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Re: I18N/M17N?

From: Keisuke Nishida
Subject: Re: I18N/M17N?
Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 11:21:07 -0400
User-agent: Wanderlust/2.4.1 (Stand By Me) SEMI/1.13.7 (Awazu) FLIM/1.13.2 (Kasanui) Emacs/21.0.102 (i686-pc-linux-gnu) MULE/5.0 (SAKAKI)

At 09 May 2001 16:47:33 -0500,
Jim Blandy wrote:
> When speaking in English, Japanese programmers refer to the characters
> they use in their own names and in everyday writing as "Chinese
> characters".  (In fact, I think the Japanese word "Kanji" actually
> means "Chinese characters" --- but I am very unreliable on questions
> like that.)

Correct.  In addition, we also have Japanese own characters, called
"Hiragana" and "Katakana"; the Japanese characters consist of three
different sets of characters.  It is quite complicated, but we are
certainly comfortable with it.  (BTW, you can look at these Japanese
characters if you type `C-h h' in Emacs :)

> Unicode, of course, does not preserve this distinction.  If you
> transliterate a sequence of Japanese text encoded as described above
> that uses both JIS-0208 and GB 2312-80 into Unicode, and then
> translate it back, you'll lose information about which stretches used
> which encoding.  You can imagine that it might be difficult to walk up
> to someone who already has has a complete set of tools which handles
> this stuff correctly and persuade him to abandon them for a completely
> different set of tools that doesn't.

And we refer to encoding that does not preserve the distinction
as internationalization (I18N), while encoding that does as
multilingualization (M17N).

I personally don't like these issues, and am not going to work on


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