Asokan Brahmi

aksharamukha-brahmi
aksharamukha-brahmi

Brahmi Page @
Omniglot
 

Brahmi Orthography @
Ancient Scripts

Brahmi Script @
Wikipedia

Brahmi is the mother of most of the scripts is Indian subcontinent and South East Asia. Though  initially modeled to write the Prakrit languages, the script later extended itself with vocalic vowels and other signs, thus equipping itself to write Sanskrit & Dravidian languages as well.  

The early Asokan variant of brahmi lacks many conjuncts and vocalic letters.

 

Xenotype Asokan Brahmi

Xentotype Asokan Brahmi is the only Open Type font that is available for Brahmi, and that which has support for conjunct characters. To quote from their site:

 

Our support currently focuses on Early Brahmi and the writing of the Ashokan edicts. We started with the more regular forms and then added additional glyphs that don’t occur in the edicts to round out our support.

 

The font as of now only supports the early Asokan variant with minimal conjunct support, and does not support later conjuncts. The Xenotype Asokan Brahmi font is available for US$ 19

 

  Brahmi is encoded in Private Use Area of the Supplementary Multilingual Plane of the Unicode. The font was produced before Brahmi was encoded into the SMP of Unicode.

 

Asokan Brahmi Display

Xenotype Asokan Brahmi font has been specifically designed  for MacOSX, and will not work with windows or any other office application.  One needs to install Adobe Indesign to work with the font, as Indesign is the only software that is compatible with Apple’s font rendering.

 

The Text in the converter will appear incorrectly rendered, however when copied to Indesign, the text will be rendered correctly. 

 

xenotype_Brahmi_windows

Incorrect rendering of Xenotype Brahmi


xenotype_Brahmi_indesisgn

Correct rendering of Xenotype Brahmi (Adobe Indesign)

 

The IAST/Devanagari version of the above Brahmi Text:

 

devānapiyena piyadasina lājina vīsativasābhisitena
atana āgāca mahīyite hida budhe jāte sakyamunī ti
silāvigaḍabhīcā kālāpita silāthabhe ca usapāpite
pidabhagavajāteti luminigāme ubalikekaṭe
aṭhabhāgiye ca

devānapiyena piyadasina lājina vīsativasābhisitena atana āgāca mahīyite hida budhe jāte sakyamunī ti silāvigaḍabhīcā kālāpita silāthabhe ca usapāpite pidabhagavajāteti luminigāme ubalikekaṭe aṭhabhāgiye ca

 

देवानपियेन पियदसिन लाजिन वीसतिवसाभिसितेन अतन आगाच महीयिते हिद बुधे जाते सक्यमुनी ति सिलाविगडभीचा कालापित सिलाथभे च उसपापिते पिदभगवजातेति लुमिनिगामे उबलिकेकटे अठभागिये च

 

Limitations

Extra Brahmic Letters

The Xenotype Brahmi does not support Chandrabindu, Anusvara, Visarga, Vocalic Vowels & Dravidan letters, and other script/Language specific letters. If you try converting text containing such characters into Brahmi, you will get a ” X ” character (or sometimes a square ) in the converted text, showing that those characters don’t exist in Asokan Brahmi.

 

Conjuncts

As said, earlier, Xenotype Brahmi font does not has complete support for Conjuncts. 

 

buddha_sakyamuni_Brahmi

buddha śākyamuni” in Xenotype Asokan Brahmi.

 

In the above example, “ddha” is rendered incorrectly properly, due to the lack of conjuct support. The underscore-like character between /d/ & /dha/ shows that that conjunct is not supported. However, /kya/ conjunct is rendered correctly without the underscore-like character

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