Macedonian italic /gje localization

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  • Michel BoyerMichel Boyer Posts: 114
    Another interesting link that I found on the homepage of издателство контекст (an editor that appears to specialize in academic books) is Stefan Peev’s site fontlibrary.org where there are downloadable fonts with the OFL license developped for that publisher, many by Stefan.

  • @Michel Boyer Dear Michael, please notice that the fonts are still in development and I'll be thankful fore any suggestions and remarks on them. Some of the projects are on my GITHUB repository also.
  • > … Look at the example of @Andreas Stötzner above. @Andreas Stötzner shows these stylistic differences between traditional Cyrillic uni0433 and Macedonian one.

    In the comparison I showed the right glyph is basically that of an italic i. There seems to be some ambiguity originating from the italic serifs in that glyph (left top onstroke, right bttm. offstroke). These details cause a resemblance of that glyph with the Russian Italic ghe glyph, but the latter features another weight distribution.
    Now I’d like to know: how does the Macedonian ghe glyph ought to look like in a Sans Italic with no stroke contrast.
  • Stefan PeevStefan Peev Posts: 65
    edited June 2017
    Dear @Andreas Stötzner, very good question (it is why I mentioned on my Tables that they are based on serif font). I asked Lasko Dzurovski to join this conversation. I hope he will do it. Let's wait for his answers.

  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,659
    edited June 2017
    The macron sign on the italic г in both Serbian and Macedonian is an oddity. The macron signs on the italic п and т make sense, because they distinguish the letters from the otherwise identical и and ш, but there is no letter in either modern orthography that could be confused with either shape of italic г. So why the macron? I am guessing that it is an artefact of cursive writing in which the single stem of the italic г could be confused with part of another letter, so is marked in this way to distinguish it from connected stems on either side. That being the case, I can see how the acute accent in ѓ would serve the same function by itself, without the macron, so I revise my suggestion above: italic ѓ doesn't need the macron.
  • Michel BoyerMichel Boyer Posts: 114
    edited June 2017
    Andreas Stötzner said: In the comparison I showed the right glyph is basically that of an italic i
    Interestingly the base glyph for the italic г and ѓ in Stojan Trajanovski's Macedonian LaTeX package  is the Computer Modern dotless italic i.



    Notice that the standard italic г was available in the cm-super fonts the package uses.
  • Maxim ZhukovMaxim Zhukov Posts: 74
    edited June 2017
    Here is an attempt to make a systematisation of the local forms in Bulgarian, Serbian and Macedonian compared to Russian (or better say – traditional Cyrillic script).
    I would call it International Cyrillic

    As far as the Russian usage is concerned, the g-like form of the l.c. д (dɛ) is perfectly usable and legible, as well as the l.c. з (zɛ) projecting below the baseline, and the в (bɛ) rising above the mean line… What I am trying to say, those forms are not uniquely Bulgarian. And that l.c. б (bɛ) with the back-leaning ascender is not exclusively Serbian/Macedonian either. In fact, all those letterforms may be legitimately regarded as normative: they are taught in Russian primary schools:

    In Russian typography the choice of construction pattern of the Д, д, Л, and л—delta-like (isosceles); right-triangular (lateen-like); or trapezoid—is a design decision, not a language issue. Nor is the angle of the diagonal in the И (i) and the related glyphs—steeper in Bulgarian, and flatter in non-Bulgarian letters [?]. 
  • @Andreas Stötzner Now I’d like to know: how does the Macedonian ghe glyph ought to look like in a Sans Italic with no stroke contrast.
    You could see sans italic in SkolaSans by Lasko Dzurovski – the font is free for personal use. See the font page on Behance with download link at the bottom of the page.
  • John Hudson said:
    The macron sign on the italic г in both Serbian and Macedonian is an oddity. ⟨…⟩ So why the macron? I am guessing that it is an artefact of cursive writing in which the single stem of the italic г could be confused with part of another letter, so is marked in this way to distinguish it from connected stems on either side.
    I am not sure those in the middle qualify as macrons.



















    (all examples come from ParaType font library).

    This make-believe “macron” is remindful of that German “breve” over the l.c. u in the Kurrent- and Sütterlinschriften, so it don’t get mistaken for the n. Oh mein lieber Sütterlin.
  • Welcome to the Balkans. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.  :)  I am no expert on Macedonian so I dare not give any definitive advice. I've found an old Macedonian grammar book online, and in it, the italic form of ѓ is not Russian г (to my surprise). Take a look here (pages 8 and 12 contain ѓ italic): https://archive.org/stream/MakedonskaGramatikaKrumeKepeski/Makedonska gramatika-krume kepeski#page/n5/mode/2up

  • Maxim ZhukovMaxim Zhukov Posts: 74
    edited June 2017
    What an excellent book, Nikola. Thank you for sharing your lucky find.

    I have two questions.
    1. What form of the italic l.c. г and ѓ you consider Russian, and why:
      Wavy/curvaceous (‘mirrored s’-like)? or
      Straight/stiff (‘dotless ı’-like)?
    2. Why the form of the ѓ used in that book should have been Russian?
  • International Cyrillic is a good term indeed. But what about the local forms for Bulgarian, Serbian etc. How must we name them? It's a pity that we still haven't a good terminology in that case.

  • Michel BoyerMichel Boyer Posts: 114
    edited June 2017
    Here are italic г and ѓ compared. Look at how the inferior parts differ

  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 900
    I am glad to have sparked conversation between native Cyrillic users. This becomes more and more valuable. :-)

    how does the Macedonian ghe glyph ought to look like in a Sans Italic with no stroke contrast.
    You could see sans italic in SkolaSans by Lasko Dzurovski – the font is free for personal use.
    I note that the italic ghe/gje in SkolaSans are not straight “i” base forms, but retain some character of curvy International Cyrillic style.

    On the other hand, the overall design has informal, cursive characteristics, and is not a rigid grotesque or geometric, for instance.

  • Nikola KosticNikola Kostic Posts: 30
    edited June 2017
    What an excellent book, Nikola. Thank you for sharing your lucky find.

    I have two questions.
    1. What form of the italic l.c. г and ѓ you consider Russian, and why:
      Wavy/curvaceous (‘mirrored s’-like)? or
      Straight/stiff (‘dotless ı’-like)?
    2. Why the form of the ѓ used in that book should have been Russian?
    Thank you for the questions Maxim, here is what I take as standard Russian/Serbian italic form:

    To my knowledge, most of the writing standardization problems in the Balkans are due to the historical lack of fonts with the proper local forms. Russian Cyrillic was the most available one, so the vast number of Serbian (Cyrillic) books in the 20th century were printed with the Italics containing Russian forms. People were using what was at hand and that created lots of confusion. Hence my surprise with the local italic forms in this book printed in 1946. Those italic т and п are definitely not Russian forms. What puzzles me even more is the fact that the italic г in the same book does not have a line (macron) above it. Again, this book is in Macedonian Cyrillic, and I am no expert on Macedonian language.
  • > It's a pity that we still haven't a good terminology

    It’s a pity? It’s a task!

    I think a little conference of typographers of the relevant countries is in order, to sort these things out. And to arrive at some sort of standard or ‘best-practice’-guidance which is made available to the international font creators community. To make creating Cyrillic sets attractive again ;)
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 432
    In fact, all those letterforms may be legitimately regarded as normative: they are taught in Russian primary schools:
    Ah, yes; but as we know from italics for Latin typefaces, sometimes the italic is a slanted Roman, and when it is cursive, it isn't always fully cursive: that is, it doesn't necessarily share every characteristic of the script form.

    But this does indeed mean that it's not only a language issue, even if it doesn't mean that it is not a language issue at all. The Serbian or Bulgarian forms are indeed an acceptable design choice for a Russian italic. But for typefaces for which that design choice is not made, they may still be - and, apparently, are quite likely to be - required as a language variant.

    Whether or not for some typefaces that are intended to have italics that are not cursive, the Russian forms would be acceptable design choices for Serbian or Bulgarian use is a different question: I suspect the answer is no in almost all cases, and so the language variant is strongly recommended wherever the italic is at all cursive instead of just a sloped version of the... upright... form.

    Of course, I was wrong about the form of D, so what do I know...
  • Kent —

    As I've already stated, I cannot help you with the Macedonian localization, but for Serbian italic forms, with the particular style that you've chosen (in your original post) I think that the curved terminal for the italic г would feel more natural. Something like this:

  • Another question, Nikola. Should the length of the overline in the гґп, and т vary, or stay the same?


  • Oh, it should definitely vary (as in your top example). Those are not accents, they serve as John Hudson said:
    ... because they distinguish the letters from the otherwise identical и and ш ...
  • Michel BoyerMichel Boyer Posts: 114
    edited June 2017
    Here is бумага as it appears in the the book that was used when I took a course of Russian in the fall of 1968 (Nina Potapova, Le russe, Éditions en langues étrangères, Moscou). 



    That г  looks like something anyone can easily write with a pen and does not seem to be "inspiration" for the so called Russian italic г in the picture provided by Nikola. Where does that last shape come from? Handwriting really?

  • Your example just complements what Maxim commented earlier about letter shapes taught in Russian primary schools. 
  • Maxim ZhukovMaxim Zhukov Posts: 74
    edited June 2017
    ⟨…⟩ That г  looks like something anyone can easily write with a pen and does not seem to be "inspiration" for the so called Russian italic г in the picture provided by Nikola. Where does that last shape come from?
    The ‘mirrored s’ form of the italic l.c. г can be traced back to the first half of the 18th century. It has not changed a bit since 1748 when the Imperial Academy of Sciences in St.Petersburg issued its Specimen Book of All Alphabets, Symbols and Typographic ornaments




  • Michel BoyerMichel Boyer Posts: 114
    edited June 2017
    Nikola Kostic said > Your example just complements what Maxim commented earlier

    Ok, let me ask the question differently. Here is the letter г from Lasko Dzurovsk's Alexa Script font.

    Such a shape could justify a "Russian г" (and I fail to see the need to put an overline because there is no possible ambiguity). Is that the way children are taught to write a г in Macedonia (or elsewhere and forget the overlain)

    ___
    Maxim's answer was not there when I wrote the above. Maxim, thanks for that information.
  • Again, I don't know what they learn in Macedonia, but in Serbia (in schools) the letter г is written straight as in your бумага example, with an overline. Take a look at this variant which is usual in Serbia: http://www.uvu.rs/2010 Kaligrafsko bukvarsko pismo.pdf

    It is never written as a Russian ‘mirrored s’ г.
  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 900
    but for Serbian italic forms, with the particular style that you've chosen (in your original post) I think that the curved terminal for the italic г would feel more natural.
    Nikola — Thanks for your input. I had wondered about the severity of the straight “i” form. On the other hand, there are no other such curved terminals in the Latin or Cyrillic italic. However, I have chosen to treat terminals in Greek α ι μ in this way, so I could try borrowing from ι perhaps . . .

    I’ll definitely consider your suggestion. Thanks.

  • Well Cyrillic did originate from Greek so using ι makes sense.  :)
  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 900
    Yeah, I was thinking about that . . . (but г is very different phoneme from ι, of course. ;-)
  • Michel BoyerMichel Boyer Posts: 114
    edited June 2017
    Kent Lew said:  [...] (but г is very different phoneme from ι, of course. ;-)
    The same holds for т and ш, п and и, so why not ι and г. ? :smile:
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,659
    edited June 2017
    @Nikola Kostic What name would be given in Serbian to the line above these italic letters? I called them 'macron' above, just for convenience, but as Maxim pointed out the form of this distinguishing mark may differ from that of the macron, and the sign isn't an accent indicating a change in phonetic value.

    @Maxim Zhukov I've seen similar distinguishing lines in some examples of Russian handwriting. What would they be called in Russian?
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