Dutch IJ with dots

245

Comments

  • @Christian Thalmann Your short "I" is doing the unifying heavy lifting, so two acutes isn't as bad; but a single one might be even better.
    it's the convention to add emphasis on an ij like this: íj.
    Conventions are meant to be improved. I'm sure the first people who used the letter "J" itself were told they were breaking a convention...
  • edited November 2017
    Emphasis on the word moet is also móet, not móét.
    But "oe" is not a single letter, while "ij" is, no?

    As Christian says, those examples are easily attributable to j-acute not being available. BTW even if it were available people might be intellectually too lazy to use it, like how some people dump the accents on caps in French.
    I'm now discussing the combination i + j, not the ligature (wich, as statet previously, almost no one use, so I don't have real life experience with it nor do I have examples).
    I'm not sure I understand. When you say the ligature, what do you mean? The "ij" combination doesn't have to be touching to be one letter... just like "i" itself. And what is it that almost nobody uses?
  • But "oe" is not a single letter, while "ij" is, no?
    Sorry if I'm not clear, but it's not an easy situation. This discussion let me re-think a lot of stuff. I'll try to explain the situation. I do not pretend to know for sure how things 'officialy' stick together, but I can give you an idea of how things are in all day life.

    We have two ways for writing (almost) the same sound: ei and ij
    The first (ei) is two letters, the second (ij) 'officaly' one.
    In the Dutch alphabet the ij replaces the y (yes, we don't have the y).

    In the attachment you see an alphabet as used in schools for learning how to write letters.

    Correct me If I'm wrong, but I can't recall any keyboard layout or ISO-88xx charset with an ij character. So, since there are computers, Dutch people wrote the ij character by combining an i and a j. We've written it so long now this way, we sort of forgot it is in fact a single character. 

    That's why I mistakenly called the ij character a ligature. And that's the one no one use, because we've forget it even exists... nor we can't use it, since not much fonts support it. 

    I accidently discovered it when I checked out al the glyphs in the OpenType LatPro set.

    Hope this helps to clarify



  • I never paid much attention to the ij matter, but it's surprising how few words in the Dutch language contain an 'i' followed by 'j' without being an 'ij'. The wiki page on IJ uses the word bijectie (bijection) as an example of i+j not being 'ij'.
  • In Dutch sounds written with two lowercase letters, get two accents, such as: één, máát, héél, vóór, dúúr, zéúren, níét, móét, fláúw, nóú, kléín, erúít.

    With regards to accents and the lowercase "Dutch" ij:
    The second emphasis mark should be used but usually lapse, simply because it is difficult to give character j an accent with a word processor: blíjf, míj, zíj, wíjten.

    But it doesn't mean it is the best or recommended way. To me it looks awkward, so I avoid to give both an accent (blíj́f) and use "blijf" instead.
  • @Erwin Denissen said:
    To me it looks awkward, so I avoid to give both an accent (blíj́f) and use "blijf" instead.
    But then you just changed the meaning, which is generally worse than an æsthetic preference.
  • Ben BlomBen Blom Posts: 250
    Hrant H. Papazian: But "oe" is not a single letter, while "ij" is, no?
    Laurenz van Gaalen: In the Dutch alphabet the ij replaces the y (yes, we don't have the y).

    It is not so clear-cut. Some consider “ij” to be a single letter, and others consider it to be two letters. Both “oe” and “ij” represent a single vowel, and are made of two letters (like “uu”, “eu”, “ee”, “au”, “ou”, etc.). At school, most children learn the language by considering all vowels to be “one thing”, even when they consist of two letters. (Perhaps the “ij” gets a special treatment with this as in the “letterkaart.jpg” image above.) With these two-letter vowels, “ij” is an exception, because only when “ij” is capitalized at the beginning of a word, both the “i” and “j” get capitalized.

    I consider both “oe” and “ij” to be two letters. Lexicographers seem to agree, and they also think the “y” is part of the Dutch alphabet. See in this Dutch-English dictionary:

  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 1,006
    edited November 2017

    b) 99.999% of the Dutch doesn't use the IJ ligature, probably 0,001%  know it exist.
    It is just "ij" and "IJ" in real life. 
    I suspect that more than 0.001% of the Dutch people know that the "ij" ligature exists, if only because they would have encountered it on computer keyboards.
    Hrant H. Papazian said:
    But "oe" is not a single letter, while "ij" is, no?

    I don't think that the situation is quite as simple as that, or it would be impossible for a literate native speaker of Dutch to be unaware of the existence of "ij" as a letter of their alphabet on any level.

    Interestingly enough, oe is a single letter, or at least a ligature, in Latin and French.



    Correct me If I'm wrong, but I can't recall any keyboard layout or ISO-88xx charset with an ij character. So, since there are computers, Dutch people wrote the ij character by combining an i and a j. We've written it so long now this way, we sort of forgot it is in fact a single character.
    Oh, you're not wrong: I was wrong about their keyboard layouts, although the ij character certainly has a prominent enough position in Unicode.

    Upper- and lower- case ij were part of the 7-bit national use character set for the Netherlands, but just as the French accepted the removal of oe from ISO 8859-1 (to make way for the multiplication and division symbols) instead of asking for an alternative ISO 8859-n for French, the Dutch also decided to stay with the mainstream ISO 8859-1 instead of using a higher-numbered one for their language.
  • @Erwin Denissen said:
    To me it looks awkward, so I avoid to give both an accent (blíj́f) and use "blijf" instead.
    But then you just changed the meaning, which is generally worse than an æsthetic preference.
    Maybe you're right, but I don't recall I've ever seen it. So maybe meaning has a different meaning ;-)
  • Ben Blom said:

    I consider both “oe” and “ij” to be two letters. Lexicographers seem to agree, and they also think the “y” is part of the Dutch alphabet. See in this Dutch-English dictionary:

    Interesting post. After my last one it crossed my mind the y is used a lot in old Dutch texts, so my statement ("... we don't have the y") was absolut not correct. See the picture below. Ben, do you have any explanation? It seems you know a lot more about the matter.


  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 1,006
    There were two different versions of modified 7-bit ASCII - ISO 646 - for the Netherlands. One had only lower-case ij, and the other had it in both upper-case and lower-case, but neither of those characters in that version occupied the same code point as the lower-case ij in the other version. That may have mitigated against its use.

    A Google Books result showed the Netherlands version of ISO 646 with lower-case ij only with a y with an umlaut replacing the lower-case ij!
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,800
    edited November 2017
    I suspect that more than 0.001% of the Dutch people know that the "ij" ligature exists, if only because they would have encountered it on computer keyboards.
    I'm having a hard time believing that, given how easy it is to find instances of U-shaped IJ in the Netherlands, especially in lettering. The Rijksmuseum hardly invented that.

    In contrast, I would have thought it impossible to encounter it on a computer keyboard, since I've been told the ligature is not on any common Dutch keyboard layouts.
  • edited November 2017
    Christian Thalmann said:
    The Rijksmuseum hardly invented that.
    I would distinguish between something that settles for looking like an injured "U" versus something that tries to not be a "U".
    Christian Thalmann said:
    I've been told the ligature is not on any common Dutch keyboard layouts.
    What about touch-screen keyboards? (And again, mind the ambiguity of "ligature" there.)
  • Ben Blom said:

    I consider both “oe” and “ij” to be two letters. Lexicographers seem to agree, and they also think the “y” is part of the Dutch alphabet. See in this Dutch-English dictionary:
    I think there's clearly a difference in how we handle ‘oe’ and ‘ij’. If you would have to spell out ‘toen’ you would do it like this: ‘t-o-e-n’, whereas you would spell out ‘mijn’ as ‘m-lange ij-n’.
    Now I'm thinking of this, I think it's illogical that words starting with ij are placed under I in the dictionary. IJ should have it's own entry, even though I'm not in favor of ij having a special glyph or ligature.
  • Ben BlomBen Blom Posts: 250
    edited November 2017
    Laurenz van Gaalen: it crossed my mind the y is used a lot in old Dutch texts

    The spelling of Dutch has changed over the years. In the past the “y” has been used, where today the “ij” is being used. In Afrikaans, the “y” is still being used as in the past in Dutch (Dutch: vrijheid; Afrikaans: vryheid). See here for the old and new spelling of the name of a Dutch train station.

    Artur Schmal: If you would have to spell out ‘toen’ you would do it like this: ‘t-o-e-n’, whereas you would spell out ‘mijn’ as ‘m-lange ij-n’.

    There is a discussion here of about 580 words whether “ij” consists of one or two letters. There is no consensus about this. So, based on one’s opinion about this, “vrijdag” can be spelled in two ways: “V – R – IJ – D – A – G” “V – R – I – J – D – A – G”. Note that young school children would spell “toen” as “t-oe-n”.

    See also European rules for the use of the IJ in public records.

  • Ben Blom said:
    There is no consensus about this.
    In my book that's the best excuse to go for divergence!
  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 691
    edited November 2017
    The topic seems to be quite deep but the main point for me personally is that there appears to be no Dutch consensus on a level of a law or official writing norm.  And for a huge % of people it's a complete bagatelle, correct?
    This image is what I came up with for my font. I can go all the way and design every possible option, even the wrong ones, to make it future-proof in case of new tastes and writing norms. Maybe that would be the best. However, there is still the question of proper names.

    Please suggest the most robust naming of the glyphs. Is /iacute_j.loclNDL understandable across platforms and devices?
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 1,006
    edited November 2017
    Ben Blom said:

    The spelling of Dutch has changed over the years. In the past the “y” has been used, where today the “ij” is being used. In Afrikaans, the “y” is still being used as in the past in Dutch (Dutch: vrijheid; Afrikaans: vryheid). See here for the old and new spelling of the name of a Dutch train station.

    In that case, an obvious "solution" suggests itself; make "ij" simply an alternative way in which the letter "y" can be printed, so that Dutch can be handled without modifying ASCII!

    Obviously, though, that is a bad idea, because it would interfere with the ability to quote from foreign languages within Dutch texts.

    Ben Blom said:
    There is no consensus about this.
    In my book that's the best excuse to go for divergence!
    Diversity, where it actually exists, should be respected for the sake of those to whom it applies - it creates extra effort for them if a dominant group tries to force them to change their script, or, worse yet, their language, to conform to that of the dominant group.

    But because diversity creates difficulty and inconvenience, delay and expense, creating more diversity where it doesn't already exist is wasteful in a world of limited resources.

    But, on the other hand, merely respecting and accommodating diversity isn't enough; it also needs to be cherished and even celebrated. So one has to avoid taking a begrudging attitude to respecting it as well... the question is complicated.
  • But because diversity creates difficulty and inconvenience, delay and expense, creating more diversity where it doesn't already exist is wasteful in a world of limited resources.
    Learning anything is difficult, but then it's power. Without change culture is merely a museum.
  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 905
    Vasil — I think that you should not have a f-ij ligature.

    I have heard before that it is would actually be preferable to prevent the f from ligating with the i when part of a ij vowel (even when the i and j are input as separate letters/codepoints, which is the common case). I don’t know how many font engineers go to the trouble to try to localize this exception.

    And maybe most Dutch readers these days accept this ligature without notice. Our Dutch colleagues will have to provide current local perspective.
  • Kent Lew said:
    I don’t know how many font engineers go to the trouble to try to localize this exception.
    I usually just replace /i by /i.loclNLD so it won't trigger the /f_i ligature.

  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 1,298
    edited November 2017
    Kent Lew said:
    I don’t know how many font engineers go to the trouble to try to localize this exception.
    I usually just replace /i by /i.loclNLD so it won't trigger the /f_i ligature.

    when followed by a /j you mean? (I'd think you'd want a Dutch word like "figuur" to ligate.)
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,483
    With regard to keyboards, yes it is the case that computer keyboards have omitted the IJ/ij letter, obliging Dutch users to type I+J/i+j. However, IJ appeared frequently on typewriter keyboards in the Netherlands e.g. Remington Noiseless Portable


  • What about touch-screen keyboards?
  • With regard to keyboards, yes it is the case that computer keyboards have omitted the IJ/ij letter, obliging Dutch users to type I+J/i+j. However, IJ appeared frequently on typewriter keyboards in the Netherlands e.g. Remington Noiseless Portable


    Remarkable to me that a dedicated IJ/ij key earned inclusion on a keyboard that made lowercase L's pass for ones!
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 1,006

    With regard to keyboards, yes it is the case that computer keyboards have omitted the IJ/ij letter, obliging Dutch users to type I+J/i+j. However, IJ appeared frequently on typewriter keyboards in the Netherlands e.g. Remington Noiseless Portable
    As I noted, back in the 1970s, ij would have appeared on the keyboards of computer terminals in the Netherlands, because it was part of the Dutch national versions of 7-bit ASCII under ISO 646, even if it got lost in the switch to 8 bits. And that was doubtless a consequence of the fact that the character was usually found on Dutch typewriters.

    So while it may be that the younger generation no longer thinks of "ij" as a letter of their alphabet, I suspect that anyone my age in Holland definitely does think of it in this way.
  • Ben BlomBen Blom Posts: 250

    I’ve seen “fi” ligatures in Dutch words like “fijn” in serious publications. Perhaps many Dutch people do not notice such ligatures, but to me they look weird—like the “f” ligating with the left part of the “ÿ” or “ü” in the imaginary words “fÿn” or “fün”. Using OpenType features to prevent “fi” ligatures to appear in texts which are marked as Dutch, is a solution. (If there’s no ligature then in “figuur”, I guess most Dutch people wouldn’t miss it.) Perhaps the most fool-proof solution is using a font in which the “f” of the “fi” ligature doesn’t “eat” the dot of the “i”. Such a ligature works well in “fijn”. [There’s an automatic “fi” ligature here on TypeDrawers, so the “fijn”s here look ugly.]

    Hrant H. Papazian: What about touch-screen keyboards?

    If one is used to type I+J/i+j to create “IJ”/”ij”, one wouldn’t want the option to directly type “IJ”/”ij” on a touch-screen keyboard. One’s fingers will just “automatically” go to I+J/i+j.

  • Ben Blom said:
    One’s fingers will just “automatically” go to I+J/i+j.

    But people love saving keystrokes.
  • Ben BlomBen Blom Posts: 250
    edited November 2017

    Hrant, what is more efficient: ignoring what one’s fingers want to do “automatically”, or just let the fingers move as they are used to? (According to your logic, it would be a good idea to add direct input for other common combinations, like “oe”, “eu”, “ee”, “sch”, etc.)

    In my high school days, I tried to learn to type with ten fingers—but I failed. (Left hand: a-s-d-f; right hand: ij-l-k-j.) The images below are Dutch typewriters. The last one looks like my dad’s old typewriter.

  • edited November 2017
    @Ben Blom What's more efficient, learning to read & write (not natural for humans) or not bothering? :-)  There's no progress without effort. Is the alphabet efficient? For a learner, very much so; for an experienced reader, it's inferior to more complex systems (especially Hangul). Now, how much of a life is spent learning to read, versus reading to learn?

    People can learn to read things as complex as Chinese; when it comes to text entry the real issue is physical ergonomics: you need your keyboard to fit in front of you, or fit on your phone screen without making the buttons too small. Is there room for an "IJ" key? Of course there is.

    Ben Blom said:
    According to your logic, it would be a good idea to add direct input for other common combinations, like “oe”, “eu”, “ee”, “sch”, etc.
    Now you're talking...  :-)
Sign In or Register to comment.