FWIW, in Japanese the terms refer to slightly different aspects of the same
Furigana literally means "attached kana", and refers to any kana (loosely
expanded to include Latin script) associated with some kanji. It doesn't say
anything about size or location or purpose of the kana. Furigana can serve
as yomigana (reading guides), or even as joke text (to do a play on words
with underlying kanji).
Ruby refers specifically to the small point size text that appears above
kanji (or beside, in vertical flow). It can contain any furigana, not just
reading information, although that is by far the most common. As you can see
in the w3c document, the RUBY text can appear following the base text. In
this configuration, it is more properly called furigana.
The RUBY markup in HTML can certainly be used to markup other text beside
Japanese. A similar typographical tradition exists in Chinese and to some
extent Korean, and nothing stops you from applying it other languages. If
you want to experiment, IE5 supports the RUBY element. Word2000 also outputs
RUBY in its HTML if you use the phonetic guide feature. (Enable Japanese for
editing in the Language settings applet, then look on the Format menu under
Asian layout. Save the result as HTML)
Group Program Manager
Sent with office10ship build 1829 wordmail on
From: Christopher John Fynn [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: July 2, 2000 11:46 AM
To: Unicode List
Subject: Re: What I meant by furigana codes
"John Hudson" <email@example.com> wrote:
> ... In any case, Furigana is definitely what Adobe had
> in mind when they registered the <ruby> feature, as
> is evident from the feature description.
Is this OT ruby feature to be applied when e.g. a <ruby></ruby> tag is
encountered in HTML / XML? Or is this supposed to be for a whole different
mechanism? MSIE5 already seems to recognise the <ruby> tag in HTML and
formats text appropriately.
This seems to work with text of different scripts so I don't see why it
can't be used for tonal annotations.
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