Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-doc (6 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-doc] Re: Some questions about CJK fonts
Hi, Stefan,

On 06/14/2013 03:07 PM, Stefan Knorr wrote:
#1 I saw that e.g. Microsoft uses different default fonts for
Chinese/simplified, Chinese/traditional, Japanese & Korean text.
I don't quite understand this, as there are many fonts which seem to
cover the whole spectrum of CJK characters (like WenQuanYi Micro
Hei [1], which I am currently using). Why? Are there common
characters (i.e. Chinese traditonal characters) that are written
differently between countries?
(Or, in other words, is it appropriate to confront Japanese, Korean
or RoC users with fonts designed for mainland China?)

1. Most of Japanese/Korean chars are evolved from Traditional
Chinese(and there're still some left unchanged nowadays). eg: あ in
Japanese was 安 in Chinese. They looks quite different now, but あ was a
TC handwritten font a thousand year ago(They even had similar

2. In 1950s, PRC released a national standard to simplify Traditional
Chinese in Mainland China. But RoC/HongKong/Macau didn't. After so
many years, Mainland Chinese can still read Traditional Chinese
(although they look weird to them), but Simplified Chinese are totally
new to those people who never received SC education.

So yes, they're from the same origin, but common characters are
written differently now.

UTF-8 do cover them all, but commerical OS didn't produce fonts
itself. Microsoft just buy fonts from different font companies.

Font companies located in different countries have no motivation to
cover UTF-8. eg: if you want to sell a font in Mainland China, you
just need to cover about 20000 chars, but a UTF-8 font needs 1500000+
fonts. Chinese is a script language, if you want to make a char, you
have to design it(costs money). There're common strokes, but simple
combination looks ugly.

And there's still no open source project that have so much resources
to cover CJK. WQY solves the problem to some extent, but it just
combines strokes which may look ugly to non-SC users. As I know,
there's no Japanese contributors for that project. So it's making
Japanese/Korean font in a Chinese-oriented view.

#2 I learned that I should use a Hei Ti/Kei Ti font instead of making
text bold/italic [2].
* How do Hei Ti and Kei Ti styles relate to Ming fonts? What are the

Let me unify them for you.

HeiTi is sans-serif, KeiTi is serif.

Ming fonts are originated from Japanese Mincho font, a serif font.

Actually, they're just different sayings:

In RoC, they call sans-serif fonts "Zen Hei", serif fonts "Ming".

In PRC, we call sans-serif fonts "Hei Ti", serif fonts "Kai Ti(Kei
Ti)" or "Song Ti".

So the only difference between those sayings may be:

Ming usually covers Traditional Chinese chars in a serif style.

Zen Hei usually covers Traditional Chinese in a sans-serif style.

Kei Ti/Song Ti usually covers Simplified Chinese in a serif style.

Hei Ti usually covers Simplified Chinese in a sans-serif style.

It depends on which company designed the font. eg: a Mainland Chinese
company may design a "Hei Ti (TC)" font which can also be called "Zen
Hei" and actually is sans-serif.

Chinese (Maybe CJK) had no sans-serif fonts, companies produce such
fonts just for better screen display. In print material, we use serif
fonts(Song Ti).

Chinese (Maybe CJK) had no bold style, eg: 齷, if you make this char
bold, it's just a mess.

Chinese is a square-style font, you can write some strokes italic, but
if you write the whole char italic, we just call it "ugly". In
history, such writing style indicates "no integrity".

* Since my chosen font, WQY Micro Hei is already a Hei font (I would
assume), what script types would I need to use instead for

Yes, WQY is a sans-serif font. there's no serif in it.

For screen display, you can mix sans-serif (WQY) and serif Chinese(eg:
WQY Bitmap Song) to make them look different.

For printing, such mix may look ugly.

So I suggest we just use different size of the same font to make
titles/sections, and different fonts for screen display/printing.

* What kind of font is considered most readable? (I learned e.g.
that in Arabic countries the more geometric Kufic script is often
considered to be badly readable.)

It depends. For screen display, sans-seirf Chinese; for printing, serif Chinese.

* I learned that Japanese supports "emphasis lines" and "emphasis
dots". Do these work in left-to-right text, too (I have only seen
an example in top-to-bottom style)? Do these features exist for
Chinese, too?

In history, Chinese writes from top right to bottom right (a line),
then beside that line...until top left to bottom left.

But now (especially on computer), we just write from left to right and
top to bottom.

These features exist for Chinese, no matter how you write.


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