On Dec 11, 2003, at 4:00 PM, Peter T. Daniels wrote:

> John Jenkins wrote:
>> If it lists Han ideographs, then obviously it covers Chinese.
> No, there's no such thing as "ideographs,"

*sigh* Let's not have a rehash of "what do we call the units of writing
in Chinese" argument, s'il-vous-plaƮt? We all know "ideograph" is not
the best word to use, but it's still used in some communities.

In particular, the nature of international standards is such that even
if someone were to come up with a better word that everybody could
agree on, Unicode is stuck with "ideograph."

(And in any event, John de Francis notwithstanding, I would argue that
it's not as wildly inappropriate a term as it's usually said to be.)

> and the context -- adjacent
> to the kana -- shows that it's referring to Japanese (since Unicode
> lists all of Chinese, all of Japanese, and all of Korean characters
> separately, and if they choose to include Chu Nom, they'll be separate
> too).

Er, no.

Unicode explicitly unifies the ideographic (or whatever) repertoires of
Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. (The official designation for the
various blocks includes "CJK Unified Ideograph," after all.) In fact,
Chu Nom *are* included in Unicode, and have been for a decade. They
are not separate from the hanzi, kanji, or hanja. Han unification is
and always has been a fundamental aspect of Unicode's approach to

Unicode currently has over 70,000 of these beasties. The research into
additional encodings is done by an international body called the IRG
(Ideographic Rapporteur Group), which is chaired by China and includes
representatives from both Koreas, all four Chinas, and the Japanese,
Singaporean, and Vietnamese singletons, plus an American or two who
show up to kibitz. The IRG meets twice annually, although one meeting
was cancelled this year because of SARS. It is currently working on an
additional set of unencoded entities numbering in the tends of

Moreover, none of the five blocks of CJK Unified Ideographs in Unicode
is currently portrayed as being next to the two blocks of kana in the
roadmap. They're actually closer to bopomofo and Korean jamos.

As Michael has pointed out, the current roadmaps can be found at
<http://www.unicode.org/roadmaps/> FWIW, the Unicode FAQ on CJK is at

John H. Jenkins