Computers & Writing Systems
Font in Development
The ShiShan fonts are still in development. Computer systems do not currently completely support the Miao (Pollard) script. For that reason we don't feel confident releasing the font as a final product. However, we believe the font is useful in its present state and thus we are releasing it as a "Font in Development". See below for contact information.
2014-06-20 New fonts! The fonts were updated to add various improvements. One significant improvement is positioning fixes (for the vowels). The fonts should now render to a quality accepted by the user community.
The Miao script is extremely common in Northeast Yunnan and Northwest Guizhou. It is also used by some Yi and Lisu groups, and historically was used by other minorities in China.
The fonts and keyboards are available for download under headings referring to specific orthographies. The headings list: Transcript of Chinese (transcription of autonym) – English meaning of Chinese – Chinese. These names are not specific enough to identify a single dialect. For example there are about a dozen Bai Yi dialects with almost no mutual intelligibility, most of which do not use this script. The Dong Lisu (Lipo) dialect is officially classified as either Lisu or Yi depending on strong cultural factors related to where they live.
There are several examples of glyph variations between fonts. These variants are just style differences in the way particular letters are drawn, but are very important to particular groups. Each of these fonts contain all the variant glyphs, but they default to the correct local style. Best results will come from using the correct font. The fonts have been designed to be able to represent all the different styles if your software can use Language Selectors. OpenType or Graphite is required to use these fonts.
As of 2011, most software which claims to be Unicode compliant, in fact does not work with scripts in the Supplemental Multilingual Plane (SMP). The Miao script is in the SMP. These fonts have been tested and found to work with Windows 7, Office 2010 Word, MS Internet Explorer 9, Firefox version 4, Open Office version 3.2.1 (earlier releases will not work), Ubuntu Linux, and Adobe Reader 9.
The ShiShan fonts are released under the SIL Open Font License, version 1.1. Copyright (c) 2012-2014 SIL International, with Reserved Font Name <ShiShan>.
Some glyphs taken and modified under the OFL from PollardTsu Copyright (c) 2000-2007 by David Morse and Doulos SIL 4.100, Copyright (c) 2003-2005, SIL International ( https://scripts.sil.org/). Copyright (c) 2000-2007 David Morse.
Font and Keyboard downloads
Subscribe to SIL Font News announce list
If you wish to receive announcements about updates to ShiShan, or any of our SIL fonts, please go to this page to subscribe: SIL Font News subscription.
Da Hua Miao (Ahmao) – Big Flowery Miao - 大花苗
Ethnologue: [ hmd]
Alternate names: A-Hmao, Big Flowery Miao, Da Hua Bei Miao, Da Hua Miao, Diandongbei Miao, FloweryMiao, Great Flowery Tribe, Hua Miao, Hwa Miao, Northeastern Dian Miao, Northeastern Yunnan Miao, Ta HwaMiao
Location: Eastern Guizhou and all of northeast Yunnan to Chuxiong.
This font will handle the five tone positions used in the historical Chuan Miao in Sichuan and many Miao and Hmong dialects of of Guizhou and rarely in Guanxi. A separate font and keyboard set for the Chuxiong orthography (used on public buildings and road signs) is pending.
Dong Lisu (Lipo) – Eastern Lisu - 东傈族
Ethnologue: [ lpo]
Alternate names: Central Lisu, Dayao, Eastern Lisu, Lolongo
Dialects: Eastern Lipo, Western Lipo
Location: From Luquan scattered northeast to Sichuan and Guizhou, northwest to Panzhihua in Sichuan, west to Chuxiong and near Lijiang. The majority dialect around Yuanmou.
Hei Yi – Black Yi - 黑彝
Ethnologue: [ ywq]
Alternate names: Black Yi, Dian Dongbei Yi, Hei Yi, Nasu, Wu-Lu Yi
Dialects: Luquan Naso, Wuding Naisu
Location: Northwest Yunnan from around Kunming into Sichuan and Guizhou. Centered around Luquan.
Bai Yi – White Yi - 白彝
Ethnologue: [ ycl]
Alternate names: Bai Yi, Central Yi, Gaoshanzu, Hei Yi, Lolopho, Lulupu, Luolu
Dialects: Nanhua Lolopo, Shuangbai Lolopo, Yao'an Lolopo
Location: Wuding and Luquan south to Kunming, mostly eastward. Not intelligible with identically named dialects around Chuxiong and Qujing, or south of Kunming.
Gan Yi – Dry Yi - 干彝
Ethnologue: [ yig]
Alternate names: Eastern Yi
Dialects: Bijie, Dafang, Qian Xi
Location: Wuding and Luquan area toward Kunming. Not intelligible with identically named dialects south or east of Kunming.
Legacy font encoding: Miao2, Lipo1, Lipo2, Lipo3, BaiYi, GanYi1, blkyi3
Conversion tables for each set of fonts is included here, which maps the Legacy font encoded data to Unicode.
As these fonts and utilities are distributed at no cost, we are unable to provide a commercial level of personal technical support. We will, however, try to resolve problems that are reported to us.
We do hope that you will report problems so they can be addressed in future releases. Even if you are not having any specific problems, but have an idea on how this system could be improved, we want to hear your ideas and suggestions.
Please note that these fonts are intended for use by experienced computer users. Installing and using these fonts is not a trivial matter. The most effective technical support is usually provided by an experienced computer user who can personally sit down with you at your computer to troubleshoot the problem.
General troubleshooting information, including frequently asked questions, can be found in the documentation. Additional information is also available on the general Font FAQ page. If that fails to answer your question you can contact us at:
Email: Contact Form
© 2003-2020 SIL International, all rights reserved, unless otherwise noted elsewhere on this page.