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

From: Carl W. Brown (
Date: Wed May 30 2001 - 12:21:09 EDT


Han or Hanzi is not adequate to cover Korean. If you want to get picky I am sure that most people are aware that there are Chinese minority languages for example that use other fonts. Typically the term CJK works for most of us. Those that don't understand the term generally are not familiar with issues.

With Unicode you don't have the MBCS issues. What is left are more subtle issues. You could call them East Asian fonts as long as you distinguished then from Southeast Asian fonts which,except for Vietnamese, are more like Indic fonts.

  -----Original Message-----
  From: []On Behalf Of N.R.Liwal
  Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 11:11 AM
  Subject: RECOMMENDATIONs( Term Asian is not used properly on Computers and NET)


  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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