RE: Unicode Cyrillic GHE DE PE TE in Serbian

Date: Tue Jan 11 2000 - 09:01:21 EST

>In German, there is no exact translation for
>"italic", Microsoft Word uses "kursiv" (cursive print) in that place. This
>word until now designated unequivocally a special font style (which is
>commonly but not always slanted).

Same word is used in Italian: "corsivo" (literally, "running") originally
referred to the special shape of letters. "Italico" or "italiano" are rarely
used because, from the Italians' point of view, all Latin types are
"Italian". So "corsivo" is the usual translation of both English "italic"
and "cursive".

>> ... The average user of a word processor, probably, just knows
>> that italic letters have a different inclination, but never noticed that
>> they also have different shapes.
>Even if their mother tongue is written in Cyrillic?

Yes, see any magazine from Russia or other Cyrillic-writing countries to see
how common "slanted" modern fonts are nowadays. And, of course, it is not a
problem for anybody to recognize a slanted version of the usual roman
letter. But it could be a problem for someone (e.g. foreigners, or people,
like Serbian, who have different hand-writing traditions) to recognize the
special "cursive" shapes used in some italic fonts.

Moreover, I don't think that cursive Cyrillic is so special, compared to the
Latin alphabet. After all, for a person who only knows Cyrillic, n-like pe,
u-like i, g-like de, etc. are actually very similar to their roman version:
the surprise only arises by the fact that they look like unrelated letters
in the Latin alphabet. And one doesn't need a great fantasy to imagine that
m-like pe is just a T whose "serifs" are on steroids.

On the other hand, the cursive shapes of some Latin letters (e.g. d, f, g,
k, p, v, w, x, y, z) are so much different from their roman version, that
they can be misunderstood by people unfamiliar with our alphabet.


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