Getting started with the transcoding tools.
Download and install fonts
I'll describe how to get going with the Alo to Unicode transcoding tool.
Download "Saysettha OT" from here.
Alo fonts can be downloaded from here.
Copy the fonts to the c:\windows\fonts folder.
Select some Alo text from one of Big Brother Mouse's books:
If you have installed the "Alo Mekong" font on the PC you're using to read these instructions, you'll see some nice Lao script below:
EhksahlnjRifHfh Otherwise the web browser will show EhksahlnjRifHfh
(It's one of Big Brother Mouse's book titles "The Little Elephant That Could".)
www.thedevmachine.co.uk/bbm and paste the Alo text in the lower text
box. Click "Alo to Unicode"
If you don't have the Unicode font "Saysettha OT" installed you'll probably get a right old mess:
You have Unicode text. Now you can now Google for translations!
Let's look at this Alo phrase: "Grh-Ehks-wYa-dbla"
If you have "Alo Mekong" installed that's:
These words can now be converted to Unicode with the hidden word
breaks expanded by clicking "Alo to Unicode (Expand Word Break)"
Things now get interesting! You can Google each word, or use a Lao Dictionary to get a grasp of Lao!
(Let - elephant - go up - before)
The reverse holds up. Pasting Unicode with hidden word breaks, and clicking "Unicode to Alo" will generate Alo.
Transcoder - a brief description
The fonts are are only used by the browser when rendering the text in
the text boxes. The transcoder dll running on the web server does not
know or care what the fonts are. (Yes the server cajoles the
browser into using the correct font with some backhanded CSS code, but
the fonts are not used themselves.)