Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-doc (6 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-doc] Re: Some questions about CJK fonts
  • From: Stefan Knorr <sknorr@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2013 15:27:30 +0200
  • Message-id: <1371648450.5835.27.camel@Jocelyn.q>
Hi Marguerite,

thank you a lot for your effort!

On Sa, 2013-06-15 at 15:04 +0800, Marguerite Su wrote:
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).

Oh. I did not think about the economic reasons for this.

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.

Hm, I thought, they imported their Japanese & Korean character sets from
Droid Sans, too.
Neither Hangeul, nor Hiragana/Katakana sets seem that large, in other
words, the amount of characters of both is about on par with Latin – so
it would be plausible to me that Google already prepared _complete_
fonts for them.
At the same time, since you explain below that I should use a serif font
for printing in everything but simplified Chinese, I will probably use a
serif font for Japanese & Korean too.

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".

Awesome! That & the below clears things up /considerably/.

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".

I'll avoid faux-italics, then.

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.

Hm, the problem I have is: what about e.g. menu items or product names,
etc.? Should I just use the normal font there and hope that people "get

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.

Hm. I learned that that's not the case in Korean, and I don't know if FO
supports them yet, so not sure I will use that.

Thanks a lot!

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