What is your standard Latin character set?

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  • Andreas Stötzner
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    Thanks James, for reminding me of that great site.
  • Kent Lew
    Kent Lew Posts: 908
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    Bogdan — You should consider correcting or clarifying any misleading parts of the diacritics.typo.cz entries. I think Filip envisioned it to be wiki-like for just that purpose.

    Are the examples you’re objecting to just the ones shown in grey on the entry pages? Or do you feel that the Romanian examples in the gallery are equally misleading?
  • Bogdan Oancea
    Bogdan Oancea Posts: 22
    edited April 2015
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    The gray examples are bad – definitely should not be followed as "guides" for good proportions, and the high resolution of the scans isn't of much help if the text was printed on inferior paper – it makes the thickness of the letters vary a bit too much. Why not scan text printed on glossy paper?

    Anyway, you're right – I'll try to contact Filip instead of badmouthing his efforts, and also replace what I said above with something more useful and… on-topic. :smiley: 
  • Andreas Stötzner
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    Bogdan, thanks for pointing at these issues for Romanian. I fully second your view that nowadays there is no excuse – NO excuse whatsoever! – for setting a Latin-based language in such a poor manner. I think it has much to do with awareness on the end-user’s part, or that of their clients.
    I include all the accents for (nearly) every European language in all of my fonts since many many years, because I think everything else is just stupid. And I know that among colleagues who really care for the quality of their fonts this kind of view is the understatement, generally.
  • George Thomas
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    Bogdan, I for one would be interested in seeing those diacritic vector files if you would like to upload them here.
  • Jan Schmoeger
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    Good grief, depressing viewing, Bogdan! Astonishing lack of care, especially in things called Pro or Neue!
  • George Thomas
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    Thanks for the files Bogdan, especially the one with all the examples of bad positioning.
  • Richard Fink
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    @John Hudson who wrote:

    "But I also think that divergent conventions that arise out of technical limitations should be deprecated when those limitations do not apply."

    Lost track of your logic here.  You know me, I'm dense.  Conventions that diverge from what?  Do you mean, say, a hack to approximate by typewriter or some other device what the native speaker/writer does by hand?

  • John Hudson
    John Hudson Posts: 3,060
    edited April 2015
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    Conventions that diverge from the normal practice of the writing system predating the introduction of a particular technology and that are clearly resultant from the nature of that technology. In particular, I would say conventions that diverge from those of a scribal profession.

    Of course, the practice of scribes also changes over time, but in periods of change they tend to be looking for ways to improve and stylistically expand the ways in which a language can be expressed within particular cultural conditions, rather than imposing limitations.

    I am not suggesting, though, that typographic expression of a writing system should be slavishly modelling scribal practice; rather, that such expression should also develop in an environment of creative freedom, rather than technological constraint, and one of the ways to achieve that is to ensure that new technology can first handle the conventions of the written script. This allows type designers to start from the position that the scribes left off, rather than from a position determined by intervening and now obsolete technologies.
  • John Savard
    John Savard Posts: 1,108
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    Having a distinctive visual feature for a letter that is used for two different phonemes in a specific language isn’t a new idea. The reason for this is to keep consistence with the premise of “one character to represent each phoneme”. We have seen Paul Renner’s sketches of the German digraphs “ch” and “ck” for Futura (Burke, 2000), the Spanish digraphs “ch”, “ll” and “rr” from Andralis (Fontana, 2007) and the Guaraní digraphs “ch”, “mb”, “nd”, “ng”, and “rt”, designed by Juan Heilborn (a Paraguayan designer), as ligatures in order to highlight the fact that these two letters are a linguistic unit. Those examples have been design decisions based on linguistic and historical arguments in order to give a specific language a unique identity in a typeface. I can’t talk on behalf of Omnibus-Type, but having worked with the members of Omnibus-Type and having worked closely on the font production workflow, I think that the Omnibus-Type team has been introducing an alternative Guaraní localized shape of “Y” in its fonts in order to support the efforts of the Paraguayan typeface design community to emphasize the different use [in Guaraní] of this character in comparison with Portuguese and Spanish. Something like the difference between an acute and a kreska, or an inverted circumflex and a hákěk.

    I have to admit that I am surprised at this. Although how the Guaraní language is to be printed is the business of the people who speak it, this seems like a very unusual decision to me.
    It may be that the letter "y" is always a consonant in Spanish, but in English it is both a consonant (in words like "yet") and a vowel (in words like "baby"). While the letter "w" is only a consonant in English (except in words borrowed from Welsh, such as "cwm") it is a vowel... in Welsh.
    But no one has considered using a different form of the letter w for printing Welsh, or having two styles of the letter y in English depending on whether it is a vowel or a consonant.
    Still, no doubt there is some consideration that applies to the specific situation; it might be that in Spanish, one use of the letter "y" is so deeply ingrained that it leads to words in Guaraní being often mispronounced. After all, the situation of English is very different, perhaps almost unique, since it borrows words from many other languages, and usually retains the orthography of the source language, which therefore means that despite English using an alphabetic writing system, it lacks a consistent relationship between sound and spelling. So English speakers have no problem with the fact that the letter w is "oo" in Welsh and "v" in Polish because their expectations are lower, whereas a reminder might be indeed helpful for Spanish speakers who lead a more sheltered life.
  • Aaron Muir Hamilton
    edited April 2021
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    I think about support in terms of what orthographies I can support completely, so it's not that "Č is in my standard latin set", it's that “i want this font to be good enough umět psát česky, and in English, e em portugues”.

    For an example of something I don't really take any care with; there's pīnyīn. I study Mandarin but I just use zhuyin instead.

    I think it's hard to justify tailoring the metrics to a specific language too much, because most fonts are used to set more than one language by every user, even if just from the English perspective,  where a majority of the vocabulary is direct loanwords copied exactly or nearly exactly.