By Script: May 2010 Archives

Pinyin Joe: Chinese Updated for Windows 7

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I'm hoping to have Windows 7 here installed here in a few weeks, but there are some resources out there. One I would recommend for Chinese is Pinyin Joe. He's been around for a long time, but his Windows 7 page is quite up to date with information about fonts (including those with the Hong Kong characters (HKCS)), input options, Bopomof and non-hanzi scripts such as Yi, and Tibetan.

As a bonus, the site also maintains information for Windows Vista and XP as well as Ubunto Linux. Very helpful.

FYI - If you're a Mac person, you may want to check Yale's Chinese Mac. They're not quite up to 10.6 yet, but information from previous versions should get you caught up in no time.

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Diacritcs Website on...Diacritic Typography Design

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The Diacritics site (http://diacritics.typo.cz/) has been around for a while, but hadn't hit my radar until recently. What it does is describe the typographic design of individual diacritics (accent marks).

There's especially good coverage of the Central European accented letters (e.g. z̧,ł,ǫ) with ogoneks, hacheks and others. Site owner Filip Blažek is Czech, so he definitely knows his Central European typography. The site includes links to some excellent articles on proper diacritic design.

Coverage also includes Turkish (Ỉ,ş), Vietnamese tone marks, Greek diacritics as well as the familiar Western European accents (ñ, é, ü) and some Sanskrit. Finally the site includes articles about diacritic use and design in individual languages. There may be gaps, but readers are invited to supply more information.

On a personal note, I would add that most English-based typographers probably underestimate the importance of making diacritics legible - hence they often look like afterthoughts. As a result, I am forever adding bold formatting to accented letters on Web pages, just to enhance legibility.

Postscript - May 17, 2010

Another recommended site is http://www.eki.ee/letter/ out of the Eesti Keele Instituut in Estonia. It's a more technical database interface, but has lots of useful information, particularly in terms of specific languages and encoding tables.

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About The Blog

I am a Penn State technology specialist with a degree in linguistics and have maintained the Penn State Computing with Accents page since 2000.

See Elizabeth Pyatt's Homepage (ejp10@psu.edu) for a profile.

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