I shouldn’t go too long without mentioning Google’s ambitious Noto project, which offers both serif and sans-serif versions: Noto Serif and Noto Sans.
When text is rendered by a computer, sometimes there will be characters in the text that can not be displayed, because no font that supports them is available to the computer. When this occurs, small boxes are shown to represent the characters. We call those small boxes “tofu,” and we want to remove tofu from the Web. This is how the Noto font families got their name.
Noto helps to make the web more beautiful across platforms for all languages. Currently, Noto covers over 30 scripts, and will cover all of Unicode in the future. This is the Sans Latin, Greek and Cyrillic family. It has Regular, Bold, Italic and Bold Italic styles and is hinted. It is derived from Droid, and like Droid it has a serif sister family, Noto Serif.
Noto fonts for many other languages are available as web fonts from the Google Web Fonts Early Access page.
Noto fonts are intended to be visually harmonious across multiple languages, with compatible heights and stroke thicknesses.
And it’s free, of course.
Here’s a public-domain script font: Promocyja.
Last week I put online China’s official rules for Hanyu Pinyin, the 2012 revision (GB/T 16159-2012). I’ve now made a traditional-Chinese-character version of those rules for Pinyin.
Eventually I’ll also issue versions in Pinyin and English.
(Note: The image above is of course Photoshopped. I altered the cover of the PRC standard simply to provide an illustration in traditional Chinese characters for this post.)
Today’s Pinyin-friendly font is Chispa, by Joan Alegret of La Tipomatica. It’s freeware.
Chonburi, by Cadson Demak, is a Pinyin-friendly font that also covers Thai.
Because of its relatively small size, it could work well on Thai-language Web pages that also include Pinyin. Maybe there aren’t many of those now, but eventually….
It is available through Google Fonts.
I’ve just added to Pinyin.info the tenth and final issue (December 1989) of the seminal journal Xin Tang. I strongly encourage everyone to take a look at it and some of the other issues. Copies of this journal are extremely rare; but their importance is such that I’ll be putting all of them online here over the years.
Xin Tang 10
Although I’m giving the table of contents in English, the articles themselves are in Mandarin and written in Pinyin.
- FEATURE ARTICLES
- ZHOU YOUGUANG: The Next Step of Language Modernization
- CHEN ENQUAN: Experiments Should Be Carried Out on the Phoneticization of Chinese Characters
- LI YUAN: Romanized Chinese Must Be Finalized
- LI PING: To Be a Promoter of Script Reform
- ZHENG LINXI: Wu Yuzhang and Chinese Phonetic Spelling
- ZHANG LIQING: How Should the Tones of Chinese Spelling Be Indicated?
- LIQING: Elephants
- CHEN XUANYOU (Tang Period): The Wandering Soul
- WU JINGZI (Qing Period): Third Daughter Wang
- LU XUN: On the Collapse of Thunder Peak Pagoda
- RUI LUOBIN: The Adventures of Chunmei and Mimi
- COMIC DIALOGUES: Toad Drums
- WEI YIJIN: Dreams at Twenty
- DIAO KE: In Praise o f the Spirit of Bees
- GE XIAOLING: A Song to the Disabled Children
- YBY: The Story of the Magic Square
- SHORT SKETCHES
- DIAN EWEN: Interesting Tidbits about Script Reform Abroad
- LI YUAN: A Few Statistics on Tones Notations in Romanized Chinese
- LEARNING MANDARIN
- FROM THE EDITORS
Essays 1743 is a public-domain font family that has all of the vowel/diacritic combinations needed for Hanyu Pinyin, though the third-tone marks tend to look a bit stiff relative to everything else. Regardless, I’m a sucker for old-style figures (e.g., examples B and D).
In 2012 China revised its official guidelines for writing Pinyin.
These are the Hanyu Pinyin Zhengcifa Jiben Guize (official translation: “Basic Rules of the Chinese Phonetic Alphabet Orthography”), promulgated as GB/T 16159-2012.
Among the changes are that some alternate forms are now allowed, for example “wo de” (my) may also be written as “wode”. I’m not thrilled about that; but I know some people will welcome this.
I’ve added a few notes, such as for errors in the original document.
So far I have made only a version in so-called simplified Chinese characters. But eventually I’ll add one in traditional Chinese characters and an English translation.