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zhouhaochen

Font with Traditional and Simplified characters

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zhouhaochen

We are creating online teaching materials for our online group classes and want to have one version where people can both see traditional and simplified characters.

 

1) Does anyone know a font that writes Chinese traditional and simplified characters above each other?

2) In a perfect world, displaying traditional, simplified and pinyin all together?

3) Or a font that shows traditional characters and pinyin?

 

All help much appreciated.

 

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wibr

How would that work, since it's not a 1:1 mapping between simplified and traditional (unfortunately)? Why do you want to have it in one font?

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zhouhaochen

To be able to have students in the same class study together while looking at either the simplified or traditional version of characters. One can type all characters simplified and then another time below it in traditional, but that takes a lot of time and is design wise quite difficult to integrate. So in case there is a font that shows for example the traditional equivalent above a simplified character that would be very useful. Not sure if it exists, but I thought in case it does, Chinese Forums is the community that would know.

 

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roddy

I don't think there is, and even if there was I don't see how you'd edit to take account of ambiguities. Some kind of novel IME, maybe. Either way, best bet is to use an automated convertor (MS Word will do this, and can handle, eg, the difference between 发 in 头发 and 发展) and then proof-read carefully for issues. Although... not really sure it'd be quicker than having a skilled typist do the different versions. 

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mikelove

I believe Founder has a bunch of older fonts that use traditional with simplified code points - in other words, if you have a string of simplified text and display it in this font then it'll show up as traditional - but that's about as far as you can get for supporting both character sets purely through fonts.

 

For fonts with built-in ruby pinyin per your #3 there are quite a few options available; most big Chinese foundries offer pre-made ones (方正楷体拼音字库 e.g.), and there also open-source projects like https://github.com/parlr/ruby-font-creator to let you create your own.

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roddy

See attached though - I can't see any way to correct errors like this. You'd need to have different glyphs (is that the right word?) for all the 多音字 and (?) a new IME to give you the different options. Plus you're never going to space the pinyin correctly. And in this use case, you still need the other character set. 

 

That font is perhaps a particularly egregious example though - if you don't get the most common pinyin for 的 and 了, you're in trouble from the start. 

oops.png

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mikelove
2 hours ago, roddy said:

That font is perhaps a particularly egregious example though - if you don't get the most common pinyin for 的 and 了, you're in trouble from the start. 

 

 

Well yes, not exactly a *good* solution, just what's readily available.

 

Actually with that ruby font generator I linked you could theoretically assign different character + pinyin combinations to different code points. Could even do this with traditional mappings too: define a set of say 5000 common simplified+traditional+pinyin combinations - use the standard code points for the most common traditional/pinyin mappings but then have other alternatives to override them with - and generate simplified and traditional fonts around them, then go through your texts replacing characters with their special alternative pinyin+traditional versions when needed.

 

(of course it would probably be a lot easier to just make this change in software, particularly now that most web browsers have at least halfway decent Ruby support, but if you really want to do this via a font that's how you could)

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889

"Well yes, not exactly a *good* solution, just what's readily available."

 

Like sniffing at someone who buys their bread at the bakery: "It's sustenance I suppose, but nothing like home-made."

 

(Not everyone enjoys spending their time kneading dough. Or assigning characters to code points.)

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mikelove

There are a whole bunch of tools out there that will do traditional/pinyin mapping for you pretty seamlessly; this is more like baking a loaf of bread on a camping stove. If for whatever reason you need to solve this problem in this particular way, it'll give you something workable at least, but if you step back and try a different approach you'll probably get a much more satisfactory result.

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889

What I don't understand is why you think the pay-for-it font isn't satisfactory. What's the problem?

 

Bear in mind he's planning this just to create teaching materials for an online group. I suspect he wants to get started as soon as possible and spend his limited time -- and time is always limited -- on the content of the materials themselves, not the attractiveness of the typefaces.

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roddy
18 minutes ago, 889 said:

What I don't understand is why you think the pay-for-it font isn't satisfactory. What's the problem?

Mike and yourself replied 5 minutes apart,and I suspect he was saying, in reply to me, that his own suggestion wasn't ideal, rather than commenting on yours.

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mikelove

Ah, yes, sorry, that explains the confusion - I was indeed referring to my own font suggestion. I've updated my earlier reply to make that clearer.

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imron
On 7/28/2020 at 3:53 PM, 889 said:

What I don't understand is why you think the pay-for-it font isn't satisfactory. What's the problem?

Same problem Roddy highlighted with the lost camera - there will be inevitable and unavoidable mistakes in it, which makes it especially poorly suited to use in teaching materials (put 银行 in the preview text to see an example).

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889

Rather like saying don't use computer-assisted translation because there'll be "inevitable and unavoidable mistakes in it" that you'll have to correct. So much easier to start from scratch and re-invent the wheel. (Or more pertinently, advise others to do so.)

 

(Of course 银行 brings up an error on the AR font because it's a traditional character font.)

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roddy
1 hour ago, 889 said:

Rather like saying don't use computer-assisted translation because there'll be "inevitable and unavoidable mistakes in it" that you'll have to correct.

It's worse than that. If you CAT translate a document, you can edit it. If a font has the wrong pinyin ruby text like in the example I gave, *you can't fix it*. You can't go in and edit just the pinyin, because the pinyin and the character are a single glyph (or whatever the word is). I believe.

 

That said, MS Word's Phonetic Guide feature might be worth a look - as pictured, you can edit the ruby text and it seems a bit more context aware - I didn't edit this pinyin, just adjusted the spacing, so it's spotted 照相机 is a word.

better.png

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889

"If a font has the wrong pinyin ruby text like in the example I gave, *you can't fix it*. You can't go in and edit just the pinyin, because the pinyin and the character are a single glyph (or whatever the word is). I believe."

 

First, I can't download the AR font so I don't know whether characters are available in it with different tones/pinyin, where appropriate.

 

Second, if not, printing out and marking up any changes, then making a .pdf from a copy for class use is still far easier and requires far less effort than creating a new font with all the possible pinyin and tone combinations. More like heating a frozen meal in the microwave than whipping up dinner from scratch.

 

Third, the custom is not to mark tone sandhi, and that policy alone will eliminate all sorts of "wrong" tone marks.

 

EDIT: OpenOffice has an extension -- oopinyinguide -- that does essentially what Word does, but it's all free.

 

 

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imron
13 hours ago, 889 said:

Of course 银行 brings up an error on the AR font because it's a traditional character font

Ok, so check out 銀行, the pinyin error is the same - yínxíng

 

10 hours ago, 889 said:

First, I can't download the AR font so I don't know whether characters are available in it with different tones/pinyin, where appropriate

There is a preview feature on that page that allows you to type in any combination of characters you like, but what you are suggesting is basically impossible to do for fonts.  You could use ligatures for some words, but not enough that it wouldn't still be plagued by errors.

 

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889

" . .  but what you are suggesting is basically impossible to do for fonts."

 

Hardly impossible. If technically you couldn't provide alternatives in a single font, you could produce a set of fonts, with one set holding the most common pinyin/tone markings, and alternative sets holding less common pinyin/tone markings. Easy peasy.

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