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

From: N.R.Liwal (
Date: Thu May 31 2001 - 23:52:07 EDT

Dear Jungshik Shin;

Thanks, good explinations, I hope those who are interested in Software and
Web for Asia will be



----- Original Message ----- > On Wed, 30 May 2001, N.R.Liwal wrote:
> >
> > So far the recomendations are, that "Asian Text Fonts" can be called:
> > -Han Fonts or Hanzi Fonts
> As already pointed out, this is not adqueate to cover Korean
> and Japanese because other scripts are also used for them. Moreover,
> Japanese may not like 'Hanzi' even if you're talking about
> Hanzi/Kanji/Hanja alone. Even 'Han' (which is more neutral) could be
> balked at by some.
> > -"East Asian Unified" Fonts
> > -"East Asian" Fonts
> If they mean fonts for Chinese, Japanese and Korean writing
> systems, I would pick 'East Asian fonts'.
> > Script Can be classified as:
> > -languages which Han ideographs
> you're talking not about language(s) but about script(s) , right?
> > -'ideographic languages' SCRIPT
> A language cannot be ideographic as I wrote before. Has anybody else
> mentioned this term other than me? I mentioned it not because I think it's
> appropriate BUT because I think that the term ("ideographic language")
> MUST NOT be used.
> > -"East Asian Unified" SCRIPT
> What's been 'unified' is Han 'ideographs' while there ARE other
> scripts in (more predominant) use in the region (even if you only mean
> Chinese,Japanese and Korean by 'East Asian').
> > - "East Asian" SCRIPT
> What 'script' (not 'scripts') are you talking about here?
> If you just mean 'Han ideographs', I don't think you need to come up with
> new term(s). I think 'Han ideograph' (or CJK ideographs if it ONLY means
> Hanzi/Kanji/Hanja and nothing else) is good enough (although certainly
> not perfect.) On the other hand, if you're talking about all the scripts
> used in Northeast/East Asian countries (or China, Japan and Korea),
> you CANNOT use any of the above with the possible exception of the last
> (which can be used provided that they're made plural 'East Asian Scripts'
> to reflect that there are *multiple* scripts in use.)
> > Asian geographic expressions are better:
> > -"Southeast Asia", "East Asia" "CENRAL ASIA"
> > "WEST ASIA = Arabic Countries and Neighborhood"
> I believe the following are widely used at least in 'geography
> text books' and 'encyclopedia'. Also, many US schools with regional
> studies programs use similar divisions (except for Southwest Asian which
> appears to be refered to as 'Middle East' most of time). This division
> is bound to be aribtrary to some degree (Asian continent is not a circle
> or any definitive geometric shape which can be divided in an unambiguous
> way ;-) )
> East Asia/Northeast Asia : Japan, Korea, China (it's a huge country,
> but....)
> 'Far East' (in Western media and
> at least in some East Asian
media :-) )
> Southeast Asia : Indochina,
> .....
> South Asia : India,Pakistan,Sri
> Soutwest Asia : The part of Asia usually called 'Middle East'
> (in Western media and at least in some
> East Asian media :-) )
> Arabian peninsular, Iran, Iraq,
> Turkey(Near East?),
> Afganistan(it could be put in South Asia...)
> Central Asia : Mongol and some former republics of USSR (now
> independent. e.g Kazahstan)
> North Asia (??) : Siberia?
> FYI, Mozilla uses the following:
> East Asian : Chinese, Japanese, Korean
> SE & SW Asian : Thai, Armenian*, Turkish*
> Middle Eastern : Hebrew, Arabic
> Western European: ..., Greek*(why?),.....
> Eastern European:
> I guess it's better than Office XP which calls Chinese,Japanese, Korean
> 'Asian', but it could still have done better. (Middle East and SW Asia
> overlap each other so that they had better split up SE&SW Asia, remove
> Middle East'ern', put Armenian, Turkish, Hebrew and Arabic into 'SW
> Asian' and fill up 'SE Asian' with Thai, Vietnamese, Cambodian and so
> forth when they get supported). That is, I would use the following
> for programs like web browser and word processor.
> East Asian : Chinese, Japanese, Korean + some more
> (or NE Asian) if necessary and supported (e.g Yi)
> SE Asian : Thai,Vietnamese,Lao, Khmer, etc
> South Asian : various Indic scripts (other than those included in
> SE Asian), Tibet*
> SW Asian : Arabic, Hebrew, Syriac, Armenian*, Turkish*, etc
> (Middle Eastern)
> Central Asian: Mongolian, Khazahstan(?), .... when supported
> Of course, geographic break-up has its pitfalls and some people
> for sure wouldn't like it for various reasons. For instance, Turkish
> and Vietnamese writing systems are Latin-alphabet-based, which others
> in the group they're in don't share. Also Indic/Indic-like scripts are
> used both in South Asian and SE Asian countries(of course NOT in all
> countries there). However, geographic brake-up(with some scripts put in
> more than one groups) may be the best unless end-users are expected to be
> 'writing-system experts'. (I mean 'geography experts(?)' are easier to
> find among end-users than 'writing system experts'. )
> Jungshik Shin

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