptic as i couldn't get coptic fonts to work on my mac and i gave up.
my coptic is not that good yet to write it, so no rush there!
thanks ialmisry for putting the beautiful coptic alphabet there
 Smiley

Isn't there a Mac version available via the Coptic fonts page on copticchurch.net? That's where I got my Coptic fonts from. I use a PC, not Mac, but they seem to work okay for me.

Tenouwst `m`Viwt nem `Psyri@ nem Pi`penuma e;ouab@ ,ere ]ekklycia@ `pyi `nte niaggeloc.

If you can help me, I can help her.

Is this the sorta Coptic she would use?

http://www.evertype.com/fonts/coptic/

I am guessing this is for contemporary writing and not necessarily academic research? I don't know if there is a difference. As I said, I know nothing about it.

If this works for whatever maboota would want to use it for, I would be willing to help figure out why this font set isn't working for her.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2013, 08:02:52 PM by orthonorm » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2013, 08:03:50 PM »

i stopped using capitals after i started studying arabic.
i still use them in official letters though! don't want to get sacked / laid off!
 Wink
i don't write in coptic as i couldn't get coptic fonts to work on my mac and i gave up.
my coptic is not that good yet to write it, so no rush there!
thanks ialmisry for putting the beautiful coptic alphabet there
 Smiley

Isn't there a Mac version available via the Coptic fonts page on copticchurch.net? That's where I got my Coptic fonts from. I use a PC, not Mac, but they seem to work okay for me.

Tenouwst `m`Viwt nem `Psyri@ nem Pi`penuma e;ouab@ ,ere ]ekklycia@ `pyi `nte niaggeloc.

What do you use for your academic writing? Do folks around you use Latex at all?
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« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2013, 08:07:44 PM »

i stopped using capitals after i started studying arabic.
i still use them in official letters though! don't want to get sacked / laid off!
 Wink
i don't write in coptic as i couldn't get coptic fonts to work on my mac and i gave up.
my coptic is not that good yet to write it, so no rush there!
thanks ialmisry for putting the beautiful coptic alphabet there
 Smiley

Isn't there a Mac version available via the Coptic fonts page on copticchurch.net? That's where I got my Coptic fonts from. I use a PC, not Mac, but they seem to work okay for me.

Tenouwst `m`Viwt nem `Psyri@ nem Pi`penuma e;ouab@ ,ere ]ekklycia@ `pyi `nte niaggeloc.


The so-called Coptic standard fonts are non-standard from an IT point of view.

Every character has a unicode value that is used to encode it in your computer. The Coptic Standard fonts do not use the Coptic unicode characters. They use English characters, but the font makes an 'a' look like an alif, etc., so it looks like you're typing in Coptic, but the computer sees it as English.

This leads to many problems.

1. Portability. If you send someone an email in a CS font, it is actually an english email. If they don't have the CS fonts installed, it will look like garbled English. If you send it in proper unicode, then any font that covers that part of the unicode spec can display it, you don't have to put it in that font to make it not gibberish. The Arial Unicode font for example can display Coptic. Similarly for webpages, if a webpages has text in CS, every computer viewing that webpage has to have the CS fonts installed for it to work, whereas if it is in proper unicode, as long as the computer has any font that covers that part of unicode, it works.

2. Formatting. There are too many Coptic letters to just replace English letters, so they've used stuff like hyphens. I think theeta in CS is actually a hyphen with it's glyph replaced with a theeta symbol. The problem? The computer still sees it as a hyphen, and so lets the word break across two lines in the middle!

3. Archiving. I fear for the survival of valuable Coptic texts stored in the hackish format of "Coptic Standard" instead of the true industry standard, unicode. Decades from now, will they be intelligible? Will anyone be able to open them and have the text? unicode saved in an xml format is certainly archival quality. A hack called a standard is not.

I work for a large software company and have interacted a lot with an expert in internationalization and localization. He laughed hysterically when I mentioned how the Copts have encoded their language for their service book, and couldn't believe anyone would do that.

So if anyone wants to type in Coptic the right way, please install a unicode font that contains the Coptic code points, and install the language in your OS so you can switch your input language. When you do that, you still press the latin letters on your keyboard, but because the input language has been changed in your OS, the computer translates it into Coptic characters and saves them as true coptic characters, rather than english characters with a hack to make them look like Coptic letters.

This website has fonts and instructions for setting input. http://www.moheb.de/unicode_coptic_fonts.html. There are many different methods for inputting Coptic characters. Logos Bible software has a Coptic software keyboard to search in their Coptic modules. I believe this website is what I use: http://ucbclassics.dreamhosters.com/djm/coptic.html. I have it working on mac and windows. In mac, once installed, you just click the language icon by the clock, and pick English, Coptic, Arabic, Etc, and then you type in that language. In Windows you switch in the language bar.
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« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2013, 08:09:17 PM »

i stopped using capitals after i started studying arabic.
i still use them in official letters though! don't want to get sacked / laid off!
 Wink
i don't write in coptic as i couldn't get coptic fonts to work on my mac and i gave up.
my coptic is not that good yet to write it, so no rush there!
thanks ialmisry for putting the beautiful coptic alphabet there
 Smiley

Isn't there a Mac version available via the Coptic fonts page on copticchurch.net? That's where I got my Coptic fonts from. I use a PC, not Mac, but they seem to work okay for me.

Tenouwst `m`Viwt nem `Psyri@ nem Pi`penuma e;ouab@ ,ere ]ekklycia@ `pyi `nte niaggeloc.

What do you use for your academic writing? Do folks around you use Latex at all?
 

I was writing as you posted, but if you see my previous post, that method will work just fine in latex.
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« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2013, 08:09:44 PM »

i stopped using capitals after i started studying arabic.
i still use them in official letters though! don't want to get sacked / laid off!
 Wink
i don't write in coptic as i couldn't get coptic fonts to work on my mac and i gave up.
my coptic is not that good yet to write it, so no rush there!
thanks ialmisry for putting the beautiful coptic alphabet there
 Smiley

Isn't there a Mac version available via the Coptic fonts page on copticchurch.net? That's where I got my Coptic fonts from. I use a PC, not Mac, but they seem to work okay for me.

Tenouwst `m`Viwt nem `Psyri@ nem Pi`penuma e;ouab@ ,ere ]ekklycia@ `pyi `nte niaggeloc.


The so-called Coptic standard fonts are non-standard from an IT point of view.

Every character has a unicode value that is used to encode it in your computer. The Coptic Standard fonts do not use the Coptic unicode characters. They use English characters, but the font makes an 'a' look like an alif, etc., so it looks like you're typing in Coptic, but the computer sees it as English.

This leads to many problems.

1. Portability. If you send someone an email in a CS font, it is actually an english email. If they don't have the CS fonts installed, it will look like garbled English. If you send it in proper unicode, then any font that covers that part of the unicode spec can display it, you don't have to put it in that font to make it not gibberish. The Arial Unicode font for example can display Coptic. Similarly for webpages, if a webpages has text in CS, every computer viewing that webpage has to have the CS fonts installed for it to work, whereas if it is in proper unicode, as long as the computer has any font that covers that part of unicode, it works.

2. Formatting. There are too many Coptic letters to just replace English letters, so they've used stuff like hyphens. I think theeta in CS is actually a hyphen with it's glyph replaced with a theeta symbol. The problem? The computer still sees it as a hyphen, and so lets the word break across two lines in the middle!

3. Archiving. I fear for the survival of valuable Coptic texts stored in the hackish format of "Coptic Standard" instead of the true industry standard, unicode. Decades from now, will they be intelligible? Will anyone be able to open them and have the text? unicode saved in an xml format is certainly archival quality. A hack called a standard is not.

I work for a large software company and have interacted a lot with an expert in internationalization and localization. He laughed hysterically when I mentioned how the Copts have encoded their language for their service book, and couldn't believe anyone would do that.

So if anyone wants to type in Coptic the right way, please install a unicode font that contains the Coptic code points, and install the language in your OS so you can switch your input language. When you do that, you still press the latin letters on your keyboard, but because the input language has been changed in your OS, the computer translates it into Coptic characters and saves them as true coptic characters, rather than english characters with a hack to make them look like Coptic letters.

This website has fonts and instructions for setting input. http://www.moheb.de/unicode_coptic_fonts.html. There are many different methods for inputting Coptic characters. Logos Bible software has a Coptic software keyboard to search in their Coptic modules. I believe this website is what I use: http://ucbclassics.dreamhosters.com/djm/coptic.html. I have it working on mac and windows. In mac, once installed, you just click the language icon by the clock, and pick English, Coptic, Arabic, Etc, and then you type in that language. In Windows you switch in the language bar.

Awesome!
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« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2013, 08:20:30 PM »

Wow, thanks Johnathan! I am aware of some of the problems surrounding the "Coptic Standard" fonts, but I wasn't aware of what alternatives might be out there. I'm going to that moheb.de website right away. Thank you.
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« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2013, 09:00:06 PM »

Wow, thanks Johnathan! I am aware of some of the problems surrounding the "Coptic Standard" fonts, but I wasn't aware of what alternatives might be out there. I'm going to that moheb.de website right away. Thank you.

Great! this is really a very standard thing. I think a friend of mine thought I was crazy for this, but then when he started doing a masters in Coptic language, he found that they of course use unicode input for their assignments. I don't know who Moheb is, but he did a great service by making this accessible to anyone in the church who wants to learn, not just academics. And an even greater service by compiling the Coptic NT and making it freely available.
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« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2013, 06:10:25 AM »

wow, this is all very interesting!
i have to read more on coptic fonts and e.e. cummings (who i did hear of in school when i was a kid, but i don't remember his poetry now).

you are all lovely
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« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2013, 01:27:58 PM »

i stopped using capitals after i started studying arabic.

 Lips Sealed

I've been thinking that I should take some course on Arabic but maybe I should reconsider the idea.
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