Check language support tools

Adam LaddAdam Ladd Posts: 62
edited August 23 in Font Technology
I'm aware of a few tools that check the language support in a font (OTMaster 370 Light — which I prefer because it also gives me a number — , Underware validator, etc... even Font Book info view), but they seem to all have a little different result of how many languages are actually supported/complete. I don't know that an exact hard figure can be had due to varying factors, but I'm wondering if others have found any of these tools to be most accurate? (Also already looked at this thread: https://typedrawers.com/discussion/comment/30880#Comment_30880)

Thanks.

Comments

  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,087
    Also, the count, the number of supported languages is going to vary depending on which languages the tool knows about. It’s not like there is some definitive list of how many languages there are that use the Latin alphabet, or Cyrillic, for instance.

    How many living speakers/writers does a language need to be included? What about dead languages (including Latin itself!), do you include or exclude them based on scholarly importance? What about languages that were formerly written with one writing system but are now written with another? And that’s not even considering any arguments about what constitutes a language in the first place.  ;)
  • Frode Frode Posts: 43
    “Danish not supported. Missing glyphs: Aringacute, aringacute”
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 176
    Frode said:
    “Danish not supported. Missing glyphs: Aringacute, aringacute”
    Never having heard of these glyphs, I did a web search, and found out that Unicode had such a glyph, a Danish A with a circle over it, then with an acute accent over the combination.

    Further searching led me to discover that it might be used in Danish dictionaries where syllable stress is marked.

    In Russian, syllable stress is marked by acute accents over vowels. And in English, dictionaries will show the pronounciation of words using special symbols like the schwa. I wonder if language support tools are equally pedantic for both of those languages.
  • I personally like the Alphabet Type tools for their comprehensiveness and their "two way workflow", i.e. either select languages and see what glyphs they need, or upload an file and check against languages you wish to support. Also you can pick not only languages, but unicode code blocks and even charset (more of a historic angle, but it, too, shows what certain standardization bodies and large corporations once thought essential to a language). And it gives you lists for required, auxiliary and punctuation glyphs per language, which is very nice to better gauge how important a glyph might be.

    In lieu with @Frode’s comment there are some odd glyphs for certain languages here, too, so you need to use your own judgement, always.

    On the broader topic of language support it is also interesting to see for example the above mentioned tool and check what is listed as auxiliary for a language you yourself speak. At least for me those include characters I've never even encountered in those languages; regional minority languages, support for loan words I've never seen written with those characters, historic glyphs...
  • Adam LaddAdam Ladd Posts: 62
    The Alphabet Type tools are nice and useful. I've looked at them before but not too deeply. This prompted me to look again. Thanks.
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