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Esperanto orthography

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Esperanto orthography
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Doczy: 30 Lip 2013
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Esperanto orthographyEsperantois written in a Latin alphabet of twenty-eight letters, with upper and lower case. This is supplemented by punctuation marks and by various logograms, such as the numerals 0–9, currency signs such as $, and mathematical symbols.
Twenty-two of the letters are identical in form to letters of the English alphabet (q, w, x,iconjunctioniiand"],,0.731615603],["aandzand"],,0.00122707128],["tajandadverbcoraz"],[["corazandiandiaorazybeing omitted). The remaining six have diacritic marks,ĉ, ĝ, ĥ, ĵ, ŝ,iconjunctioniiand"],,0.731615603],["aandzand"],,0.00122707128],["tajandadverbcoraz"],[["corazandiandiaorazŭ(that is,c, g, h, j,iconjunctioniiand"],,0.731615603],["aandzand"],,0.00122707128],["tajandadverbcoraz"],[["corazandiandiaorazs circumflex,iconjunctioniiand"],,0.731615603],["aandzand"],,0.00122707128],["tajandadverbcoraz"],[["corazandiandiaorazu breve).The full alphabet is:
In handwritten Esperanto, the diacritics pose no problem. However, since they don't appear on standard alphanumeric keyboards, various alternate methods have been devised for representing them in printed and typed text. The original method was a set of digraphs now known as the "h-system", but with the rise of computer word processing a so-called "x-system" has become equally popular. These systems are described below. However, with the advent of Unicode, the need for such work-arounds has lessened.[img]//[/img]ThespesmiloUnique to the Esperanto script is thespesmilo(1000 specie) sign, anSmmonogram for a now-obsolete international unit of auxiliary Esperanto currency used by a few British and Swiss banks before World War I. It has been assigned the Unicode value U+20B7, though in ordinary fonts it is often transcribed asSm,usually italic.

Sound values
The letters have approximately the sound values of the IPA, with the exception ofcabbreviationdo"],[["doC"],,1.98337602e-05]],"C"]],"encccc.ic[t͡s] and the circumflex lettersĉ[t͡ʃ ],ĝ[d͡ʒ],ĥ[x],ĵ[ʒ],ŝ[ ʃ ],ŭ[u̯].Jtranscribes two sounds, consonantal [ j ] (the Englishysound) and vocalic [ i̯ ].
There is a nearly one-to-one correspondence of letter to sound; the only significant exceptions being voicing assimilation, as in the sequencekzofekzemple,which is frequently pronounced [ɡz], andn,which is frequently pronounced [ŋ] beforegiconjunctioniiand"],,0.731615603],["aandzand"],,0.00122707128],["tajandadverbcoraz"],[["corazandiandiaorazk.(See Esperanto phonology.)
Non-Esperantized names are given an Esperanto approximation of their original pronunciation, at least by speakers without command of the original language. Hard ⟨c⟩ is read ask, ⟨qu⟩ askv, ⟨w⟩ asv, ⟨x⟩ asks, and ⟨y⟩ asjif a consonant, or asiif a vowel. The English digraph ⟨th⟩ is read ast. When there is no close equivalent, the difficult sounds may be given the Esperanto values of the letters in the orthography or roman transcription, accommodating the constraints of Esperanto phonology. So, for example,Winchester(the English city) is pronounced (and may be spelled)vinĉester[vint͡ʃester], as Esperanto has now.Changzhougenerally becomesĉanĝo[t͡ʃand͡ʒo], as Esperanto has nonglubconjunctionlublubor"],,0.709106207],["alboor"],,0.20001258],["czyoraniorbądźorczylior"],,0.00181349379],["względnieor"],,0.000519574678],["ewentualnieor"],,0.000300706743],["bobecausenounkolor złotykolor złotyor"],,6.51303651e-08],["złotogoldluborlubczyalboanibądźousound. There are no strict rules, however; speakers may try for greater authenticity, for example by pronouncing thegiconjunctioniiand"],,0.731615603],["aandzand"],,0.00122707128],["tajandadverbcoraz"],[["corazandiandiaorazuinChangzhou:ĉangĝoŭ[t͡ʃaŋɡd͡ʒou̯]. The original stress may be kept, if it is known.
The script is modeled after Western Slavic scripts such as the Czech or Sorbian alphabet. However, the use of circumflexes instead of carons for the lettersĉ, ĝ, ĥ, ĵ, ŝavoids the appearance of any particular Latin alphabet, and the non-Slavic bases of the lettersĝiconjunctioniiand"],,0.731615603],["aandzand"],,0.00122707128],["tajandadverbcoraz"],[["corazandiandiaorazĵ,rather than Slavicdž, ž,help preserve the printed appearance of Latinate and Germanic vocabulary such asĝenerala"general" andĵurnalo"journal". The lettervstands for eithervlubconjunctionlublubor"],,0.709106207],["alboor"],,0.20001258],["czyoraniorbądźorczylior"],,0.00181349379],["względnieor"],,0.000519574678],["ewentualnieor"],,0.000300706743],["bobecausenounkolor złotykolor złotyor"],,6.51303651e-08],["złotogoldluborlubczyalboanibądźwof other languages. The letterŭof the diphthongsaŭ, eŭappears to be from the Belarusian Łacinka alphabet, historically associated with the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. (Today Łacinka is strikingly similar to the Esperanto alphabet, but in Zamenhof's day it was closer to Polish; the convergence came with orthographic reforms two decades after Zamenhof went public with Esperanto.)
The spelling of geographic names is sometimes divergent from English. This is especially remarked upon when English has the lettersx, w, qu,lubconjunctionlublubor"],,0.709106207],["alboor"],,0.20001258],["czyoraniorbądźorczylior"],,0.00181349379],["względnieor"],,0.000519574678],["ewentualnieor"],,0.000300706743],["bobecausenounkolor złotykolor złotyor"],,6.51303651e-08],["złotogoldluborlubczyalboanibądźgu,as inVaŝingtono"Washington",Meksiko"Mexico", orGvatemalo"Guatemala". However, such spellings are normal to several languages of Central, Northern, and Eastern Europe. Compare the Esperanto forms with Serbo-CroatianVašington, Meksiko,iconjunctioniiand"],,0.731615603],["aandzand"],,0.00122707128],["tajandadverbcoraz"],[["corazandiandiaorazGvatemala.Likewise,cunamo,from Japanesetsunami,is similar to Czech and Latviancunami.Names of the letters of the alphabet
Zamenhof simply tacked an-oonto each consonant to create the name of the letter, with the vowels representing themselves:a, bo, co, ĉo, do, e, fo,etc. The diacritics are frequently mentioned overtly. For instance,ĉmay be calledĉo ĉapelalubconjunctionlublubor"],,0.709106207],["alboor"],,0.20001258],["czyoraniorbądźorczylior"],,0.00181349379],["względnieor"],,0.000519574678],["ewentualnieor"],,0.000300706743],["bobecausenounkolor złotykolor złotyor"],,6.51303651e-08],["złotogoldluborlubczyalboanibądźco ĉapela,fromĉapelo(a hat), andŭmay be calledŭo lunetalubconjunctionlublubor"],,0.709106207],["alboor"],,0.20001258],["czyoraniorbądźorczylior"],,0.00181349379],["względnieor"],,0.000519574678],["ewentualnieor"],,0.000300706743],["bobecausenounkolor złotykolor złotyor"],,6.51303651e-08],["złotogoldluborlubczyalboanibądźu luneta,fromluno(a moon) plus the diminutive-et-.This is the only system that is widely accepted and in practical use.
The letters of the ISO basic Latin alphabet not found in the Esperanto alphabet have distinct names, much as letters of the Greek alphabet do. ⟨Q⟩, ⟨x⟩, ⟨y⟩ arekuo, ikso, ipsilono.The other is ⟨w⟩; this has been calledduobla vo(double V),germana vo(German V), andvavo(using Waringhien's convention for ⟨v⟩ below).
However, while this is fine for initialisms such asktp[kotopo] foretc.,it can be problematic when spelling out names. For example, several consonantal distinctions are difficult for many nationalities, who normally rely on the fact that Esperanto seldom uses these sounds to distinguish words (that is, they do not form many minimal pairs). Thus the pairs of letter namesĵo–ĝo, ĥo–ho(lubĥo–ko), co–ĉo(lubco–so, co–to), lo–roiŭo–vo(lubvo–bo) are problematic. In addition, over a noisy telephone connection it quickly becomes apparent that voicing distinctions can be difficult to make out: noise confounds the pairspo–bo, to–do, ĉo–ĝo, ko–go, fo–vo, so–zo, ŝo–ĵo,as well as the nasalsmo–no.There have been several proposals to resolve this problem. Gaston Waringhien proposed changing the vowel of voiced obstruents toa, so that at least voicing is not problematic. Also changed toaareh, n, r, distinguishing them fromĥ, m, l. The result is perhaps the most common alternative in use:a, ba, co, ĉo, da, e, fo, ga, ĝa, ha, ĥo, i, jo, ĵa, ko, lo, mo, na, o, po, ra, so, ŝo, to, u, ŭo, va, zaHowever, this still requires overt mention of the diacritics, and even so does not reliably distinguishba–va, co–so, ĉo–ŝo,lubconjunctionlublubor"],,0.709106207],["alboor"],,0.20001258],["czyoraniorbądźorczylior"],,0.00181349379],["względnieor"],,0.000519574678],["ewentualnieor"],,0.000300706743],["bobecausenounkolor złotykolor złotyor"],,6.51303651e-08],["złotogoldluborlubczyalboanibądźĝa–ĵa.
The proposal closest to international norms (and thus the easiest to remember) that clarifies all the above distinctions is a modification of a proposal by Kálmán Kalocsay. As with Zamenhof, vowels stand for themselves, but it follows the international standard of placing voweleafter a consonant by default(be, ce, de, ge),but before sonorants(el, en)and voiceless fricatives(ef, es).The vowelais used for ⟨h⟩ and the voiceless plosives ⟨p⟩, ⟨t⟩, ⟨k⟩, after the international nameshafor ⟨h⟩ andkafor ⟨k⟩; the French nameĵiis used for ⟨ĵ⟩, the Greek nameĥi (chi)for ⟨ĥ⟩, and the English namearfor ⟨r⟩. The letter ⟨v⟩ has theivowel ofĵi,distinguishing it from ⟨b⟩, but the other voiced fricative, ⟨z⟩, does not, to avoid the problem of it palatalizing and being confused withĵi.The diphthong offglide ⟨ŭ⟩ is namedeŭ,the only real possibility given Esperanto phonotactics besidesaŭ,which as the word for "or" would cause confusion. The letter ⟨m⟩ is calledomto distinguish it from ⟨n⟩; the voweloalliterates well in the alphabetical sequenceel, om, en, o, pa.There are other patterns to the vowels in the ABC rhyme: The lines start witha i a iand finish witha a e e.The letters with diacritics are placed at the end of the rhyme, taking the place ofw, x, yin other Latin alphabets, so as not to disrupt the pattern of letters many people learned as children. All this makes the system more easily memorized than competing proposals. The modified Kalocsay abecedary is:a, be, ce, de, e, ef, ge, ha,i, je, ka, el, om, en, o, pa,ar, es, ta, u, vi, ĉa, ĝe,ĥi kaj ĵi, eŝ, eŭ kaj ze,plus ku', ikso, ipsilono,jen la abece-kolono.(kajmeans "and". The last line reads:lo! the ABC column)Where letters are still confused, such asesvslubconjunctionlublubor"],,0.709106207],["alboor"],,0.20001258],["czyoraniorbądźorczylior"],,0.00181349379],["względnieor"],,0.000519574678],["ewentualnieor"],,0.000300706743],["bobecausenounkolor złotykolor złotyor"],,6.51303651e-08],["złotogoldluborlubczyalboanibądźavsha,mention can be made of the diacritic(eŝ ĉapela),or to the manner of articulation of the sound(ha brueta"breathy aitch"). Quite commonly, however, people will use theaitch as in housestrategy used in English.
As with most languages, punctuation is not completely standardized, but in Esperanto there is the additional complication of multiple competing national traditions.
Commas are required to introduce subordinate clauses (that is, beforeke"that" or theki-correlatives),Mi ne scias, kiel fari tion.(I don't know how to do that.)
The comma is also used for the decimal point, while thousands are separated by non-breaking spaces:12 345 678,9.Question marks (?) and exclamation marks (!) are used at the end of a clause, and may be internal to a sentence. Question words generally come at the beginning of a question, obviating the need for Spanish-style inverted question marks.
Periods may be used to indicate initialisms:k.t.p.lubconjunctionlublubor"],,0.709106207],["alboor"],,0.20001258],["czyoraniorbądźorczylior"],,0.00181349379],["względnieor"],,0.000519574678],["ewentualnieor"],,0.000300706743],["bobecausenounkolor złotykolor złotyor"],,6.51303651e-08],["złotogoldluborlubczyalboanibądźktpforkaj tiel plu(et cetera), but not abbreviations that retain the grammatical suffixes. Instead, a hyphen optionally replaces the missing letters:D-rolubconjunctionlublubor"],,0.709106207],["alboor"],,0.20001258],["czyoraniorbądźorczylior"],,0.00181349379],["względnieor"],,0.000519574678],["ewentualnieor"],,0.000300706743],["bobecausenounkolor złotykolor złotyor"],,6.51303651e-08],["złotogoldluborlubczyalboanibądźDroforDoktoro(Dr). With ordinal numerals, the adjectivalaand accusativenmay be superscripted:13alubconjunctionlublubor"],,0.709106207],["alboor"],,0.20001258],["czyoraniorbądźorczylior"],,0.00181349379],["względnieor"],,0.000519574678],["ewentualnieor"],,0.000300706743],["bobecausenounkolor złotykolor złotyor"],,6.51303651e-08],["złotogoldluborlubczyalboanibądź13ª(13ᵗʰ). The abbreviationkis used without a period forkaj(and); the ampersand (&) is not found. Roman numerals are also avoided.
The hyphen is also occasionally used to clarify compounds, and to join grammatical suffixes to proper names that haven't been Esperantized or don't have a nominal-osuffix, such as the accusative onKalocsay-nlubconjunctionlublubor"],,0.709106207],["alboor"],,0.20001258],["czyoraniorbądźorczylior"],,0.00181349379],["względnieor"],,0.000519574678],["ewentualnieor"],,0.000300706743],["bobecausenounkolor złotykolor złotyor"],,6.51303651e-08],["złotogoldluborlubczyalboanibądźKálmán-on.The proximate particleĉiused with correlatives, such asĉi tiu'this one' andĉi tie'here', may be poetically used with nouns and verbs as well(ĉi jaro'this year',esti ĉi'to be here'), but if these phrases are then changed to adjectives or adverbs, a hyphen is used:ĉi-jare'this year',ĉi-landa birdo'a bird of this land'.
Quotation marks show the greatest variety of any punctuation. The use of Esperanto quotation marks was never stated in Zamenhof's work; it was assumed that a printer would use whatever he had available (usually the national standard of the printer's country). — Dashes, « guillemets » (often »reversed«), “double apostrophes” (also often „reversed“), and more are all found. Since the age of word processing, however, the standard English quotation marks have become most widespread. Quotations may be introduced with either a comma or colon.
Capitalization is used for the first word of a sentence and for proper names when used as nouns. Names of months, days of the week, ethnicities, languages, and the adjectival forms of proper names are not typically capitalized(anglo"an Englishman",angla"English",usona"US American"), though national norms may override such generalizations. Titles are more variable: both the Romance style of capitalizing only the first word of the title and the English style of capitalizing all lexical words are found.
All capitals or small capitals are used for acronyms and initialisms of proper names, likeTEJO,but not common expressions likektp(etc.). Small capitals are also a common convention for family names, to avoid the confusion of varying national naming conventions:Kalocsay Kálmán,Leslie Cheung Kwok Wing.Camel case, with or without a hyphen, may occur when a prefix is added to a proper noun:la geZamenhofoj(the Zamenhofs),pra-Esperanto(Proto-Esperanto). It is also used for Russian-style syllabic acronyms, such as the nameReVoforReta Vortaro("Internet Dictionary"), which is homonymous withrevo(dream). Occasionally mixed capitalization will be used for orthographic puns, such asespERAnto,which stands for theesperanta radikala asocio(Radical Esperanto Association).
Zamenhof contrasted informalciwith formal, and capitalized,Vias the second-person singular pronouns. However, lower-caseviis now used as the second-person pronoun regardless of number.
Braille, Sign, and Morse Code[img]//[/img]Signuno alphabet & numeralsEsperanto versions of international Morse code and Braille include the six diacritic letters. In Braille, the circumflex is indicated by adding a point at position 6 (lower right): ⠩ĉ, ⠻ĝ, ⠳ĥ, ⠺ĵ, ⠮ŝ. Therefore the letterĵhas the same form as unused French/English ⠺w; to write aw, dot 3 is added: ⠾w. Esperantoŭis like ⠥u, but reflected, so the first dot is moved to the fourth place: ⠬ŭ. An Esperanto Braille magazine,Aŭroro,has been published since 1920.
There is a proposed manual alphabet as part of theSignunoproject. Signuno itself, as signed Esperanto rather than a language in its own right, is a manual logographic Esperanto orthography. The Signuno alphabet deviates from international norms (that is, ASL with an Irish T) in that all letters are upright, with a straight wrist: the G is simply turned upright, while the H, P, Q are taken from Irish, the J from Russian, and the Z appears to be unique to Signuno. (It's shaped like an ASL 3, and appears to be derived from alphabetically adjacent V the way Ŭ was derived from adjacent U.) The diacritic letters Ŝ, Ĥ, Ĝ, Ŭ are derived from their base letters S, H, G, U; while Ĉ and Ĵ, like J, are Russian. Numerals 1–5 include the thumb, 6–9 do not, and 10, 100, 1000 are the Roman numerals X, C, M.

Other scripts
While Esperanto officially uses Latin script, Esperanto alphabets based on other scripts have been devised. None of these are in widespread use.
- The Shavian alphabet, which was designed for English, was modified for use with Esperanto by John Wesley Starling. Though not widely used, at least one booklet has been published with transliterated sample texts. Not all letters are equivalent to their English values, and several ligatures are added for grammatical inflections and for a few grammatical words.[img]//[/img]The vowels necessarily differ from English. However, Esperantoa e i o utake the letters for English /æ ɛ ɪ ə ɒ/, with more regard to graphic symmetry than phonetic faithfulness in the cases ofoiconjunctioniiand"],,0.731615603],["aandzand"],,0.00122707128],["tajandadverbcoraz"],[["corazandiandiaorazu.Ctakes the letter for /θ/, its Castilian value, andĥthat for /ŋ/, the inverse of the letter for /h/. The most divergent letters are those formiconjunctioniiand"],,0.731615603],["aandzand"],,0.00122707128],["tajandadverbcoraz"],[["corazandiandiaorazn, which are /ʊ uː/ in English, but which are graphically better suited to be distinct letters than English Shavian /m n/.
ASCII transliteration systems
There are two alternative orthographies in common use, which replace the circumflex letters with eitherhdigraphs orxdigraphs. There are also work-arounds such as approximating the circumflexes with carets.
The original method of working around the diacritics was developed by the creator of Esperanto himself, L. L. Zamenhof. He recommended usinguin place ofŭ,and using digraphs withhfor the circumflex letters. For example,ŝis represented bysh,as inshiforŝi(she), andshancoforŝanco(chance).
Unfortunately this method suffers from several problems:
-his already a consonant in the language, so digraphs occasionally make words ambiguous;
- whenŭis changed tou,not only is there the occasional ambiguity, but a naive reading may place the stress on the wrong syllable;
- simplistic ASCII-based rules for sorting words fail badly for sorting h-digraphs, because lexicographically words inĉshould follow all words incabbreviationdo"],[["doC"],,1.98337602e-05]],"C"]],"encccc.icand precede words ind.The wordĉushould be placed afterci,but sorted in the h-system,chuwould appear beforeci.X-system
A more recent system for typing in Esperanto is the so-called "x-system", which usesxinstead ofhfor the digraphs, includinguxforŭ.For example,ŝis represented bysx,as insxiforŝiiconjunctioniiand"],,0.731615603],["aandzand"],,0.00122707128],["tajandadverbcoraz"],[["corazandiandiaorazsxancoforŝanco.X-digraphs solve those problems of the h-system:
-xis not a letter in the Esperanto alphabet, so its use introduces no ambiguity;
- words starting withcxare now nearly always correctly sorted after words starting withc.The sorting only fails in the special case of azin compound or unassimilated words; for example, the compound wordreuzi(to reuse) would be sorted afterreŭmatismo(rheumatism). Such cases are rare.
The x-system has become as popular as the h-system, but it has long been perceived as being contrary to the Fundamento de Esperanto. However, in its 2007 decision, the Akademio de Esperanto has issued a general permission for the use of surrogate systems for the representation of the diacritical letters of Esperanto, under the condition that this is being done onlywhen the circumstances do not permit the use of proper diacritics, and when due to a special need the h-system fixed in the Fundamento is not convenient.This provision covers situations such as using the x-system as a technical solution (to store data in plain ASCII) yet still displaying proper Unicode characters to the end user. Yet other people say they dislike the x-system for its perceived "odd" appearance – in the words of one Esperantist, it "aspektas klingone" (looks like Klingon). Proponents argue that it would look "odd" only if one is expecting the appearance to resemble that of other European languages.
A practical problem of digraph substitution that the x-system does not completely resolve is in the complication of bilingual texts.Uxforŭis especially problematic when used alongside French text, because many French words end inauxlubconjunctionlublubor"],,0.709106207],["alboor"],,0.20001258],["czyoraniorbądźorczylior"],,0.00181349379],["względnieor"],,0.000519574678],["ewentualnieor"],,0.000300706743],["bobecausenounkolor złotykolor złotyor"],,6.51303651e-08],["złotogoldluborlubczyalboanibądźeux.Aux,for example, is a word in both languages(aŭin Esperanto). Any automatic conversion of the text will alter the French words as well as the Esperanto. A few English words like "auxiliary" and "Euxine" can also suffer from such search-and-replace routines. One common solution, such as the one used in Wikipedia's MediaWiki software since the intervention of Brion Vibber in January 2002, usexxto escape theuxtoŭconversion, e.g. "auxx" produces "aux". A few people have also proposed using "vx" instead of "ux" forŭto resolve this problem, but this variant of the system is rarely used.
Graphic work-arounds
There are severalad hocwork-arounds used in email or on the internet, where the proper letters are often not supported, as seen also in non-ASCII orthographies such as German. These "slipped-hat" conventions make use of the caret (^) or greater than sign (>) to represent the circumflex. For example,ŝancomay be written^sanco, s^anco,lubconjunctionlublubor"],,0.709106207],["alboor"],,0.20001258],["czyoraniorbądźorczylior"],,0.00181349379],["względnieor"],,0.000519574678],["ewentualnieor"],,0.000300706743],["bobecausenounkolor złotykolor złotyor"],,6.51303651e-08],["złotogoldluborlubczyalboanibądźs>anco.This has the twin advantages of being unambiguous while being iconic with the official orthography. However, they have generally fallen out of favor as Esperantists have got used to typing in thehlubconjunctionlublubor"],,0.709106207],["alboor"],,0.20001258],["czyoraniorbądźorczylior"],,0.00181349379],["względnieor"],,0.000519574678],["ewentualnieor"],,0.000300706743],["bobecausenounkolor złotykolor złotyor"],,6.51303651e-08],["złotogoldluborlubczyalboanibądźxsystems with software that automatically converts these to standard orthography. Before the internet age, Stefano la Colla had proposed shifting the caret onto the following vowel, since French circumflex vowels are supported in printing houses. That is, one would writeehôsângôj cîujâudeforeĥoŝanĝoj ĉiuĵaŭde.However, this proposal has never been adopted.
Many new Esperantists from North America and Western Europe, who are not used to diacritics from their own languages, perceive the Esperanto diacritics to be a problem, and often propose reforms to the orthography, sometimes with substantial modifications, in order to "fix" it. Such proposals are ignored by the community, both because they generally come from people who do not know the language well, and because reform projects tend to snowball, a fate that has destroyed several constructed languages.[potrzebne źródło]
The transliteration of Esperanto into ASCII is a topic known to cause flame wars with little constructive discussion. The reduction of such behavior is sometimes indicated as one of the main reasons to go to the extra effort of using the proper diacritics. With the advent of Unicode, transliteration systems are no longer necessary on web pages. Nonetheless, the h- and x-systems remain common on Usenet and in e-mail, where encoding support is rare and the limited availability of keyboard configurations often makes it cumbersome to type the diacritics.
The entire Esperanto alphabet is part of the Latin-3 and Unicode character sets, and is included in WGL4. The code points and HTML entities for the special Esperanto characters in Unicode are:
Practical Unicode for Esperanto
Microsoft Windows
Adjusting a keyboard to type Unicode is actually relatively easy (all Windows variants of the Microsoft Windows NT family, such as 2000 and XP, for example, support Unicode; Windows 9x does not natively support Unicode).
The Canadian Multilingual Standard layout is preinstalled in MS Windows. The US international layout needs to be modified to enable Esperanto letters. This can be done using Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator or by using a layout provided for this purpose, e.g. EoKlavaro. EoKlavaro gives access also to many other European language characters.
A very convenient two-language method is provided by Markus Sunela for several different language layouts: Esperanta klavaro por Vindozo. Once this package has been installed, to type ĉ hold down the right Alt key (AltGr) and type c, etc.
Another more recent free download to adapt a Windows keyboard for Esperanto letters is Tajpi - Esperanto Keyboard for Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / 7 / 8 by Thomas James.
A simple and free utility with all the Esperanto keys already installed is called Esperanto keyboard layout for Microsoft Windows – (QWERTY version) this is available as a free download.
A similar tool is Ek, and is available without charge. You can download the keyboard by clicking onInstalilo: ek(version#)inst.exe. Ek uses the cx keying function to produce ĉ. It will work with most programs but there are some that it is not compatible with.
A commercial but still cheap tool is Šibboleth, a program that can produce every Latin character. It enables composition of ĝ etc. using the ^ deadkey (like for French letters), so you do not have to learn new key positions. The ŭ is produced by the combination u followed by #.
Many popular e-mail clients support Unicode, so you can happily use the tools described above to write e-mails using the Esperanto alphabet.
If you want to use a text editor that is Esperanto-compatible, make sure it supports Unicode, as do Editplus (UTF-Cool and UniRed.
Since 2009 it has been very easy to add key combinations for accented Esperanto letters to one's usual keyboard layout, at least in Gnome and KDE. No download is required. The keyboard layout options can be modified under System Preferences. The options to choose are "Adding Esperanto circumflexes (supersigno)" and the appropriate keyboard layout (Qwerty or Dvorak). A third level shift key is also required: under "Key to choose 3rd level", e.g. LeftWin.
In older systems it may be necessary to activate Unicode by setting the locale to a UTF-8 locale. There is a special eo_XX.UTF-8 locale available at Bertil Wennergren's home page, along with a thorough explanation of how one implements Unicode and the keyboard in Linux.
If the Linux system is recent, or kept updated, then the system is probably already working with Esperanto keys. For X11 and KDE, it's only necessary to switch to a keyboard layout that has Latin dead keys (for example, the "US International" keyboard), whenever the user wants to write in Esperanto. Some keyboards with dead keys are:
- In the US International keyboard, the dead circumflex is over the "6" key ("shift-6") and the dead breve is hidden over the "9" key ("altgr-shift-9").
- In the Brazilian ABNT2 keyboard, the dead circumflex has its own key together with dead tilde ("shift-~"), near the "Enter" key. The dead breve is hidden over the backslash ("altgr-shift-\") key.
- In the Portuguese keyboard, the dead tilde key, near the left shift key, has both the dead circumflex and the dead breve.
Another option is to use a keyboard layout that supports the Compose key (usually mapped to the right alt or to one of the windows keys). Then, "compose-u u" will combine the character u with the breve, and "compose-shift-6 s" will combine the character s with the circumflex (assuming "shift-6" is the position of the caret).
In GNOME, there exists a separate keyboard layout for Esperanto, replacing unused characters in Esperanto with the non-ASCII characters. A separate keyboard layout for Esperanto is available in KDE, too.
If necessary, install and use high quality fonts that have Esperanto glyphs, like Microsoft Web core fonts (free for personal use) or DejaVu (The Bitstream Vera glyphs have the Bitstream Vera license and DejaVu extensions are in public domain).
There is also a neat applet available for the gnome-panel called "Character Palette" and one can add the following characters to a new palette for quick placement from their panel menu bar. ĈĉĜĝĤĥĴĵŜŝŬŭ The Character Palette applet makes for a quick and easy way to add Esperanto Characters to a web browser or text document. One must only simply select their newly created palette and click a letter and that letter will be waiting on their system clipboard waiting to be pasted into the document.
Mac OS X
On Mac OS X systems Esperanto characters can be entered by selecting a keyboard layout from the "Input Sources" pane of "Language & Text" preferences, found in the "System Preference"s application. One can download an Esperanto keyboard layout package that will, once installed, function in the same way as other languages' keyboards. or it is possible to use the pre-installedU.S. Extendedkeyboard to type Esperanto's diacritics. When installed the Esperanto keyboard gives users two different methods of typing. The first,Esperantomaintains a QWERTY layout, but switches the letters that are not used in Esperanto (q,w,yix) for diacritical letters and makes auinto aŭif it follows anaor ane. The second method,Esperanto-sc, is more familiar to QWERTY users and allows the user to type in most Latin-scripted languages and Esperanto simultaneously. It treats the keys that take diacritics (a,s,e,cabbreviationdo"],[["doC"],,1.98337602e-05]],"C"]],"encccc.ic,g,h,uij) as dead keys, if a combining character is pressed afterwards—usually the semicolon (Wink. Both methods are also available using the less common Dvorak Keyboard. When the 'U.S. Extendedkeyboard layout is active, Esperanto characters can be entered using multiple keystrokes using a simple mnemonic device: 6 contains the caret character, which looks like a circumflex, so ⌥ Option+6 places a caret over the following character; similarly, ⌥ Option+b stands for breve, so ⌥ Option+b adds the breve mark over the next character.A table of the input methods:
Swedish Esperantists using Mac OS X can use the Finnish Extended layout, which comes with the OS. Finnish has the same alphabet and type layout as Swedish; the Finnish Extended layout adds functionality just like U.S. Extended, only using other key combinations (the breve appears when one types |⌥ Option+y and the circumflex when one types |⌥ Option+^).
Similarly, British users may use the Irish Extended layout, which differs from the U.S. Extended keyboard layout in several ways (preserving the simple option+vowel method of applying acute accents, important for the Irish language, and the £ sign on shift-3 like the UK layout), but uses the same "dead-keys" for modifiers as U.S. Extended for Esperanto characters.
In OS X it is also possible to create your own keyboard layouts, so it is relatively easy to have more convenient mappings, like for example one based on typing an x after the letter.
An Esperanto locale would use "." as the thousands separator and "," as the decimal separator. Time and date format among Esperantists is not as standardized as number format, but 24-hour time with colon between hour and minutes, and for dates, either yyyy-mm-dd or dd-mm-yyyy, would be international and unambiguous.
See also
- Orthography
- Ĉ, Ĝ, Ĥ, Ĵ, Ŝ, Ŭ

External links
- Spelling Society : Esperanto spelling.
Computer input
- Add-on Esperanto Keyboards for Mac OSX
- Online Esperanto keyboard
- Esperanto QWERTY keyboard for Windows using spare keys
- Esperanto GKOS keyboard for Android phones/tablets with genuine support (language option in Tools menu)
- Tajpi - Esperanto Keyboard for Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / 7 / 8 – free download
- Unired – Unicode plain text editor for Windows 95/98/NT/2000 (with E-o support)
- eoconv – a tool to convert text between various Esperanto orthographies and character encodings

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