FAQ: Vietnamese

Nguyen Mai AnNguyen Mai An Posts: 13
edited March 2016 in Type Business
Hi,
As some suggestions at the previous thread, I creat this topic for you to ask questions regard adding characters supporting Vietnamese.

A guide for Vietnamese typography written by Donny Truong: http://vietnamesetypography.com

I'm a native Vietnamese speaker, a self-study type design, and I can (hopefully) answer the general questions you might have about designing typeface for Vietnamese, and/or extend your existing typeface so it can support Vietnamese. Nevertheless, you should read the above mentioned guide before asking questions, as it already covers the basics. 

I'm also open for bussiness in extend your typeface for supporting Vietnamese. Thanks for reading!

I'll update the new questions answered at the top of this thread.

Comments

  • Dyana WeissmanDyana Weissman Posts: 321
    edited August 2017
    Thanks for the offer! I'm curious what your thoughts are on this thread? 
  • Thanks for the offer, Nguyen! I'm curious what your thoughts are on this thread? 
    I believe this topic is already covered in Donny Truong's guide, at section 5: diacritical details. You can read it here. Then if you have any more (specific) question, I'll answer depends on my knowledge.

    Thanks for your attention! 
  • I'm interested, specifically, on the preferred placement of the acute relative to the circumflex. In that thread it is claimed that the acute has been seen placed to the left of the circumflex, albeit rarely. I'm wondering if that is acceptable today, and if so, how often does it happen? 

    I had a client once who was certain that the acute could only be on the right, and I didn't believe I had the authority to challenge this notion, even though the placement on the left was a better solution visually. The client was not a native speaker, either, and I wondered if they were simply used to using Times New Roman. It would be great to have as many native speakers weigh in as possible. 
  • Really helpful, thank you so much!
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 1,014
    Hopefully some readers can see the correct characters...in Windows Chrome, Vietnamese characters aren't displayed correctly on this site.

    How important is accent alignment? For example, Ẳ (A+breve+hook) compared to Ă (A+breve). Sometimes, especially in heavy weights, I drop the Ẳ breve a little bit so the hook isn't too high. Same with ẴẮẰ.

    Is it okay to vertically stack the lowercase accents like in your 2nd example and offset the accents on the capitals as in your 1st example? The lowercase accent stack would still be lower that regular capital accents so it would have no affect on line spacing. I've done this before...it seems practical because it reduces the danger of lowercase collisions.
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,704
    edited March 2016
    It’s wonderful that Vietnamese designers are writing about Vietnamese diacritical placement in English. But as is too often the case, the information is turning up on forums, facebook, and in small press books. It would be great if this information were consolidated over at the Diacritics Project.
  • Nguyen Mai AnNguyen Mai An Posts: 13
    edited March 2016
    Kent Lew said:
    One group of accents indicates different vowel sounds, in terms of quality of pronunciation — most notably the circumflex and breve (also the horn).

    The other groups of accents indicates tone pattern — a characteristic that most Western languages do not distinguish in their alphabets, per se. These are the acute, grave, hook, tilde, and dot below.

    So, when it comes to designing the tricky double accents, I find it helpful to understand the difference and to note that in a letter like ấ, for example, the circumflex is part of the base vowel sound and the acute is the rising tone indicator. 
    This is totally true. But I think it's more helpful to the people who are learning to speak Vietnamese instead of type designer. Type designers tend to focus on the placement, form, and distance. I'm trying to explain more or less at a type designer's point of view, base to my own knowledge of my native language, and my experience working as a freelancer.

    Kent Lew said:
    Regarding the placement of the tone mark relative to the circumflex accent, my contact explained to me that in handwriting, most often people write the tone mark either directly above or slightly to the right, in the direction of writing/reading, but rarely to the left.

    Also with regard to this question — especially the pros/cons of grave to the left — he explained that “having both on the right presents many more benefits. First, it seems more natural due to the left-to-right flow of reading and writing.
    Yes, this is true too. You might consider “the easiest way to read” for us, is following “the way we write”. For example, we read and write from left to right (even with the left handed people), so everything will be placed in that direction. If we are reading something from left to right, and then must go back to the left to read the accent, it'll not be comfortable.

    The case with grave is different and more complicated though. Grave is on the left sometimes can be uncomfortable to read, but not like the acute, the direction of the grave is different from the circumflex first stroke's. So it's more distiguishable. Additionally, grave is placed to the left of the circumflex can be consider true to their nature as “the direct opposite” of the acute (if the acute is placed to the right of circumflex), so it can be accepted.


    Kent Lew said:
    Second, the acute-circumflex/grave-circumflex could be preceded by a character with an ascender ("đề"), but is never *followed* by a character with an ascender, so there's much more space to exploit if you place both on the right.”
    Not really, in the cases with “mất” or “bết”, or “ngất”, acute-circumflex is followed by a “t”, which has a short ascender.
    Hopefully some readers can see the correct characters...in Windows Chrome, Vietnamese characters aren't displayed correctly on this site.
    Actually due to the webfont of this site doesn't have Vietnamese characters, they will subtitute whatever system font has this character available. In the most cases, it will be either Arial or Times new roman. It's awful, really. 

    This is one case I often see across Vietnamese websites. They don't even know they're using the wrong typeface.



    How important is accent alignment? For example, Ẳ (A+breve+hook) compared to Ă (A+breve). Sometimes, especially in heavy weights, I drop the Ẳ breve a little bit so the hook isn't too high. Same with ẴẮẰ.

    Is it okay to vertically stack the lowercase accents like in your 2nd example and offset the accents on the capitals as in your 1st example? The lowercase accent stack would still be lower that regular capital accents so it would have no affect on line spacing. I've done this before...it seems practical because it reduces the danger of lowercase collisions.
    Surprisingly, the two cases you mentioned is totally possible. Most of the readers will not notice the changes, unless the different is too clear, and be placed near each other for comparing. You might get away with just slightly different alignment. Nevertheless, they often prefer maintaining the consistency across the font. 

    Base on my experience, if you're working with a Vietnamese client, they'll most likely want everything's inline. Especially in allcaps headline and/or texts in display size.
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 1,014
    Which accent collisions do you see the most?
  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 905
    Mai An — Thank you for your responses.
    Type designers tend to focus on the placement, form, and distance.
    True. But some text typeface designers also tend to focus on how one reads (even when we don’t actually read the language ;-).
  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 905
    I’d like to ask for some native perspective on the đồng symbol ₫.

    In many common fonts (e.g., most Microsoft fonts), this symbol is merely a đ with an underscore below the baseline.

    I have also seen several examples where the glyph is superscripted, with the underscore sitting more or less on the baseline. This includes the example in the Unicode code charts, I think, if you look closely.

    Searching for examples “in the wild” (on the internet, anyway), I note that on Vietnamese postage stamps, the currency symbol is noticeably superscripted and the underscore is absent. Perhaps these are not really the symbol, per se, but just a superscripted abbreviation.

    What is your impression of an overall preferred form for the đồng symbol, in terms of superscripted or not (and how much) and the presence of an underscore?

    Does the average Vietnamese user actually type the ₫, or do they just abbreviate with đ?
  • Thy HaThy Ha Posts: 1
    Kent Lew said:
    I’d like to ask for some native perspective on the đồng symbol ₫.

    In many common fonts (e.g., most Microsoft fonts), this symbol is merely a đ with an underscore below the baseline.

    I have also seen several examples where the glyph is superscripted, with the underscore sitting more or less on the baseline. This includes the example in the Unicode code charts, I think, if you look closely.

    Searching for examples “in the wild” (on the internet, anyway), I note that on Vietnamese postage stamps, the currency symbol is noticeably superscripted and the underscore is absent. Perhaps these are not really the symbol, per se, but just a superscripted abbreviation.

    What is your impression of an overall preferred form for the đồng symbol, in terms of superscripted or not (and how much) and the presence of an underscore?

    Does the average Vietnamese user actually type the ₫, or do they just abbreviate with đ?
    Hi Kent, I'm another Vietnamese native here. It's weird that I'm replying to this after more than 4 years but I hope this will help.

    On a daily basis, we use abbreviate 'đ' the most since it is quick to type or the whole word 'đồng'. To be honest, I don't even know how to type the symbol ₫ on my keyboard (sad face). And in handwriting, most of us write the superscripted đ without the underscore. 
  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 905
    Thanks for the reply! There’s no statute of limitations on native perspective. Informed input is always welcome. ;-)
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 632
    On the Vietnamese keyboard provided with Windows 10, to type an equals sign (=) you have to use AltGr with the same key as is used for the equals sign on the U.S. keyboard. Without the AltGr key, that key generates the currency symbol being sought.
  • It can be seen at https://unicodesubsets.miraheze.org/wiki/Logic_table_of_supersets#Character_sets_more_than_8-bit_comparison that five character sets documented in Unicode Subsets wiki contain Vietnamese: LPTT-1, LPTT-1.1, MES-3B, Subset3, Subset3+. So a font consisting of any of these character sets will automatically contain Vietnamese as well, but not necessarily the other way around.

    Some Type Design fonts have Vietnamese. These include: DMCA Sans Serif 9.0 (which contains Subset3+), Custom Font ttf 3.0 (which contains Subset3) and Riglos Mono 1.1 (which contains LPTT-1.1).


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