Marking International Mother’s Language day, United Nations Development Programme has launched the Unicode version, with seven different iterations, of the UN Bangla font to ease access to the internet for Bengali language users.
The UN Bangla font was first released on February 21, 2020, with a single version for offline use.
The Unicode version was launched by UNDP Resident Representative Stefan Liller and Goodwill Ambassador Jaya Ahsan at the agency’s office in Dhaka on February 20.
“We first launched the font in 2020 as a tribute to the Bengali language. Since the use of Bengali on the internet is on the rise, we decided to launch the Unicode version for everyone. I hope this Unicode version will help uncover new grounds in Bengali writing,” UNDP Resident Representative Stefan said.
“Now people who write on their cell phones and computers will have more diversity when they write,” he added.
UNDP’s Goodwill Ambassador Jaya Ahsan, who was also present during the launch, said, “It’s a great thing for those of us who write in Bengali. I am very happy to be part of this UNDP initiative for International Mother’s Language Day.”
UNDP’s Head of Communications Md Abdul Quayyum said, “We will soon launch the Bengali version of our UNDP Bangladesh website using this font. All our other publications will use this font as well.”
He continued, “Not only UNDP, BUT all other UN organisations will also be able to use this font. It is also open for free public download and uses.”
The Unicode font package includes seven iterations of the font, including bold, regular, thin, and light versions of the font with italics.
The font’s designer, Mohibubur Rahman Rajon, said, “There is a lot of diversity in the Bengali script due to variations in its phonetics, ligatures, etc, opening a lot of scopes to work with its font. There are not too many Bengali fonts that have so many variations on offer in terms of design.”
Senior UNDP officials were also present during the launch.