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zompist bboard • View topic - Using font trick for instant translation

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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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Ο ορανς τα ανα̨ριθομον ϝερρον εͱεν ανθροποτροφον.
Το̨ ανθροπς αυ̨τ εκψον επ αθο̨ οραναμο̨ϝον.
Θαιν. Θαιν. Θαιν. Θαιν. Θαιν. Θαιν. Θαιν.


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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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χʁɵn̩
gʁonɛ̃g
gɾɪ̃slɑ̃


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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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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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