Re: Arial Unicode font - Problems with Chinese characters?

From: Martin J. Dürst (
Date: Tue May 12 2009 - 02:54:32 CDT

  • Next message: Marion Gunn: "Re: The Next Age of Discovery"

    Hello Christine,

    The character you mention below (and others that use the same shape,
    such as 真, and so on) are the only ones that I have encountered in my
    more than 10 years of experience discussing Han Unification and
    defending it to people who brought up all kinds of problems with it
    where I have to say that indeed most modern readers will be surprised if
    they see the other (Japanese for the Chinese, and Chinese for the
    Japanese) form, and not be able to easily identify it (except from context).

    Given the large diversity of forms in Han ideographs overall, and in
    variations across glyph variants in particular, the line between what
    gets unified and what doesn't get unified in any case had to be a very
    thin line (and this isn't the fault of Han unification, any character
    standard, and even a glyph standard, has to have some unification,
    otherwise, it's going to be nothing more than an image format). This
    line was very carefully drawn, the overarching idea being a general lay
    person reading general purpose text.

    Given that there is only this one counterexample, I think that overall,
    Han unification has been carried out with extreme care, and with great

    Regards, Martin.

    On 2009/05/12 4:25, Christine Snow wrote:
    > ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    > From: Christine Snow<>
    > Date: 2009/5/11
    > Subject: Arial Unicode font - Problems with Chinese characters?
    > To:
    > This question originated from a client. It's specifically about the Chinese
    > Traditional character "具". Here it is using the SimSun font. When we apply
    > the font Arial Unicode to this same character, it apparently changes the
    > character to something completely incorrect 具 . After 12 years, this is the
    > first time a Chinese reviewer has made these comments:
    > "But for either Chinese Simplified (CHS) or Chinese Traditional (CHT), it's
    > (Arial Unicode) not good enough due to the character set used. Some
    > characters look very odd, which are quite different from what we usually
    > read and write. This problem is more serious in CHS than CHT. Chinese person
    > can understand (guess) what it mean as we usually read a article by phrase
    > instead of character. "
    > This is obviously a serious concern. I would like to know if this has been
    > found by others and is a known issue.
    > Thank you,
    > Christine

    #-# Martin J. Dürst, Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Tue May 12 2009 - 02:59:22 CDT