Re: Tamil number system

From: Antoine Leca (
Date: Thu May 25 2000 - 09:24:06 EDT

Michael Everson wrote:
> Ar 21:55 -0800 2000-05-24, scríobh Padma kumar .R:
> > For this UNICODE for Thamizh must have to reserve the U+0BE6 for the
> >zero. Since traditional Thamizh numeral is missing the ZERO sign, Arabic
> >numeral '0' is used, and it is also accepted by Thamizh scholars. Now in
> >UNICODE U+0BE6 is left blank.
> Is this TAMIL ZERO found in Tamil fonts alongside DIGIT ZERO? Maybe it
> would be prudent to fill in the blank.

You will easilly find fonts where it is encoded. For example it was
part of the proposals codenamed "TSCII", IIRC.
<URL:> One may note that Tamil
zero looks significantly different from Arabic zero (or more exactly,
Nagari zero) in the reference sheet, because it tries to fits better
with Tamil, but there is no doubt about the origin!
I do not know of the success (or lack of) TSCII encoding outside
the Internet site Probably Padmakumar might give us some
lights here.

It is worth to note that the recent Tamil standards TAM and TAB,
that are intended successors of TSCII BTW, does not encode any Tamil
digits. See <URL:>

The Government Order that establishes these codes explicitely states:

  b) Glyph Coding Schemes:

          (iii) Tamil Software developers can provide Tamil Numerals as symbol fonts.



P.S. BTW, TAM lists some "characters" I did not know about: at position 151
"TAMIL SYMBOL DITTO", at positions 208 & 209 "TAMIL LETTER DEBIT" and
"... CREDIT", plus the known signs for day month year.

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