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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:47 pm 
Niš
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I'm creating a font for my language, where characters have a 1:1 mapping with a meaning. I've noticed a pretty cool possibility, but I couldn't find any example of anyone ever using it. Perhaps it is of use to you, or you know someone else who has done it.

It looks like you could actually make a font so it automatically converts a certain sequence of characters (e.g. a unique definition in English) to a character in your language. E.g. you type "tree" and a symbol of a tree would appear instead (and it would go back again to "tre" if you press backspace).

And vice versa, you could make an alternative version of your characters so they show the meaning (drawn into the glyph). For instance, you could set it as a capital (if you don't use capitals) and by switching between normal characters and capitals, you could hide or show the meaning (or any annotation). In my case this would be enough to understand the meaning of the sentence without using a translation program.

You would have to use scripting (which is built in most font editors), otherwise it would be too labor intensive.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:59 am 
Avisaru
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frankvl wrote:
I'm creating a font for my language, where characters have a 1:1 mapping with a meaning. I've noticed a pretty cool possibility, but I couldn't find any example of anyone ever using it. Perhaps it is of use to you, or you know someone else who has done it.

Speedtalk.
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It looks like you could actually make a font so it automatically converts a certain sequence of characters (e.g. a unique definition in English) to a character in your language. E.g. you type "tree" and a symbol of a tree would appear instead (and it would go back again to "tre" if you press backspace).
And vice versa, you could make an alternative version of your characters so they show the meaning (drawn into the glyph). For instance, you could set it as a capital (if you don't use capitals) and by switching between normal characters and capitals, you could hide or show the meaning (or any annotation). In my case this would be enough to understand the meaning of the sentence without using a translation program.

You would have to use scripting (which is built in most font editors), otherwise it would be too labor intensive.

I'm curious, were you referring to any tool in particular?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:27 pm 
Lebom
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You can use Autotext with Word to do it... (except the reverse translation...)
In fact, I used it to type with alphabetic keyboard, and convert in logographic conscript...

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:54 pm 
Lebom
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frankvl wrote:
I'm creating a font for my language, where characters have a 1:1 mapping with a meaning. I've noticed a pretty cool possibility, but I couldn't find any example of anyone ever using it. Perhaps it is of use to you, or you know someone else who has done it.

It looks like you could actually make a font so it automatically converts a certain sequence of characters (e.g. a unique definition in English) to a character in your language. E.g. you type "tree" and a symbol of a tree would appear instead (and it would go back again to "tre" if you press backspace).

And vice versa, you could make an alternative version of your characters so they show the meaning (drawn into the glyph). For instance, you could set it as a capital (if you don't use capitals) and by switching between normal characters and capitals, you could hide or show the meaning (or any annotation). In my case this would be enough to understand the meaning of the sentence without using a translation program.

You would have to use scripting (which is built in most font editors), otherwise it would be too labor intensive.


That's how the Chinese type if they don't have a touch screen, isn't it?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:38 pm 
Avisaru
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To input Chinese languages on a keyboard there are generally two methods: character radical keyboards, which assign a radical to every key and you select characters based on occurring radicals, or romanization IMEs, where you put in the pronunciation (tone optional) in Pinyin or Jyutping or whatever and then select from a list of characters with that pronunciation. These are typically quite context-aware because unlike radical combinations any given pronunciation will have quite a lot of characters, especially when typing Mandarin.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:48 am 
Smeric
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Inversion wrote:
To input Chinese languages on a keyboard there are generally two methods: character radical keyboards, which assign a radical to every key and you select characters based on occurring radicals, or romanization IMEs, where you put in the pronunciation (tone optional) in Pinyin or Jyutping or whatever and then select from a list of characters with that pronunciation. These are typically quite context-aware because unlike radical combinations any given pronunciation will have quite a lot of characters, especially when typing Mandarin.
There are three methods: the two you mentioned (though I'd expand the "romanization" one to just "pronunciation", since the Taiwanese use bopomofo and not romanization), and a third one where pen strokes are associated each with a key, where you type the first 2-5 strokes of a character and the program gives you context-aware suggestions. Most everybody in China and Taiwan on a computer or a laptop uses a pronunciation input method, radical- and stroke-based methods being used by a minority. Stroke-based methods are commonly seen in cellphones though (even today), largely because it proved effective on small cellphones with just twelve buttons for 0-9 * # (and many people are still used to that).

Hong Kong is a distinct case of its own. Many Hongers, including today, don't know Mandarin, so if they can't use a Mandarin pinyin-based method (they usually don't know bopomofo) they have to use a radical- or stroke-based input method. Radical-based methods in particular are much more well known and used than in China and Taiwan. I've seen Cantonese-speaking friends and classmates of mine using Simplified Cangjie very well. The vast majority of people don't know any formal romanization for Cantonese such as Jyutping or Yale either (or even that they exist, at most, they know of the existence of some romanization style used by the government), so available input methods using these are even more unknown to them.

I should've recorded how marvelled my friends were when I showed them this Jyutping input method working.
Grunnen wrote:
That's how the Chinese type if they don't have a touch screen, isn't it?
Pretty sure typing pinyin/bopomofo is faster even with a touch screen and the possibility to write characters by hand.

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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 10:13 am 
Avisaru
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You can indeed do this with a font; you just treat your characters as ligatures. Many text editors can be set to use or not use ligatures, so that way you can easily change between your characters and the English translation. You can even have synonyms - several English words or expressions can map to the same character.

It works in theory, but the system isn't really designed for it, so you might run into some problems. I'm not sure how long words can be handled, for example. Another thing to remember is that if you define a "tree" ligature, and then start typing "street" - well, you see the problem.

If your goal is fast translation, it might be easier to have an actual program do the translation. If your goal is an easy input method, ligatures are probably a good idea, although you might want to base them on something other than English words, like having a certain letter mean a certain kind of stroke, for example.

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