Andrew West (linguist)

Andrew West at the Cloud Platform at Juyongguan, in front of a Tangut Buddhist inscription, December 2013

Andrew Christopher West (Chinese name 魏安, pinyin Wèi Ān, born 1960 (age 5556)) is an English Sinologist. He initially devoted himself to studying Chinese novels of the Ming and Qing dynasties. In particular, he produced a study of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, with a new approach to analyze the relationship among the various versions, extrapolating the original text of that novel.[1][2]

He compiled a catalogue for the Chinese-language library of the English missionary Robert Morrison containing some 10,000 books.[3][4]

He now specializes in the minority languages of China, especially Khitan, Manchu, and Mongolian. He proposed an encoding scheme for the 'Phags-pa script,[5] which was subsequently included in Unicode version 5.0.

West has also worked to encode gaming symbols and phonetic characters to the UCS, and most recently has been working on encodings for Tangut and Jurchen.



West is the developer of a number of software products and fonts for Windows, including BabelPad and BabelMap.


BabelPad is a Unicode text editor with various tools for entering characters and performing text conversions such as normalization and Unicode casing.[6] BabelPad also supports a wide range of encodings, and has input methods for entering Chinese, Mongolian, Manchu, Tibetan, Uyghur and Yi text, as well as for entering individual Unicode characters by their hexadecimal code point value.[7]


BabelMap is a Unicode character map application that supports all Unicode blocks and characters, and includes various utilities such as pinyin and radical lookup tools for entering Chinese characters.[8]


  1. Kimberly Ann Besio and Constantine Tung, Three Kingdoms and Chinese Culture (SUNY Press, 2007) p.163
  2. Charles Horner, Rising China and its Postmodern Fate (University of Georgia Press, 2009) pp.94-95
  3. Beatrice S. Bartlett, Review in China Review International vol.6 no.2 (Fall 1999) pp.553-554
  4. T. H. Barrett, Review in Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies vol.62 Issue 2 (1999)
  5. Andrew West Proposal to encode the Phags-pa script (SC2/WG2 N2622)
  6. Jukka K. Korpela, Unicode Explained (O'Reilly, 2006) pp.114-115
  7. Ken Lunde, CJKV Information Processing (O'Reilly, 2008) p.645
  8. Yannis Haralambous and P. Scott Horne, Fonts & Encodings (O'Reilly, 2007) pp.161-163

External links

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