Fonts for Linguists

Several fonts used for transcription of texts in Turkic, Samoyedic and other languages of peoples of Siberia (Lingua, Turk and some others) were designed several years ago and spread within the academic community. As a rule, such fonts represent legally and technically exceptionable modifications of standard fonts from the Microsoft® Office kit. For instance, the Lingua font was created by changing Italic face of the Times New Roman font.

At present special fonts are not required for transcription of texts in the languages of Siberian peoples, nor Cyrillic or Central European fonts (such as Arial Cyr or Times New Roman CE and similar), widely spread earlier, are not necessary any more.

Sources of Fonts

  1. Standard Microsoft® Windows® Fonts

    Microsoft Windows operating system has been supporting Unicode, starting, at the latest, from version Windows 95 OSR2 and Microsoft® Office 97. Since that time fonts provided with them have contained major necessary characters. Modern Windows XP or Microsoft Office 2003 fonts facilitate transcription of the majority of texts in Siberian languages both in Cyrillic and Latin. Lacking characters can be created “on the spot” with the use of additional diacritic signs (in MS Word go to menu Paste→Character, Set→Combined Diacritic Signs), which guarantees their correct display on all computers.

  2. Summer Institute of Linguistics
  3. In the frameworks of NRSI (Non-Roman Script Initiative) several fonts were developed in SIL, with all new versions corresponding to Unicode standard. Fonts Doulos SIL and Gentium are especially useful for Siberian studies specialists. The fonts are freely available and can be used with all modern operating systems and programs.

    • Doulos SIL is one of the highest quality among freely available fonts and has probably the fullest glyph repertoire. By its interface it is close to Times font family. There is currently only Roman face.
    • Gentium font is intended mostly for languages with Latin-based alphabets. There are Roman and Italic faces.
  4. Free Font Family at

    The family includes FreeSans, FreeSerif and FreeMono fonts representing analogues of commercial Arial, Times New Roman and Courier New fonts. The distribution includes all faces. The fonts can be downloaded here.

© IEA RAS, 2005
This website was created with support from UNESCO Moscow Office