Tag Archives: chinese

Anything related to the Chinese language

Office 2010 Chinese language pack font list

It looks like the Chinese Office 2010 font list is the following (Changzhou SinoType, Founder, Microsoft, Stone):

  • FZShuTi
  • FZYaoTi
  • LiSu
  • Microsoft YaHei
  • Microsoft YaHei Bold
  • STCaiyun
  • STFangsong
  • STHupo
  • STKaiti
  • STLiti
  • STSong
  • STXihei
  • STXingkai
  • STXinwei
  • STZhongsong
  • YouYuan

From the language pack make sure to select 国际字体 (international fonts) and 校对工具 (proofing tools). Under 国际字体 we have 典型字体 (typical fonts) and under 校对工具 we have 简体中文校对工具 (Simplified Chinese proofing tools) and 英语校对工具 (English proofing tools).

Microsoft Office 2010, typography, and proofing tools

Microsoft has released Office 2010 as a beta that you can use up to and including October 2010 (scheduled to be released in June 2010). You can download it as either 32 or 64 bit, although it seems the 64 bit download is a bit hidden since many buttons for downloading seem to lead to the default 32 bit download. If you follow the link at the Professional Plus site to ‘Get It Now’ you should be presented with links to both versions. At the moment Microsoft supports Chinese (Simplified), English, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. If you are like me you just use the application in English, but then miss some of the proofing tools for, say, Japanese.

You can download language packs from the Microsoft Download Center. If you change the language to, say, Japanese you are presented with two download links at the bottom for the Japanese language pack. This language pack includes user interface changes for Japanese as well as proofing tools, OCR support, and fonts.

Once the pack is downloaded just run it and you can customize want you want to install. Since I am not interested in the UI aspects of the pack, I selected the top part and toggled selection for all to not install. Then for the entries 国際フォント (international fonts) and 文章校正ツール (proofing tools) I made sure to install everything. 文章校正ツール includes both 日本語用校正ツール and 英語用校正ツール and I guess you can most likely skip 英語用校正ツール since it is already installed. 国際フォント includes 標準フォント (standards font), which I am guessing is related to JIS X standards for font encodings.

Basic Windows 7 has 134 fonts installed. A basic English Office 2010 install increases this to 198 fonts installed. Installing the Japanese language pack proofing tools with fonts brings this to 228 fonts installed.

If you press the expansion arrow at the bottom-right of the Home part of the ribbon (or press CTRL-D) you will get the Font dialog. If you select the Advanced tab you can turn on features such as OpenType ligatures. This will mean that with text such as ‘fl’ or ‘ffi’ certain parts of the letters will connect instead of showing white space between the letters. This is the same technique used in printed media such as books.

Update: Michael Hendry was kind enough to point out that I was mistaking 標準 with (standard/default) with 基準 (standards/JIS/ISO).

Microsoft IME 2007 on Windows x64

So I was updating my input method editors (IME) from the default in Windows x64 (IME 2002) to the ones provided by Office 2007’s language packs. As explained in a previous post of mine you can install the proofing tools and input by passing LAUNCHEDBYSETUPEXE=1 to the execution of the MSI. Now, on my Windows x64 I installed the IME by installing the IME64.MSI with this added variable. The weird thing was that some applications worked flawlessly and yet others showed me the wrong number of icons or no icons at all! It turns out that these applications are 32-bits applications and need to have the 32-bits IME installed as well. So next to installing IME64.MSI of the language you want to install, you will also have to install IME32.MSI. Only after doing this will you notice the applications working as you want them.

Thinking back on it, it makes perfect sense, but while you are in the middle of working with it you keep wondering: “why?”

Office 2007 Proofing and Input Method Editors (IME)

So I have been toying with the proofing tools and input method editors (IME) from Office 2007. The issue with the single language packs is that you cannot just group the entire stuff together.

Also trying to run the MSIs from the individual directories for the proofing tools or the IMEs greets you with an ‘Error 1713′. On the other hand, if you run the MSI from the command prompt and passing along LAUNCHEDBYSETUPEXE=1 as an argument it will install. Curious.

Wah Nam Hong (華南行) in Rotterdam

Here in Rotterdam we have a Chinese supermarket called in Dutch phonetic Cantonese ‘Wah Nam Hong’, which in Jyutping (waa4 naam4 hong4) stands for the hanzi 華南行. Literally translated 華南 stands for South China and matches the obvious Cantonese heritage. The stands for a profession or business line.

What is interesting to me is that in Japanese (日本語) you read 華南 as かなん and it means South China as well. However, would be こう or ぎょう and has not retained the profession/business line meaning at all.

Chinese surnames or lack thereof

An article from China Daily details some changes the People’s Republic of China (PRC) wants to make when it comes to the surname of babies.

Someone on a website made a reference about “Akamai” being a good name for Chinese. I pointed out that “Akamai” was probably based on the Japanese word akamatsu (赤松), which means “red pine”. In Chinese this would be chi4 song1. During this I suddenly wondered about the fact I hardly see any Chinese words starting with a vowel, but almost exclusively with consonants. I will need to consult my dictionaries, but a Chinese friend of mine said that of the aeiou group only a and e are used much at the start of a word, iou seem rare in contrast.

Japanese is very different in this aspect. The vowels are very important in comparison. I wonder how Korean is in this aspect.

The beauty song – 佳人曲

The movie ‘House of Flying Daggers (十面埋伏)’ contains a song sung by Zhang Ziyi (章子怡) called ‘The Beauty Song (佳人曲)’.

北方有佳人,绝世而独立。
一顾倾人城,在顾倾人国。
宁不知倾城与倾国。
佳人难再得。

Which translates to something like the following:

In the north there is a beauty: Surpassing the world, she stands alone.
A glance from her will overthrow a city; A second glance will overthrow the State.
Don’t I know she can overthrow the city and the State?
But such a beauty cannot be found again!

This is a poem by the Han Dynasty poet Li Yannian (李延年).

House of Flying Daggers – 十面埋伏

This weekend I had the time to watch House of Flying Daggers (十面埋伏) again. I think the first time I saw it was when I was in Japan (日本). Of course, the problem at that point was that my Japanese (日本語) was definitely not good enough to understand the entire story. Although I could make good sense of it though.

House of Flying Daggers (十面埋伏) poster

In Japan the movie is known as Lovers.

So simple or why the bone character is written differently

In a previous entry I wrote about how the bone radical is written differently in some Chinese cases. Well, thanks to John H. Jenkins of Apple I found out that the People’s Republic of China made a switch from the traditional character to the one that has the corner on the left side. This way the strokecount is reduced by one. But for font designers it offers a small problem, since it means that you have to know your target audience quite well.

To sum it up: PRC uses the newer character, most likely Singapore does so too being another simplified Chinese user. Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Macao, and Taiwan use the older character.

Bone radical, number 188 – 骨

In the radical classification system called Kang Xi after the Chinese emperor Kang Xi we find 214 radicals. At position 188 we have the radical nicknamed ‘bone’ ( – hone). It is part of the group of radicals consisting out of 10 strokes (部首 – bushu).

Bone in four fonts

The above image shows the character ‘bone’ in four fonts for the three languages of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. The fonts used are STSong (Chinese), MingLiu (Chinese), MS Mincho (Japanese) and Batang (Korean). As can be seen the Chinese font is the only one that squares off the top image’s corner on the left-hand side. The other Chinese font and the Japanese and Korean font do so on the right-hand side.

I raised this issue on the Unicode list since the Unicode character charts have three points where ‘bone’ is encoded, to note: CJK Radicals Supplement 0x2ee3 (left-hand side), Kangxi Radicals 0x2fbb (right-hand side), and CJK Unified Ideographs 0x9aa8 (left-hand side).

I wonder if the discrepancy is a wrongly written letter during buddhist studies which was taken from China to Japan and subsequently later exported to Korea.