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US-ASCII transliterations of Unicode text

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GH-A: Tox tests Travis-CI AppVeyor Coverage Status PyPI version

ASCII transliterations of Unicode text that recognize CJKV complex characters.


You can run it on python3 interpreter:

from unihandecode import Unihandecoder
d = Unihandecoder(lang='zh')
print d.decode("\u660e\u5929\u660e\u5929\u7684\u98ce\u5439")
# That prints: Ming Tian Ming Tian De Feng Chui

u = Unihandecoder(lang='ja')
print d.decode('\u660e\u65e5\u306f\u660e\u65e5\u306e\u98a8\u304c\u5439\u304f')
# That prints: Ashita ha Ashita no Kaze ga Fuku


It often happens that you have non-Roman text data in Unicode, but you can’t display it – usually because you’re trying to show it to a user via an application that doesn’t support Unicode, or because the fonts you need aren’t accessible. You could represent the Unicode characters as “???????” or “15BA15A01610…”, but that’s nearly useless to the user who actually wants to read what the text says.

What Unihandecode provides is a function, ‘decode(…)’ that takes Unicode data and tries to represent it in ASCII characters (i.e., the universally displayable characters between 0x00 and 0x7F). The representation is almost always an attempt at transliteration – i.e., conveying, in Roman letters, the pronunciation expressed by the text in some other writing system. (See the example above)

These are same meaning in both language in example above. “明天明天的风吹” for Chinese and “明日は明日の風が吹く” for Japanese. The character “明” is converted “Ming” in Chinese. “明日” is converted “Ashita” but single charactor “明” will be converted “Mei” in Japanese.

This can be considered as an improved version of Python unidecode. unidecode is Python port of Text::Unidecode Perl module by Sean M. Burke <>.


It use a setuptools library to build and test.


You can install Unihandecode as usual

$ pip install unihandecode


You can build Unihandecode in recent way

$ python -m ./


You can run unit, lint, integration and regression tests with tox

$ tox

You can also run tests with launch pytest. To run pytest on project root, please set PYTHONPATH to ‘<project_root>/src/’. It helps debugger to diagnose problems.

$ pytest -vv

To launch lint test such as flake8;

$ tox -e check


Questions, bug reports, useful code bits, and suggestions for Unihandecode are handled on github project page.


The latest version of Unihandecode is available from Git repository in

and Eggs are on



Copyright 2010-2018,2020 Hiroshi Miura

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.


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