Burmese Language standard system called Myanmar Unicode has already been used in the whole country of Myanmar since October 1, 2019. The day, the first of October was a historical monument for Myanmar. Myanmar is the only one country left without using the Unicode system until 30th September in the world. So the transition from Zawgyi to Unicode code for the Burmese language was a triumph of the NLD government.
An essential step for e- government
The inauguration of Myanmar Unicode was an essential step to support the e-government program for the development of the country. The e-Government was a system that conveyed the messages of departments to the public electronically. It was important to use a common standard communication system and language among the government ministries and its departments, inter-departments, the government and business companies, the government, and the public, inter-business companies, the business companies and the public and among the public.
The use of Unicode standard system is an important stage under the e-Governance Master Plan of the country.If an order of government was written in Unicode, other non-Unicode (for example— Zawgyi font) cannot read it. Moreover, if someone used online banking to send money in non-Unicode fonts, the bank’s system would not read the font properly as it uses Unicode. Therefore, it was very important to have a common font system that would help for wider use in online applications such as online shopping, mobile money, and mobile health, as well as e-visa, e-passport and e-ticketing.
Myanmar has seen a 12-point increase in the e-Government Development Index from level 169 in 2016 to 157 in 2018. The reason for this significant surge included setting up over 40,000 kilometers of internet fiber cable from 2016 to 2018, building 15,000 mobile telecom stations and over 50 million mobile phone users. However, Myanmar still lagged behind neighboring countries due to lesser use of services from online applications among the people who lack skills and knowledge in these technologies.
Easy and useful to ethnic people
One more fundamental reason was that Myanmar hesitated to use Unicode at the national level, while the neighboring countries have embraced this system, with Cambodia being the latest in 2010. There were many advantages to the Unicode system. It meets international norms and the Myanmar language writing system. The National Standard Council of the country has approved the Unicode system with MMS ISO/ IEC 10646:2017 on 21 September 2019. Everybody who knew the Myanmar language writing system could use the Unicode. Although there were still some difficulties in writing Unicode, the languages of Myanmar ethnic people such as Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Mon, Rakhine and Shan could be used in this system.
What and Why Unicode?
The system was named as Unicode and the font was called Pyidaungsu. Another advantage was that the Unicode was developed in an international norm and that it could be translated into other languages by using Google translate software. The handwriting form could be turned into a printing font system in personal assistant devices such as computers, mobile phones tablets and iPad. The voice message could be converted into a text message by using the G-Board of Google when someone found it difficult to write. For these reasons, people were urged to use the Unicode standard system. Every change would have some challenges at the initial stage.
Will Google AdSense support Burmese language?
Now 44 languages are eligible for Google AdSense approval. Telugu was the last approval language and Vietnam was the second last language. At present, AdSense only supports ad serving in this language. Without having Google AdSense approval, Myanmar bloggers’ contents written by The Burmese language couldn’t earn from international ads on their websites.
The main problem of Burmese language which can’t receive AdSense support is in case of without having international standard code, Unicode. Now the whole country started to use the Unicode system font called Pyidaungsu. As a result, Google AdSense will support the Burmese language not so long. Anyway, now we are coming near to the international standard of the internet and IT. We hope for the best of our people in the near future.