If you are interested in learning how to use Myanmar fonts for Facebook, you’ve come to the right place. Our article, here, will guide you on all you need to know about using the Myanmar font on Facebook. We discuss what the Myanmar fonts for Facebook constitute of, how to add them to your Facebook, problems that you might encounter in the procedure and more. Continue reading to learn more.
What is the Myanmar Font?
Most countries use Unicode as their international text encoding standard. Myanmar remains one of the only countries to not use Unicode in a standardized manner. Instead, it continues to predominantly rely on Zawgyi. Zawgyi is the typeface used in Myanmar to typeface Myanmar fonts for Facebook.
The lack of standardization has resulted in plentiful technical challenges for companies providing mobile apps and related services in the country. Infact, Unicode content can appear garbled to Zawgyi users, making communication problematic on digital platforms. As a result, posts, messages and comments which have been written in one encoding are usually not readable in others such as Facebook and Messenger. Some of the other challenges related to this lack of standardization of coding language are –
- Difficulty in automation and slow proactive detection of violating content
- Weakening of account security
- Low-efficiency reporting of potentially harmful content on Facebook
- Less support for languages in Myanmar besides Burmese
How Did the Myanmar Font Become Integrated into Facebook?
Facebook removed Zawgyi as an interface language option for new Facebook users last year. It was done in an attempt to extend support for Myanmar’s transition to Unicode from Zawgyi, and completed in a categorical manner. After ceasing to offer Zawgyi, the next step taken was to make sure that all hate speech classifiers and policy violating content wouldn’t interfere with Zawgyi content. It would integrate with font converters and improve the overall experience of in Unicode devices. Font converters have been placed in Facebook and Messenger to help Myanmar with its transition to Unicode. As Facebook was aware that this transition would take time, it offered its Zawgyi to Unicode converter and ensured that people transitioning from Unicode could still read posts, comments and messages even if their families and acquaintances hadn’t transitioned their devices. In the section below, we try to take a look at how difficult integrating these converters have been. We also discuss what differentiates Zawgyi text from Unicode, how we can discern whether a device uses one or the other, the method in which we can convert between the two, and so on.
Why Do Countries Use Unicode as their Standardized Encoding Language?
The motive behind Unicode’s design was to let everyone in the world use their own native language on their device. However, a majority of devices in Myanmar uses Zawgyi to this day, making them incompatible with Unicode. As a result, the individuals still using these devices have to suffer a wide range of compatibility issues across various operating systems, platforms and programming languages. In an attempt to reach their audiences better, content producers in Myanmar post both in Zawgyi and Unicode, in one post, besides English and other languages. In Zawgyi encoding, multiple code points are used, for character and combined renderings. Communication between systems become challenging then, as Zawgyi makes use of a number of code points only to represent a subset of the script. Vowel code points would appear before/after a consonant, leading to search and comparison problems.
Facebook makes use of Unicode for its user-friendliness. In Myanmar, it is trying to support Unicode transition due to following reasons –
- Unicode makes reviewing reports of potentially harmful content on Facebook more efficient. Content reviewers will no longer have to know about how their content was encoded and can go about reviewing their issues without hassle.
- Allows for Myanmar languages to be used in their normal form, protecting the people who use these apps by detecting policy-violating content. It also helps improve search tool performance.
- With Unicode encoding, citizens of Myanmar can use their apps and their services in languages which aren’t Burmese. With Zawgyi, only Burmese text could be entered. When Facebook completes its transition to Unicode, it would enable minority languages of the area, such as Mon and Shan to be entered.
How Facebook Chose to Go About Transitioning from Zawgyi to Unicode
Facebook’s primary concern with Myanmar encoding, was to prioritize that its systems detected harmful content adequately. It wanted to make sure that no hate speech passed through. As already discussed before, Zawgyi’s multi-points and combined renderings proved it difficult to for systems to communicate using the language. Consequently, training classifiers and AI systems to detect policy-violating content effectively also proved difficult with it.
The social media platform used Google’s open source Myanmar-tools library to implement the solution. It was accurate in detecting and converting, more than the regex-based library which had been used until then. Facebook integrated font detection and conversion, converting all content to Unicode first before putting it through any classifiers. Implementing autoconversion might have been a difficult task, but it was necessary despite its many challenges.
What Were the Challenges Faced?
We list below all the challenges faced by Facebook while transitioning to Unicode –
- Detecting Content Encoding – In order to perform autoconversion, Facebook needed to know the encoding used at the time of inputting the text. Both Zawgyi and Unicode use same code point ranges to represent characters in Burmese. So, it can be difficult to tell one from the other.
- Detecting Device Encoding – Next, Facebook had to determine the encoding used by a certain device to comprehend whether they needed to go about performing a font code conversion of their own.
- Conversion – Finally, the Facebook servers had to check whether they were loading Burmese content successfully. For this to happen, both content and device encoding had to match. If it didn’t, the content would have had to be converted into a format that would make for easy rendering on the device accessing it.
Can You Still Use Zawgyi Font in Facebook?
The easy answer is, you can’t. Facebook has decisively phased out the Zawgyi font last year, and automatically translates all Burmese (Zawgyi) to Burmese (Unicode) now. The special feature is only possible if you happen to be in Myanmar. Facebook is playing a critical role in steering the Burmese citizenry away from the use of Zawgyi, with its Unicode transition. Most people are habituated to using Facebook as their only contact with the Internet. With the platform’s adoption of Unicode, it is only natural that people in Myanmar are giving up the usage of Zawgyi. When you open FB app and messenger now, any Zawgyi you enter is directly translated to Unicode.
It is important to note here, that this feature is not currently available for individuals living outside Myanmar. However, the social media platform’s development team has promised that availability may be extended in the next update. As long as the transition is not wholly complete, auto-translation will be supported. Any old content will be converted to Unicode after this. Facebook will need to train its data for differentiating between Burmese languages which aren’t Zawgyi. More rules and algorithms will also be required.
Before last year, if you wished to use Myanmar font on Facebook, all you had to do was change all fonts to Zawgyi One and choose UTF-8 encoding. If you registered any problem thereafter, you could “Report a Problem” with Facebook.
It is no longer possible. Now, any Zawgyi content you enter on Facebook is auto-converted to Unicode.
How Can You Change Fonts on Facebook?
You may not be able to use the Zawgyi Burmese font on Facebook, but this does not mean that you won’t be able to utilize the Myanmar font on the website any longer. All you need to do, to change your font on Facebook, is visit the Settings menu and click on the three dots in the top-right corner of your browser (Google Chrome, for example). In the Settings menu, you visit the Appearance section and scroll down to customize your fonts. Here, you choose the type and size of the font. You can similarly use font generators to use different font types on the web platform.
In this article, we have informed you about the way in which you can use Myanmar fonts for Facebook. We have let you know how you can generally change your font on the social media platform. We have also provided you updated information on Facebook’s transition to Unicode, ditching Zawgyi as its preferred encoding language, for the Myanmar font. The social media website is undergoing this transition still, and is extending an auto-conversion facility for users who input Burmese into the webpage using Zawgyi encoding. All the reasons in support of this Unicode conversion are listed above. We have also discussed the drawbacks of continuing to use Zawgyi. Facebook wants to ensure a seamless user experience for all its audience and participants, and offering itself in a choice of fonts, such as Myanmar fonts for Facebook, is only one among the several facilities it offers to enable this.