RECOMMENDATIONs( Term Asian is not used properly on Computers and NET)

From: N.R.Liwal (
Date: Wed May 30 2001 - 14:11:15 EDT


So far the recomendations are, that "Asian Text Fonts" can be called:
-Han Fonts or Hanzi Fonts
-"East Asian Unified" Fonts
-"East Asian" Fonts

Script Can be classified as:
-languages which Han ideographs
-'ideographic languages' SCRIPT
-"East Asian Unified" SCRIPT
- "East Asian" SCRIPT

Asian geographic expressions are better:
-"Southeast Asia", "East Asia" "CENRAL ASIA"
"WEST ASIA = Arabic Countries and Neighborhood"

Thanks to all who participated in discussion:


David Gallardo Says:
Actually it would be more accurate to say that geographic expressions
involving cardinal points without an _explicit_ point of reference are
biased, because they traditionally assume that Europe is the _implicit_
point of reference. Hence, "Far East," "Orient," "Near East" (or "Middle
East") are biased in this sense whereas "Southeast Asia", "East Asia" etc.
are not, because it is clear that they are refering to a part of the whole
region that is "Asia."

★じゅういっちゃん★ Says:
So say "Han font" or "Hanzi font".

Kenneth Whistler Says:
The Unicode Standard is *not* a classification of scripts -- it merely groups them into typologically
similar buckets for the purposes of reference and explanation.

Jungshik Shin Says:
To be precise, "languages ... ideographs" should be
"languages which Han ideographs are used to write either as the principal
script (as for Chinese), one of principal scripts (as for Japanese)
or as a 'supplementary' script (as for Korean or Vietnamese)" :-)
The other day, I came across a term 'ideographic languages' in a premier
magazine of I18N/L10N to refer to Chinese, Japanese and Korean as a group.
Chinese on the one hand and Japanese and Korean on the other hand (with the latter two
being 'agglutinating' and defying any attempt to classify them so far -
i.e. they're kinda 'orphan' languages -
- Writing systems for all three can be considered ideographic: They're NOT

Thomas Chan Says:
think what one wants is something like "languages usually and currently
possibly including Han characters in their written form". That frees us
from worrying about historical or aberrant cases, I think.
Or how about just "languages written with a very large collection of
characters"? Then we can include the Tangut, et al too, without including
some of the medium-sized syllabaries. (This does require a distorted
analysis of hangul, though.)

Peter_Constable says:
I find a lot of people (including linguists) don't know what "CJK" means.

Marco Says:
Good point!
All geographic expressions involving cardinal points ("Far East", "Near
East", etc.) are biased in assuming *Europe* as the point of observation

Ayers, Mike:
(largely forgotten) Chinese derived alphabet, the point is valid. Perhaps
"East Asian Unified" would be a better reference?

Marco Cimarosti Says:
But, if by "East Asian" you mean "languages written with Han ideographs",
Personally, I got used to the acronym CJK and, so far, I haven't met many

Doug Ewell Says:
Using the simple term "Asian" is a trap I could have fallen into quite
easily. Thanks to Liwal for bringing this up.

Peter has an excellent solution -- much better than trying to explain the
term "CJK" to ordinary people -- and I plan to use the term "East Asian" in
the future.

Peter Constable Says:
This is certainly a valid point. "Far East" or "East Asian" might be more
appropriate for CJK.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: N.R.Liwal
  Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 3:12 AM
  Subject: Term Asian is not used properly on Computers and NET

  Dear Unicoders:


  While surfing the net a link with word ASIAN most of the time lead to

  a Chinese, Japanese or Korean site, is not confusing? Because there

  are many nations and countries in Asia!


  But today I was more confused, when I opened the Microsoft Word XP

  FONT dialog, it has three Font options:


  -Latin Text Fonts

  -Asian Text Fonts

  -Complex Text Fonts


  Being on this forum, I knew what a Complex Font is but unintentionally I

  was searching Arabic Fonts under the Asian Text Font. I think Calling

  CJK specifically Asian is not appropriate nor helpful, because Asia is big

  and have hundreds of languages and scripts, either all Asian Script i.e.

  Arabic, Hebrew, Devanagri, Bengali, Thai and etc.......... should be called Asian
  or a more appropriate name should be give to Chiness / Japanese and Korean

  or other scripts of that region.





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