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 Post subject: [i18n Tips] How to use beautiful Japanese font
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:03 am
Posts: 16
Issue: Chinese characters are used in Japanese texts

Here's a brief instruction on how to install Japanese fonts. By default, Peppermint comes with a Chinese-Japanese-Korean (CJK) Unicode font called "WenQuanYi"*. The Japanese language also uses Chinese characters and we call them "Kanji" but these are slightly different than the originals used in Chinese. Since WenQuanYi has been developed by Chinese designers, its Kanji characters look barely readable but not perfect. As a Japanese speaker I find it a bit uncomfortable for everyday use. Besides, it's not educational for Japanese learners like kids and foreigners to use Chinese characters in Japanese texts. And many of Japanese users want to have Japanese serif fonts anyway.

* If you don't need any CJK support, maybe you can delete the CJK font to make your font list simpler and get 5MB of free disk space:
Code:
$ sudo apt-get remove ttf-wqy-microhei



WenQuanYi in Japanese. Some Kanji characters are legible but incorrect.
Image


Get beautiful Japanese font "IPA"

Here are my favorite Japanese fonts: IPAP Gothic (sans serif, proportional), IPA Gothic (sans serif, monospace), IPAP Mincho (serif, proportional), and IPA Mincho (serif, proportional). You can easily get them by performing
Code:
sudo apt-get install fonts-ipafont-gothic fonts-ipafont-mincho
Tip: If you want to install only one of them, add "--no-install-recommends".

I also recommend you change your desktop font from "Ubuntu" to either "IPAP Gothic" or "DejaVu Sans" for consistency.
Image

Question 1. I like IPA better! Can we replace WenQuanYi by IPA?
Ans. No. IPA is exclusively designed for the Japanese language, thus it doesn't support Chinese/Korean characters.

Question 2. Should Peppermint include the Japanese font(s)?
Ans. I don't think so. WenQuanYi is readable and practical enough for Linux operation and its troubleshooting. Yet I guess we can store and share this kind of internationalization (i18n) know-hows in our forum and online manual.

Question 3. WenQuanYi doesn't handle Korean (Hangul).
Ans. See http://peppermintos.net/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=6423


(Optional) Get "IPA Mona" and enjoy 2ch AAs

WenQuanYi doesn't represent ascii arts (AAs) in Japanese 2ch very well;
Image

neither does IPA:
Image

Another Japanese font "IPA Mona" has been developed from IPA and is optimized for AAs.
Code:
$ sudo apt-get install fonts-monapo

Image

But it doesn't mean that Mona is always superior to the original IPA because generally the original IPA is more beautiful and legible than Mona. The screenshot below uses Mona and notice that English texts in it is not as beautiful as the one using IPA.
Image

If you have any question about Japanese support, feel free to ask me.

Cheers,

Culip


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