Speakeasy is set of files that map unicode symbols to a particular language
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Speakeasy is a ruby library that maps a language to the minimum set of unicode codepoints required to represent it. The goal is to be minimal when including codepoints and exclude common punctuation characters when possible.

Language definition format

All languages will be referenced by their IANA language subtags.

Each language's data is a standalone YAML file contained in the data directory of this project.


Each YAML file will have the following keys and must be saved in UTF8:

  • version (currently 2)
  • anglicized_name (the language name in English)
  • native_name (the name of the language in the language)
  • codepoints (currently a list of ranges or a single codepoint see data/en for an example).

An example YAML file:

version: 2
anglicized_name: English
native_name: English
- !ruby/range 65..90 # Uppercase
- !ruby/range 97..122 # Lowercase

Note: codepoints should only include normalized unicode codepoints.


require 'rubygems'
require 'speakeasy'

Speakeasy::Language.each do |language|
  print "#{language.anglicized_name} (#{language.native_name}) "
  puts language.codepoints[0..10].inspect

It should return

Catalan (Català) [65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75]
Czech (Česky) [65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75]
German (Deutsch) [65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75]
English (English) [65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75]


  • Fork speakeasy
  • Create a topic branch - git checkout -b my_lang
  • Create or edit data/my_lang
  • Verify it's correctly formatted - rake test[my_lang]
  • Verify it has all the characters you want - rake visualize[my_lang]
  • Push to your branch - git push origin my_lang
  • Create a github pull request.
  • That's it!



Matt Colyer / matt@typekit.com

Copyright and License

Copyright (c) 2010 Adobe Systems Incorporated. Licensed under the Apache 2.0 license

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at


Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.