Sunday, August 25, 2013

How do you type Khmer on Samsung and LG Android phones?

In recent days, two big brand mobile phone companies, Samsung and LG, started adding Khmer language to their Android phone.

Many people have only used non-standard keyboards will see some differences to what they are used to, and they will wonder how to type some of the vowels, such as េះ, ោះ, ុះ and ាំ?

Khmer language experts refer to these as combined vowels, and in 1996, a language committee suggest to Unicode experts to only add 16 single vowels to Khmer Unicode standard. These were: ា ិ ី ឹ ឺ ុ ូ ួ ើ ឿ ៀ េ ែ ៃ ោ and ៅ.

Under this proposal the combined vowels are made up of two Unicode characters and require 2 keys for typing:
ាំ -> ា + ំ
េះ -_> េ + ះ
ោះ -> ោ + ះ
ុះ -> ុ + ះ

This method of typing is similar to the new Khmer keyboard layout in Mac OSX and also similar to standard keyboard developed by NiDA.

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