Connect with us

Myanmar

Myanmar switches to international ‘unicode’ on October 1

The Thaiger

Published 

 on 

Myanmar switches to international ‘unicode’ on October 1 | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly

Accessing everything from Wikipedia to Google Maps in Myanmar is about to get a lot easier when the country finally adopts the universal code underpinning phone and online communication next week. Tech experts say the move to bring the country more in step with the rest of the digital world is crucial, but will cause “chaos” in a rocky transition period.

Myanmar is the last nation to embrace unicode that has significant numbers of people online. Without it, most users see international content , and a lot from within the country, as lines of meaningless symbols. Household name websites can be impossible to read while translation and voice recognition software do not work.

October 1 is “U-Day”, when Myanmar officially adopts the new system. From then on, all electronic communication from government offices, telecoms companies, banks and media must be in Unicode by law. Myanmar became a global code anomaly due to isolation under its former military junta.

Microsoft and Apple helped other countries standardise years ago, but Western sanctions meant Myanmar lost out.

Zawgyi font is the predominant typeface used for Burmese language text on websites. It is a font with Burmese characters. It is also known as Zawgyi-One or zawgyi1 font although updated versions of this font were not named Zawgyi-two. It is the most popular font on Burmese websites.

47 year old IT pioneer Zaw Htut describes this as the final battle won in a decades-long code “war”.

“This is like changing to democracy.”

However, making the switch to Unicode will be a turbulent ride, and he warned that initially there will be “chaos”. Facebook, themes popular social media platform, has developed automatic conversion software to give users a “seamless experience”, says strategic response team member Sarah Oh.

But many will suddenly be unable to read messages on other apps and from banks or phone operators, while those who switch will no longer be able to communicate with friends still using the old system.

Confusion reigns

A homegrown rival to Unicode called “Zawgyi” (pronounced: zaw-jee) – meaning wizard – evolved in Myanmar’s detached digital ecosystem. Its popularity exploded as the country opened up from 2011 and smartphone use soared. Today around 90% of people use Zawgyi instead of Unicode.

Incompatible without fiddly plug-ins, it only allows people to communicate in Burmese with other Zawgyi users, excluding the nation’s minority languages. Its clunkiness also means search functions do not work, crippling data storage systems.

According to tech experts it could take years to achieve full migration.

Zaw Htut compares the abrupt switch to Unicode with the former junta’s overnight decision for Myanmar to drive on the right instead of the left.

Joox, a regional version of Spotify, said it is impossible to convert the millions of Burmese language songs on its app. With the deadline looming, celebrities and influencers are hammering home the need to convert while technicians prepare for a deluge of queries. An army of volunteers are helping in online forums and offline at teashops.

“There’s a lot of confusion,” explains computer science student 23 year old Tin Lat Nandar as she updates retirees’ phones at a Sunday drop-in session.

Meanwhile a Yangon street vendor Mi Mi says she has heard about the switch but does not want to change.

“I don’t know how to do it.”

An estimated 10-15% of mainly older phones will not be advanced enough to convert.

SOURCE: Agence France-Presse – Richard Sargent

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Find more SE Asian News courtesy of The Thaiger.

Broke? Find employment in Southeast Asia with JobCute Thailand. Rich? Invest in real estate across Asia with FazWaz Property Group. Even book medical procedures worldwide with MyMediTravel, all powered by DB Ventures.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Crime

Kanchanaburi police officer’s twin sons arrested for trafficking methamphetamines

The Thaiger

Published

on

Kanchanaburi police officer’s twin sons arrested for trafficking methamphetamines | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Matichon News

Twin sons of a Thai police officer have been arrested and charged with trafficking methamphetamine, according to Thai-language daily Matichon. The arrests were made yesterday.

Thai army and border patrol Police stopped a car driven by the two 20 year old twins at a routine checkpoint in western Thailand. A routine search of the vehicle uncovered 2,000 methamphetamine tables in 4 separate containers.

The twins told police that a Burmese person told him to fetch the drugs from the Phaya Tongsoo Village in Myanmar, just across the border from the Sangkhlaburi district in Kanchanburi A Burmese man later took one of the twins across the border to a temple, where he received 2,000 methamphetamine pills.

The father of the twins is a Thai police officer who had served in Sangkhla Buri and Thong Phapoom districts in Kanchanaburi. He is now working at the Office of Police Region 9, accord to Matichon News.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Thailand

Migrant workers risk losing their legal status, the Cabinet to extend work permit amnesty

Avatar

Published

on

Migrant workers risk losing their legal status, the Cabinet to extend work permit amnesty | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Frontier Myanmar

Over 1.7 million migrant workers in Thailand are going to lose their legal working status because they can’t submit work permit renewal and a health certificate with Covid-19 test results in time. The Labour Ministry then proposes the cabinet will extend the registration period (amnesty) for migrant workers to help maintain their legal status. Migrant workers, including those illegal and unemployed workers, are required to register with authorities via the ministry’s website from January 15 until February 13.

According to the Labour Minister, every migrant worker to renew their work permit must receive a Covid-19 test at hospitals designated by the Public Health Ministry. The Department of Medical Sciences will be responsible for the testing costs.

Illegal and unemployed workers, who registered with the Ministry, will be allowed to stay in the Kingdom for 2 years without penalties. Only those migrant workers from Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar are allowed to overstay their current visas, but are required to register with the provincial employment office in the area they work, as part of the amnesty.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Thailand

Myanmar cancels Thai investment in the Dawei Special Economic Zone

Avatar

Published

on

Myanmar cancels Thai investment in the Dawei Special Economic Zone | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Environment Justice Atlas

The Dawei Special Economic Zone Management Committee has announced the cancellation on the deep seaport project contract with Italian-Thai Development (ITD), one of Thailand’s leading industrial firms, by saying that they “lost confidence” in the company after long, controversial issues.

The Dawei Special Economic Zone Management Committee said that the Thai company has caused them “repeated delays, continuing breaches of financial obligations under the contracts and the concessionaires’ failure to confirm their financial capacity to proceed with development”.

They say they will look for new development partners to continue the projects. Currently, there are still no comments from ITD.

The Dawei Special Economic Zone is Myanmar’s initiative to encourage international investments into the country, but the project has been delayed because of funding problems and local opposition.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading
Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21 | The Thaiger
Thailand6 days ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Thailand News Today | 305 infections, No happy ending for massages, Phuket quarantine mooted | Jan 7 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | 305 infections, No happy ending for massages, Phuket quarantine mooted | Jan 7

Thailand News Today | 10,000 schools closed, 900 new migrant infections, Gambling crackdown | January 6 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | 10,000 schools closed, 900 new migrant infections, Gambling crackdown | January 6

Thailand News Today | PM reverses lockdown, Southern P.D.A. crackdown, Covid update | Jan 5 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | PM reverses lockdown, Southern P.D.A. crackdown, Covid update | Jan 5

Thailand News Today | Record daily infections, Covid restrictions, British arrivals ‘on hold’ | Jan 4 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Record daily infections, Covid restrictions, British arrivals ‘on hold’ | Jan 4

Thailand News Today | Pattaya restrictions, 2021’s extra holidays, Covid update | December 30 | The Thaiger
Thailand4 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Pattaya restrictions, 2021’s extra holidays, Covid update | December 30

Thailand News Today | Covid update, Bangkok restrictions, Gold rush | December 29 | The Thaiger
Thailand4 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Covid update, Bangkok restrictions, Gold rush | December 29

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending