Tibetan script on Kindle Paperwhite (outdated)

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Update: Unfortunately, this feature was changed in a subsequent update, and requires additional effort. Please see: Kindle ebooks with embedded Tibetan font


The content of your Kindle drive after installation of the fonts

A silent firmware update to the Kindle Paperwhite ebook reader has introduced a new feature to install arbitrary fonts, including the ability to correctly render Tibetan Unicode fonts.


Quick Installation

Tibetan script on Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite ebook reader
  • Make sure that you have the latest firmware for your Kindle Paperwhite: On Kindle's home screen, select the menu button KindleMenuButton.png, "Settings". Then, again select the menu KindleMenuButton.png, and "Device Info". The firmware version should be at least 5.4.4.2.[1]
  • Download the preconfigured font files: Tibetan fonts for the Kindle. Source: DDC_Uchen.ttf by Chris Fynn.[2]
  • Unpack the zip file
  • Connect the Kindle to your computer and copy the content of the folder Kindle-Tibetan-Fonts to your Kindle.
  • Your Kindle then should show a new folder "fonts" (it contains four Tibetan fonts) and a new file USE_ALT_FONTS. (See image "The content of your Kindle drive after installation").
  • Now your kindle needs to be restarted: disconnect the kindle from your computer, go to the home screen, select the menu button KindleMenuButton.png, "Settings". Then, again select the menu KindleMenuButton.png, and "Restart".
  • The kindle will reboot, and afterwards ebooks that contain Tibetan script can be read on the kindle.

Tibetan ebooks

Sources

Tibetanebook.com

The site tibetanebook.com hosts a large number of Tibetan ebooks in epub format. In order to install those ebooks they must be converted into a Kindle format, e.g. mobi. The easiest way to convert and install those books is to use calibre (s.b.).

Lotsawahouse.org

The site lotsawahouse.org hosts a large number of Tibetan texts, practices and translations into many European languages. Download in different ebook formats is available (see bottom of pages "Download this text"). However, for the time being, download of epub format is recommended, in order to display Tibetan correctly on the Kindle. The next chapter explains how to convert and install those files.

How to convert and install ebooks for kindle with calibre

The free software calibre is an excellent tool to manage, convert, and install ebooks on different devices. The software is available for Mac, Linux and Windows.

  • Download calibre: calibre download page.
  • Start calibre and add your Tibetan epub files to calibre's library.
  • Connect the Kindle to the computer. It will be automatically recognized by calibre.[3]
  • Right-click an ebook in calibre and select "Send to device...". Calibre will offer to convert the document as needed.
  • Eject the Kindle: the ebook will be available on your device.

Limitations

  • See: Kindle ebooks with embedded Tibetan font
  • Currently, only the Kindle Paperwhite models seems to be supported.
  • The current firmware version (5.4.4.2 at the time of this writing), while correctly stacking Tibetan letters, does not handle line breaks correctly. In some cases line breaks incorrectly occur in the middle of a Tibetan syllable.

Internal links

Further reading

Credits

  • Information in this article is based on a mail by David Peng, Shanghai. Many thanks!

References

  1. This software version seems only be available for the Paperwhite model: older Kindle devices therefore most probably won't support display of Tibetan script.
  2. DDC Uchen, a font designed by Chris Fynn for the Dzongkha Development Commission, can be downloaded from: http://www.dzongkha.gov.bt/IT/download/fonts/DDC_Uchen.ttf
  3. documentally.com: Add custom fonts to a kindle paperwhite gives more information about calibre.