From: Ed Trager (email@example.com)
Date: Wed Nov 19 2008 - 19:49:56 CST
On Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 2:32 PM, Gerrit Sangel <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Hello list,
> I am wondering if it is possible to write Bopomofo with tone marks on top
> (like in Pinyin)? I know, they are usually written after the syllable in
> horizontal writing, but I saw an example of a diacritic nonetheless and it is
> is a bit more convenient.
> In the Unicode book, it says only to use the Mandarin tone marks. The problem
> with them is that they are spacing characters, so e.g. I would write
> This now has three issues:
> 1. If I don't define a Chinese font, the tone mark is used from a latin font
> and doesn't really look Chinese.
Yes, it would be nice to have a Chinese font with the tone marks in a
Have you looked at AR PL UMing / UKai fonts? :
I don't know what they have in there for spacing/non-spacing tone
marks ... but probably worth investigating.
> 2. This is too wide. Because the characters are by nature a bit wider than
> latin letters, the same syllable is wider than in Pinyin. Added to that, if I
> write the tone mark after the syllable, it get's even longer. This is
> especially bad for vocabulary lists or something like this, where I don't
> want to have such a wide cell for the reading. Putting the tone mark on top,
> would at least save one character.
> 3. What do I do with vertical writing if I encode the characters like that? If
> doing so, the tone mark will not get at the right of the syllable, but under
> it. Does the application have to see that it is a Zhuyin syllable, check if
> it is written correctly and then display it correctly (which would mean, that
> it would need extra support for Zhuyin. I somehow guess that no application
> will support that)?
I don't know if it will really help you or not, but Dr. Hann-Tzong
Wang (王漢宗教授) released a number of traditional Chinese fonts to the
open source community under the GPL and available at
cle.linux.org.tw/fonts/wangfonts/. The interesting part is that there
are a couple of fonts which have zhuyin phonetics printed vertically
right next to the hanzi glyphs.
Here's a sample of one of the fonts, 王漢宗中楷體注音:
So if you could use one of those fonts, it solves a lot of your
problems. But the zhuyin is only for standard pronounciation. Doesn't
work for archaic pronounciation -- I think even my sample image from
the Thousand Character Classic has some "mispronounced" characters in
> I also used the combining diacritical marks for the spacing characters and put
> them on top of the bopomofo characters, but the results were a bit...
> unsatisfactory. But maybe this is the correct way and the fonts with which I
> tested it just didn't support it?
> Can somebody help me with this?
> Gerrit Sangel
Best Wishes -- Ed Trager
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