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Using Dzongkha computing tools
Information technology personnel from government ministries and corporations completed today a 12-day training on how to use the Unicode based Dzongkha computing tools developed by the Dzongkha Development Authority.
The Dzongkha computing tools which the authority developed in collaboration with the Orient Foundation, a UK firm, needs the Windows XP operating system with the microsoft office 2003 application programme to work.

Users will be able to type and read Dzongkha in popular applications including Word, Access, Excel, Powerpoint, Internet Explorer and FrontPage.

During the 12-day training, participants learnt about the foundation of Dzongkha computing, installing the Dzongkha unicode fonts and configuring the keyboard driver, using the keyboard layout, creating Dzongkha word, plain, spread sheet, powerpoint and access documents, creating Dzongkha web pages and setting browsers to view Dzongkha web pages and on using Unicode Converter. "The Unicode dzongkha computing tools are based on international standards and is as flexible as the English computing system," said resource person Pema Choejay with the Dzongkha Development Authority.

The Unicode provides a common standard for all the different existing Dzongkha computing systems in use today in Bhutan. There are four different computing systems following different command keys making one system incompatible with the other. Dzongkha computer users will also be able to write in lowercase Dzongkha, popularly known as 'Juyig' the lack of which is strongly felt by Dzongkha users, under the Unicode umbrella.

Writing fractions, mathematical signs, tabulating documents, unequal alignment while typing English and Dzongkha together will also be possible with the unicode system. But the unicode system is not at all compatible with Apple Macintosh operating systems.

The Dzongkha Development Authority and the Ministry of Information and Communications plans to conduct more training workshops on the use of the unicode Dzongha computing tools in all the dzongkhags and educational institutions including Bhuddhist learning centres in monasteries and also at the geog level.

Contributed by Pema Choejay 2005
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