Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Typing Hawaiian

OS X includes a special keyboard layout for the Hawaiian Language (ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi), which puts the macron vowels which it uses (ā ē ī ō ū) on the Option key of the normal letter. This layout also replaces the normal apostrophe (') with the Unicode "modifier letter turned comma" ʻ (U+02BB) used by Hawaiian to represent the glottal stop (ʻokina). ( For the normal apostrophe you can type Option + ', and for the left single you you type for Option + ] )

If you put ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi at the top of the list in System Preferences/International/Languages you may be surprised at how your files sort by name, since they will follow the order of the Hawaiian alphabet, with the English letters Hawaiian doesnʻt use tacked on at the end: a e i o u h k l m n p w ʻ b c d f g j q r s t v x y z.


Anonymous said...

As in colour management so in character management, always input the coded colour or character correctly and consistently or configuring for compatible assumptions collapses. If the glottal stop consonant is input as accent grave by one author, apostrophe by another author, and so on an so forth, it is not possible for audiences to make assumptions about what character code to configure as universal identifier for the glottal stop consonant of the second official writing system of the State of Hawaii.

Henrik Holmegaard,
technical writer, mag.scient.soc.
icc abc Project

Anonymous said...

This was really helpful! I was trying to figure out how to type macrons for my Latin assignments, and after looking for 15 minutes I finally found this site. Thanks so much!

Joan said...

Mahalo Tom, never thought about the alphabetizing! Weʻre having problems getting Mac Word 2004 to read unicode Hawaiian characters properly.

Do you know of a workaround for this? Thank you Joan

Tom Gewecke said...

What exactly is your problem with Word? Perhaps you are using a font that does not contain the necessary characters? You can email me details (tom at bluesky dot org).