What's with the Indian typefaces on a Mac? Why so similar?

LadyJemima's picture

I just got an iMac and wondered, why all the Indian-name typefaces? I assume they include Indian character glyphs, but why so many? Why are they seemingly the same? For example, the following look (nearly) identical (and these probably aren't even comprehensive because I stopped at "M"):

Set 1:

Malayalam
Bangla
Lao
Gurmukhi
Kannada
Myanmar

Set 2:

Bangala Sangram
Devanagari MT
Gjuarati Sangram
Inai Mathi
Lao Sangram
Myanmar Sangram
Malayalam Sangram

Just curious.

John Hudson's picture

When you say 'they look the same', are you looking at the Indian characters, or at Latin characters that show up in the font preview or font menu listings? The latter might be substituted from other fonts.

Michel Boyer's picture

If I list only the *Sangam* fonts I have on OS X 10.7, I get

Bangla Sangam MN.ttf
Devanagari Sangam MN.ttc
Gujarati Sangam MN.ttf
Kannada Sangam MN.ttf
Malayalam Sangam MN.ttf
Oriya Sangam MN.ttf
Sinhala Sangam MN.ttf
Tamil Sangam MN.ttf
Telugu Sangam MN.ttf

Khmer Sangam MN.ttf
Lao Sangam MN.ttf
Myanmar Sangam MN.ttf

The last three correspond to Southeast Asian Scripts, the first group to South Asian Scripts, as you can see on the Unicode Character Code Charts.

Bangla corresponds to Bengali. Inai Mathi is Tamil if I rely on the unicode range it covers.

LadyJemima's picture

John, I am only looking at the Font Preview. But unless you need Indian characters, there's really no reason to keep these activated (or keep them in general), correct?

Tom Gewecke's picture

In case you are interested in seeing how different these various Indic scripts actually are, have a look at this page (before you deactivate the fonts):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahmic_scripts#Comparison

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