Do you know how to use Georgian UNICODE (UTF-8) fonts? If you use Windows XP, you can click on the Start menu, go to the Control Panel – Regional and Language Options and add Georgian as one of the languages, but you soon realize that you are met with some difficulties with this font if you type using the Latin keyboard layout.
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Below, we describe a solution that utilizes Unicode fonts which is discussed at www.georgian-language.com. You can download and install the free Georgian Unicode font, Sylfaen for Windows users from http://georgian-language.com/download/Sylfaen.exe. You will also need to install the Georgian keyboard driver in order to be able to both type and view Georgian text. A step-by-step instruction on how to do this follows.
If you use Win2000/XP:
1. Download the Georgian keyboard driver for Win2000/XP (5 KB) from
2. Unzip the archive in a new folder. 4 files will be extracted.
3. Click on the Go.bat file
4. Say Yes when prompted to make a record in the registry
5. Right Click on the Language icon at the bottom-right corner of the Windows Task toolbar. Choose Settings.
6. Click the ADD button.
7. Choose Input Language – Georgian and Keyboard Layout Georgian[Lat].
8. Click OK.
If you have any trouble installing the keyboard driver:
1. Extract the 2000KBD.zip in a folder on your C drive. There are 4 files.
2. Disable all Anti-spyware, Firewall, and Anti-virus applications on your computer.
3. Click on the GO.BAT file and select OK.
Installation should now proceed smoothly on any Windows 2000/Millennium/XP machine.
If this does not work, try the same procedure in Windows Safe mode which can be entered by pressing the F8 button while Windows is loading and selecting from the options.
After completing the above, you should now be able to switch the language to Georgian (KA) with the Sylfaen font automatically appearing on the toolbars of your office applications.
If you use Win98:
1. Download and install the Georgian keyboard driver for Win98 (730 KB) from: http://www.georgian-language.com/download/Geo%20Ge%20Ka%20kbd%20Win98.EXE
2. From the Start menu, go to Control Panel – Regional and Language Options, and add Georgian language with Latin (Georgian – Georgian [Lat]) keyboard layout.
Now you can use the Unicode (UTF-8) font by switching the language to Georgian (KA) and selecting Sylfaen in the font options of your office application toolbar.
If you use WinMe:
1. Download and install Georgian keyboard driver for WinMe (526 KB) from:
2. Download, unpack and install the program:
3. Add Georgian language with Latin keyboard layout.
OK. Now, you are ready to use the Unicode (UTF-8) font with the Latin layout.
Here is a tip on how you can change the encoding of your Georgian text. You will need to download a free program from www.convert.ge. You can either add this URL to your favorites and use it as an online application or save the downloaded file on your PC and use it offline.
There are considerable advantages to using Georgian Unicode fonts, especially when it is used in websites and software localizations; it can display correctly in all office applications, CAT tools, e.g., Trados 7.0, SDLX, MetaTexis, etc. If you do not have non-Unicode Georgian fonts (e.g. LitNusx, AcanNusx, AcadMtavr etc.) on your computer, Georgian text using these fonts will not display correctly on your screen and you see Latin characters instead of Georgian ones. However, not all of your clients may be aware that Georgian characters are distinctly different from Latin. Once I received a document from an agency, which I think was initially typed in a non-Unicode Georgian font. It seemed that the (end) client, who did not have the font and had not seen Georgian script before, assumed everything was alright. He/she printed it and sent the hard copy of the document to the agency. After this, the document was scanned and the images were converted into a .pdf file. The agency asked me to translate the .pdf file into English. Can you imagine what the text was like? Yes, it was all in Latin characters that stretched to about 20 pages and not very pleasant reading.
When I translate into Georgian, I always prefer to use a Unicode font, if I am not asked to do so otherwise because it avoids the hassle of having to send the client a non-Unicode font to view that file. The latest version of Windows can read Unicode fonts. However, if the Unicode characters are not displayed correctly, even the client, who may never have seen Georgian script before, will guess that his/her computer is not able to read the font and will surely ask you to send the font.
Of course, I am not completely ruling out the use of other fonts. There are various scenarios under which you will need to use a wide-spectrum of Georgian non-Unicode and Unicode fonts from classical block letters to beautiful handwritten versions. You can download them from many sites, e.g.,: http://www.fonts.ge, http://www.odishi.pvt.ge/fonts.html, http://www.geocities.com/shavlego/grfntdoc.html, http://www.web.ge/person.html and so on. Enjoy them :-)