Mongolian vertical text in Web Standards

Moving this interesting discussion into ok its own thread for future discussion. — @pathall

I realise this wasn’t the point of your post, but that Mongolian website blows my mind!

1 Like

Me too!

Did you notice that mousing up and down maps onto scrolling left and right? It’s truly incredible.

Is there any other layout system besides the web that can even handle Mongolian text at all?

All that’s left is boustrophedon, Rongorongo spirals, and Mayan columns!

1 Like

Yes, I did work out the scrolling (eventually). Unfortunately, on Safari at least, left and right scrolling do the opposite of what I’d expect!

I’m pretty sure Microsoft Word can handle vertical Mongolian. For all I know, InDesign might, too (at least the East Asian versions). And I’d be very surprised if there isn’t already support for it in pLaTeX (the Japanese version of LaTeX that’s light-years ahead of English-speaking LaTeX in terms of support for vertical text).

Boustrophedon is another matter, of course. And then there’s that fictional society in Gulliver’s Travels that writes their language from bottom to top.

1 Like

Out of curiosity I looked up the situation with Mongolian a bit, and came across this thread on the TeX stack exchange:

I’m no expert but it seems to me that TeX world is still in the slightly-hacky stage?

1 Like

Some screenshots of the site @skalyan and I were discussing:

It’s hard to appreciate the user experience without trying it out, I encourage other local heroes to do so!

1 Like

I looked into it a bit myself, and as I suspected, there is already a LaTeX package for typesetting in Mongolian: CTAN: Package montex. This seems to use METAFONT fonts, though, and not Unicode.

The thread you linked to mentions this package for XeLaTeX in the comments: GitHub - pcdi/manchuxetex: Typeset Manchurian in XeLaTeX; but as you mentioned, it’s a little bit hacky.

1 Like

Wow, METAFONT, old school!


So @skalyan, maybe there’s another candidate to use vertical script standards!


1 Like