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4–7 September, 2019

Thursday, 5 September | | Innovation Hall

Talk | Presented in Japanese

A Typeface for Endangered Languages

This talk looks at Shima Shotai as an example of linguistic and cultural preservation. Shima Shotai is a typeface designed for the indigenous languages of Ryukyu (i.e., Okinawa), which are losing speakers and in fact face extinction. The typeface follows the unified writing system for the Ryukyuan languages and supports more letters and diacritics than what is considered necessary for standard Japanese. It was designed to aid education and communication in speakers’ native languages, especially on digital devices, in order to prevent the languages from being left behind in the digital divide. The talk will also discuss and demonstrate workarounds for the standard keyboard layout, input methods using ligatures, and use cases.