Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Unicode and Hangul

One of the Unicode blocks is Hangul Syllables, codepoints U+AC00➜U+D7AF. Each character in this block has a formal Unicode name written in upper case Latin eg

I draw your attention to the last word in the Unicode name. This may appear to be a string of random  Latin characters. If though you use the Mac OSX GongjinCheong Romaja Input Method this string represents the sequence of key presses required to produce the Hangul Syllable. So, taking the first example above, typing the key sequence GEONG will produce the Hangul character 겅.

There are two cases where one needs to augment the key sequence in order to write the Hangul character.

  1. When the syllable begins with a vowel then one needs to prefix with the silent placeholder ㅇwhich in the GongjinCheong Romaja Input Method is produced by typing X. Thus, U+C54B 앋 HANGUL SYLLABLE AD, is produced by typing the key sequence XAD
  2. When the syllable ends with ㄲ or ㅆ then one needs to type ⇧G or ⇧S, respectively. Thus, U+AC14 갔 HANGUL SYLLABLE GASS, is produced by typing the key sequence GA⇧S
  • Unicode characters can be viewed on Mac OSX using Character Viewer
  • The GongjinCheong Romaja Input Method is enabled in System Preferences➞Language & Text➞Input Sources