The indigenous peoples of the world speak an immensely diverse group of languages, belonging to over thirty distinctly different families just in North America. It is vital for all of us to promote and respect these languages so that we can transmit our legacy to future generations.
Many languages use special characters or diacritic marks. Languagegeek’s free Unicode-compliant fonts contain everything you need to read your language in whichever orthography you prefer: Syllabic (Canadian and Cherokee), Roman / Latin, Phonetic, and others.
Fonts let you read language, but to type it on your computer, you will need a specially designed keyboard layout. Languagegeek offers over 170 different keyboards for both Mac and Windows. All are free to download and easy to install. I also provide custom keyboard layouts.
Each written language of the world has a history and evolution which have led to the common orthographies used today. To accurately represent languages in print, it is important to know where the system came from and how to follow the various typographic rules unique to that language.
Languagegeek is dedicated to the promotion of indigenous languages – primarily those of North America. By providing the tools which speakers, educators, and learners can use to communicate on-line or in print, the realm of computers will no longer be the sole domain of a few global languages. Whether it be e-mails, web pages, or word processing, computers have the potential to be a powerful means to level the playing field among all of the world’s languages.
Languagegeek provides free fonts and free keyboard layouts which try to cover all of the characters (alphabetical letters/Syllabics) necessary for writing Native languages. Syllabics (Algonquian, Athapaskan, Inuit, Cherokee) take centre stage with type faces in new and innovative styles. Several fonts are also available for those languages which use a Roman orthography but require a number of diacritic marks or special characters.
Everything on this site follows the international Unicode standard where possible. Unicode is of huge benifit to Native languages, as it puts an end to language-specific fonts. Now all languages can be typed, read, printed, e-mailed, published, and put on the web using the same Unicode fonts. There is lots of help in Languagegeek’s FAQ section, please check here if you run into any problems, or you can always contact me directly by e-mail.
Also of interest are the specific language pages, which present the sounds of the language in its various orthographies, along with a brief description of the language and its writing systems. Accompanying texts in the language are included in most cases.
Please contact me if your language is not represented on this site. I often work with First Nations’ educators and language specialists across North America to create Native language software, and would be happy to work together with you.