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SV: SV: Preferred font styles

From: Lill Therese Jacobsen <lill.therese.jacobsen@norskinteraktiv.no>
Date: Fri, 2 Jan 2004 13:15:40 +0100
Message-ID: <8C8383BBF6A0864E88119E3FCA4E816C175A36@ntserver.norskinteraktiv.no>
To: "Andrew Cunningham" <andj_c@iprimus.com.au>
Cc: <www-international@w3.org>

Hi Andrew! 

Thanks for your response!

The target audience for my site is diverse. The application is a
learningsystem, primarily used to learn languages. For now we offer
foreigners to learn Norwegian. The user can be a person from India,
living in Norway. The content of the course is mainly in norwegian (the
language to learn), but all the captions and the introduction chapter
are displayed in the users first language. The user can also be e.g a
person from India, living in India. As you can see, the core fonts for
these users are probably different, but the content delivered from the
application is the same for both users. The same course - with the same
norwegian core content - will be used with captions and introduction
chapter in russian, kurdish, persian, somali, arabic or norwegian. 

All the text is dynamic and delivered from a database, I use the same
stylesheet for every user/language. If I have to change stylesheet
depending on the languages in use - I could do so. But there will always
be need for at least two languages at the same time in the application.

The users are not experienced, but I can force them to download and
install a specific font depending on their first language or the
language to learn, if this is necessary. And then we're back to the
source of my problem - which font do I use for the different languages?


-----Opprinnelig melding-----
Fra: Andrew Cunningham [mailto:andj_c@iprimus.com.au] 
Sendt: 22. desember 2003 14:17
Til: Lill Therese Jacobsen
Kopi: andrewc@vicnet.net.au
Emne: Re: SV: Preferred font styles


12/22/03 10:21:49 PM, "Lill Therese Jacobsen"
<lill.therese.jacobsen@norskinteraktiv.no> wrote:

>  Hi Sourav!
>  The system is supposed to show russian, persian, somali, kurdish,

a few points

1) all this depends on who your audience is. If hey're used to viewing
material in these languages, then i'd assume that they'd have 
appropraiet fonts installed on their computers and have their browsers
appropriately configured. On the otherhand, if you're aiming for people 
with low IT literacy and have trouble in using the net in these
languages, then you're better off sticking to one of the core fonts on
target computer.

So for experienced users, you probably don't have to specify fonts in
your web page, they'll have their preffered fonts. For people new to 
using the net in thes languages you need to stick to the core fonts,
since this user group may potentially have problems with downloading and

installing fonts.

Its a question of usability on one hand versus the desires of your
graphic designers on the other. Although web designers aren't known for 
their ability to choose fonts based on typographic quality.

More specifically, any font that can display Norwegian, can easily
handle Somali. The core web donts on the windows platform should have no

problem with Russian, Somlai, Norwegian and Arabic (may not be the ideal
fonts for Arabic but will work). 

For Kurdish, you didn't specify which version of Kurdish, which script
you require. If its the Latin script then you shouldn't have any 
problems with it, core windows web fonts will also ahndle it. IF its the
Arabic script that you are using , then any font you use for persian 
should hand le Kurdish (I hope). There are web sites on Kurdish
computing that would contain more information.

Persian is going to be where you run into trouble. There were bugs in
the early versions of the fonts Microsoft shipped with Persian support. 
Not only which font you use but which version of the font you use is
important. Someone suggested to you to use Tahoma for Persian. Anyone 
using a verion of Windows older than Windows 2000 SP2 will have a buggy
version of the font (unless they have manually upgraded it). Non-
Microsoft fonts should not have this problem. If your style sheet
specifies a range of fonts with tahoma as the first font in the list,
teh windows based browsers will automatically use Tahoma, since its on
most computers. (same if you used any of the Windows core web fonts). 
This would mean the end user would have to change the setting of the
browser to override all font settings to get the page to display with 
another font.

The question is, do you really need to specify fonts? It partly depends
on who your target audience is.


all the core windows fonts

>  arabic and english in addition to urdu (probably several languages
also). So
>  it would be perfect if one font supported all these languages. If
not, we
>  have to find the prefered (windows-)font for each language.
>  I found a webpage
(http://www.alanwood.net/unicode/fonts.html#general) that
>  lists the languages supported by different fonts, but here, Arial for
>  instance, is said to support arabic. But I see the same squares in
the urdu
>  text when using Arial as we did with Lucida sans unicode.
>  So what I guess I'm looking for, is at list of languages with the
>  font (and the font covers all the necessary characters).

Andrew Cunningham
Received on Friday, 2 January 2004 07:15:01 UTC

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