Urdu/اردو

This is just a test to see if I can make this weblog bilingual with entries in both English and Urdu . Don’t worry this weblog will still be mostly in English. Urdu is my first language but this is my first time typing in Urdu…

اردو زبان میں بلاگ

This is just a test to see if I can make this weblog bilingual with entries in both English and Urdu (اردو). Don’t worry this weblog will still be mostly in English. Urdu is my first language but this is my first time typing in Urdu.

There are quite a few things I need help with.

  • First of all, if you notice any problems like gibberish or misaligned text etc. please let me know.
    • UPDATE: RSS feeds have misaligned text because of the right-to-left issue. I have no idea how to fix that. Is there anyone who knows more about RSS who can help?
  • If anyone knows a better way to write Urdu unicode than to try each key on the keyboard to find the appropriate character, please let me know. The OS I am using is Windows XP.
    • UPDATE: This is still my biggest problem.
  • When I publish my entry, the Urdu characters change to the unicode HTML entities in the edit screen. That makes the editing of Urdu posts very difficult. Is there a solution to that? Please note that I am using Textile 2 formatting and have set the character set for my weblog to be UTF-8.
    • UPDATE: Fixed by setting NoHTMLEntities to 1 in mt.cfg. Will that cause any other problems? Ampersand, smart quotes, em dashes etc.?
  • Right now, I am using <p style="text-align: right"> to align the Urdu text to the right (since it’s written from right to left). Is there a better way? How would I put that in CSS? Also, what if I want an Urdu word in the middle of a paragraph in English or vice versa?
    • UPDATE: I have created an urdu class in my CSS and use p[ur](urdu). using MT Textile. I still do want to make it simpler. Also, I am using %[ur]Some Urdu words% for Urdu text within an English paragraph. I need to create similar stuff for English as well.
  • Also, which fonts can I use for Urdu? Which ones are better looking? Which ones are more likely to be installed on my readers’ machines?
  • See how the commenter names in Urdu are misaligned with the numbers and the brackets. Is there any solution to that?
    • UPDATE: Fixed. It was being caused by the text direction issue. The brackets had an ambiguous direction. They could be left to right if in English text or right to left if in Urdu text. Since the brackets came at the boundary of the change in language, they were somehow being interpreted as in right to left direction. I fixed it by putting <span dir="ltr"></span> around them in the template.

Umair, you are the pioneer in Urdu weblogs. I need your help here.