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Re: fonts for gfxmenu, help needed

From: Michal Suchanek
Subject: Re: fonts for gfxmenu, help needed
Date: Wed, 25 Nov 2009 22:51:02 +0100

2009/11/25 Vladimir 'φ-coder/phcoder' Serbinenko <address@hidden>:
> Michal Suchanek wrote:
>> 2009/11/25 feng shu <address@hidden>:
>>> 2009/11/25 Vladimir 'φ-coder/phcoder' Serbinenko <address@hidden>:
>>>> Michal Suchanek wrote:
>>>>> Also if worse comes to worst Indic, Arabic or Hebrew can be feasibly
>>>>> written in Latin, Chinese cannot.
>>>> pinyin. I know it's disagreable to read for native speakers, but it's
>>>> similar for Arabic.
>>> show grub menu with pinyin?  it is very very stupid.
> I was mainly trying to say that menu with Russian or Arabic
> transliteration wouldn't make much sense either.
>> I guess most people in Europe simply don't understand that pinyin is
>> unreadable.
> You're right I don't understand it. So please enlighten me. According to
> wikipedia pinyin is used for teaching Chinese language in school, and
> pinyin is a major input method used. Pinyin when used with all
> diacritics represents the words as they would be spoken aloud and yet
> you say that it's completely unreadable even by Mandarin speakers. I
> understand that a speaker of Cantonese or wǔ wouldn't be able to
> understand it because pronunciation is different but why is it the case
> for Mandarin speaker too?

Yes, if you are non-Chinese you would probably learn pinyin and it
indeed records the pronunciation. However, it is not necessary to
learn pinyin to read Chinese so I suspect Chinese would not learn
Mandarin and pinyin just to learn how to write.

It is also feasible to use a PC without knowing pinyin. Writing may be
difficult then but not everybody needs to write and alternate input
methods exist.

Pinyin is not readable because it conveys less information than the
Chinese character would. Many words are pronounced the same and would
have the same pinyin representation but would be written with a
distinct Chinese character.

In spoken Chinese you have to ensure enough context for the word to be
understood (either use reasonably long non-ambiguous sentence or use
previous conversation as context). In writing one or few characters
are often enough to convey a distinct meaning regardless of context
(ie in a menu entry).

> Another question: do you think vertical (top-to-bottom instead of
> left-to-right) menu themes would be useful for Chinese and Japanese
> computers?

I think they would be nice to have but not terribly useful.

It is completely feasible to read and write CJK in LTR order, and most
computer software uses that order for simplicity.
Many magazines seem to be typeset that way as well so this is not
limited to computers.



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