Windows Phone 8 supports Tamil Display

Though Microsoft through Windows 2000 was one of the earliest OS to support Indic Languages including Tamil, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7.x (both being based on Windows CE OS) never supported Complex Script rendering using Unicode. This meant I couldn’t  move to a Windows Phone from my iPhone if I wanted to still read my mother tongue (Tamil) – which I do.

I got interested when Microsoft announced in June 2012 that they will move in the new version “Windows Phone 8” from Windows CE to the full Windows NT Kernel. This was a good sign that WindowsPhone will finally get Complex Script rendering support and the blog post then even said it will support 50 World Languages (but there was no mention of which languages or about Tamil in specific). So I was left waiting for the Windows Phone 8 SDK release so that I can check on this with the emulator.

Finally my wait was over with Microsoft releasing the Windows Phone 8 SDK today. Immediately I downloaded, installed the SDK, fired Visual Studio 2012 & wrote a small App that displayed “Tamil” text in a TextBlock. This happened to be yours truly ‘s writing code after a long time and I did the code in my all time favourite programming language “Visual Basic” (now as VB.NET)

Behold!. I saw crisp rendering of Tamil’s beautiful script on the emulator screen. Since the emulator is a virtualized environment running the same bits as in a real device it is 100% sure it is there.

Windows Phone 8 App showing Tamil script rendering (Complex Script support for Indic)   WindowsPhone8 IE 10 showing Tamil script rendering (Complex Script support for Indic)

I checked in the built-in IE 10 browser it too supported Tamil script just fine (seen above BBC Tamil website rendering fine in Windows Phone 8).

Update 5th March 2013: About two weeks back I purchased a Nokia Lumia 920 running Windows Phone 8, tried out Tamil text rendering. Its working just fine across all apps I tried. Thanks Microsoft. I wish you have added Tamil Input (Keyboard) support as well. Following are screenshots from Nokia Lumia 920.

Tamil_Rendering_WindowsPhone8   Tamil_Rendering_WindowsPhone8-2

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42 Thoughts to “Windows Phone 8 supports Tamil Display”

  1. Puvanesan

    Thank you for info bro!!! kindly share more about window phone 8 info

  2. Poornalingam

    Hi Venkat,
    How can i install this app externally ?
    Will it be available in marketplace ?
    Planning to buy lumia 920, so by default will it support to read Tamil language ?
    Please give me your suggestion.

  3. We have released a basic app for allowing tamil typing and copying the text in Windows Phone. Check it out at

  4. kugan

    How can I get Tamil in my Nokia lumia 800. It with the update of windows 7.8 version. Please

    1. Tamil display is supported only in Windows Phone OS 8.0 and above. Windows Phone 7.8 and Lumia 800 unfortunately doesn’t support it.

  5. Bharath

    But, can we type n Tamil (like while Messaging)..?

    1. If you are messaging from a webpage like GMail, Tamil typing works. Basically there is no OS/App support for Tamil typing yet, but webpages with JavaScript based Tamil typing works.

  6. sathis

    I brought noika lumia 900 . the tamil letters are displayed in box formate in face book. Could not ready friends tamil comments. Pls help me on the same.

    1. Sathis, unfortunately there is no way to do that. Lumia 900 runs Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, which doesn’t support Indic languages. Only Windows Phone 8 does support display of Indian languages.

  7. Vijay

    Sir, Nokia 1520 la Tamil vasika mudiyuma ?

    1. Vijay, I think you mean the new 6″ Phablet from Nokia This runs Windows Phone 8 OS which supports Tamil & most other Indian languages for reading. In short, answer is YES. You still don’t have ways to type in Tamil.

  8. saxavier

    Sir…i getting N720…In Dubai I can’t tamilkeybord installed what I do..than I need must ….tamil keyboard….plz help

    1. Unfortunately there is no Tamil typing (Keyboard) facility yet in Windows Phone 8 or through Apps. Any webpage that supports Tamil typing through Javascript (HTML) will work though.

  9. ஜி.ஸன்தானம்

    நொக்கியா லூமியா-520 வாங்க எண்ணியுள்ளேன். அதில் வேர்ட், எக்ஸல் பயன்படுத்தும்போது தமிழில் தட்டச்சு செய்ய முடியுமா. அதற்கு ஏதேனும் மென்பொருள் டவுன்லோடு செய்துகொள்ள முடியுமா.
    இந்த மாடல் மிகவும் கவர்ந்திருக்கிறது.

    இந்த வசதி இல்லையேல் ஆண்ட்ராயிட் மொபைல் ஏதாவது தேர்வுசெய்துகொள்ளவா. அப்படியானால் அதில் எந்த வெர்ஷனில் (வேர்ட்/எக்ஸல்) தமிழ் டைப்பிங் வசதி உள்ளது.
    தயவுசெய்து உதவ வேண்டுகிறேன்.


    1. Lumia 520 is a nice phone. I got one recently for my sister and she likes it. Currently none of the Lumia Phones (which basically run Windows Phone 8) support Tamil typing. So you can’t type in Tamil, but can read. It is matter of time, before some 3rd party App brings this support or it comes in the device as an update.

  10. Sathiya Sankar

    மேலும் VS2012 மூலமாக தமிழில் ப்ரோக்ராம் கூட எழுத முடிகிறது :)

  11. imran

    hello sir i bought nokia lumia 920 i am not able to see tamil fonts example in face book pls help me to over come what should i do if i want to read tamil font in lumia 920

    1. You should see if out of box. If not can you post a screenshot of the page you are having problem and your about screen (Settings, About).

  12. chakra

    Hi author
    I have lumia 710 with OS 7.8 version. Im unable to view tamil fonts. How can i upgrade to windows 8.0

    When i inquired with customer support, they said this phone cannot be upgraded to W8.0

    Is that true?


    1. Yes, 710 can’t be upgraded. Generally Nokia 520,620,625,720,820,920,925,928,1020 all support Windows 8.0. Previous models can’t be upgraded from 7.x from 8.x.

  13. Praveen

    Sir tamil fonts can be read in twitter app for windows 8 ?

    1. Yes, you can. All apps in Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 supports display of Tamil including Browsers.

  14. Hemakumar

    sir lumia 720 windos phone 8 matra phonudan bluetooth connect seiya mudiuma? Ithis file manager irukiratha? File manager illai endral atharku apps ullatha? Internal memoryil ulla filelai sd cardkku copy or move seiya mudiyuma?

  15. Shekar

    Are you also able to type in tamil on apps like Twitter, Facebook etc.? I am thinking of buying a 920. Thanks in advance.

    1. there is no tamil input available as of now in wp8. you can still do it in webpages like google or gmail which have the tamil inout thru javascript.

  16. dayalan

    மிக நல்ல தகவல் .. மிக்க நன்றி ..

  17. படிக்கலாம் சரி!…. ஆனால் தமிழில் விண்டோஸ் மொபைலில் தட்டச்சு செய்ய முடியுமா? அதற்கேதேனும் செயலிகள். கீ போர்டுகள் உண்டா?

    1. தற்போது தட்டச்சு செய்ய வசதி இல்லை. ஆனால் இணையப்பக்கங்களில் அந்த வசதி (கூகுல்.காம் தமிழ் போல்) இருந்தால், அது வேளை செய்யும்.

  18. . பாரதன்

    சார், தமிழில் டைப் பண்ண இயலாதா?

  19. Mervin

    Does windows phone 7.8 supports tamil?

  20. Akash

    How can we get Tamil Input (Keyboard). Any other third party apps!?

  21. Akash

    தகவலுக்கு நன்றி !!!

  22. 710இல் பழைய Windows Phone OS (7.5) தான் உள்ளது, அதை புதிய பதிப்பான Windows Phone 8ற்கு ஏற்றம் செய்ய இயலாது. 8.0 இல்லாமல் தமிழ் படிக்க முடியாது :-(

  23. matheswaran

    how can i read and write tamil in nokia lumia 710

  24. matheswaran

    நோக்கியா லுமியா 710 போனமாதம் வாங்கியுள்ளேன் அதில் தமிழ் படிக்கவோ எழுதவோ முடியவில்லை. அதற்கு ஏதேனும் வழியுள்ளதா?

  25. Dayanidhi

    can i read vikatan tamil magazine in Nokia 920 please advise
    thank you.

    1. I checked visiting from Mobile IE in Nokia 920 and it works fine. I was able to read the contents in Tamil.

  26. yadha

    browser la tamill support panutha ?

    1. It does support Tamil rendering in Browser. But Tamil Input *Keyboard* is not available yet.

  27. ராஜ்

    தகவலுக்கு மிக்க நன்றி !!!

    ஐபோனிலிருந்து நோக்கியா லூமியா 920க்கு மாற உள்ளேன்… விண்டோசில் தமிழை படிக்க ஏற்ற சூழல் இருக்கிறதா என்று வலைப்பில் தேடி இங்கு வந்தடைந்தேன்…

    இத்தகவலை பகிர்ந்தமைக்கு நன்றி…

    – ராஜ்

  28. P arthi

    Thanks for the info!! Thanks.

  29. heman

    மனதுக்கு நிறைவான தகவலை தந்ததற்கு நன்றி நண்பரே :-)

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