Unicode spells brighter service system for Myanmar

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  • It has been some time since the Myanmar language was integrated for use in typing with computer systems. First there was CE, used widely in the 1990s, and then Academy, the Win series and with the advent of mobile phones the Zawgyi font came on the scene.
    Then came Myanmar 1, Myanmar 2, and Myanmar 3 to supply letter images, metric letters, pinni, khit and other symbols.
    The creation of these letters was a huge support for Myanmar’s literary field. They were very useful and their creators received well-deserved gratitude from the numerous computer and mobile phone users across the nation.
    There was a problem, however. Researchers and technicians could not create an alphabetical list for indexes. This made it difficult to create data banks and databases to store information.
    With this in mind, the Pyidaungsu font was created. It is based on Unicode and will make typing more streamlined and help in storing data. It will also help with compiling indexes so it is welcome news for researchers and data compilers. Not to mention that computer systems around the world will be capable of understanding this Unicode system, thus making automatic digital translation easier.
    With all these positives and benefits presenting themselves before us, we need to change our font system together with the government ministries, which have done the same. Other countries that have adopted this system are able to provide better services to their citizens. Myanmar should follow suit and quickly adapt to this system.
    The Union Government had announced they will be completely switching to Unicode on 1 October 2019 and are swiftly implementing these changes.
    But for people who do not need to compile or access databases nor will be regularly communicating with government offices, changing to Unicode is not compulsory. They can continue using the system they are comfortable with and no one will object to their freedom to choose.
    However, we believe that converting to Unicode now will have great advantages in the long-run. Changes are always hard at the beginning, but the results they will achieve can be incomparable in the bigger picture.
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