Re: Need help in interpreting symbol 225e (measured by)

From: Jukka K. Korpela (
Date: Thu Mar 09 2006 - 15:53:03 CST

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    Gusztáv Jánvári wrote:

    > I’m in localizing Unicode symbol names to Hungarian, and I have to translate
    > the symbol name “measured by”: I studied incredibely lot of Math :), but
    > unfortunatelly I’m not sure when this symbol is used.

    I know some math but I have never seen U+225E used anywhere. The code
    charts in the Unicode Standard do not comment on it, so all we know
    about it directly is that it is a mathematical operator (and some formal

    > My not-too-educated
    > guess is that it is used to express that the fact of the equality is
    > determined by measuring something (for example, when you fill in two glasses
    > with the same amount of water and both looks like it is completely full, you
    > could say, they are equal by measure).

    I would intuitively expect the symbol to mean what its Unicode name
    says, so that X U+225E Y means that X has been measured by Y, whatever
    _that_ means. But this is just speculation.

    The French name at is
    MESURÉ PAR, i.e. a direct translation of the Unicode name (interpreted
    as being English). As far as I have understood, Hungarian is a rather
    synthetic language that lacks direct (or even close) counterparts to
    prepositions like English “by”, so a direct translation would not be
    possible. So this really sounds tricky.

    > Thanks for any help. (A solution is required from me in a day.)

    Oh my. I wonder if there is some localization of Unicode character names
    going on in the world. I recently got a message from a Finnish
    localizer, requesting for help with mathematical symbols, apparently
    related to localization of software from a you-know-which large software
    company. It would be a good idea to localize names of characters e.g. in
    applications and features like Character Map, but a bad idea to do that
    hastily. The problem is that the localized names would then be used as
    “de facto standards”, no matter how poorly chosen they were.

    Localization of character names should be based on a reasonable
    consensus within a language community, or within the group of people in
    such a community that are interested and competent in the specific topic
    to which the characters relate. You really need experts in math to find
    even acceptable (not to mention good) localized names for characters
    like U+225E, and you even need the result of some discussion among such
    experts, not just one man’s opinion.

    There might be some standards that name even some less commonly known
    mathematical symbols, such as a national standard corresponding to ISO
    31-11 (if it exists, in the applicable language). A standard does not
    always correspond to common practice, but it would be a reasonable
    starting point. Unfortunately many standards that mention special
    characters by name do not identify them as Unicode code points but only
    as images on paper, so interpreting them is not always obvious.

    If you cannot find national standards or agreements or other reliable
    sources (such as glossaries by national scientific societies), I would
    suggest that you leave character names untranslated, i.e. specify that
    the official Unicode names be used for now. You could write them in
    upper case, e.g. MEASURED BY, to distinguish them from actual localizations.

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