[XeTeX] Japanese, Chinese, Korean support for Polyglossia

Wilfred van Rooijen wvanrooijen at yahoo.com
Sat Jul 24 02:04:34 CEST 2010

Hi all,

As Francois Charette has indicated in another email, there are already two packages for Japanese with polyglossia. I have offered to make these packages into "official" polyglossia releases because the present versions are adaptions from adaptions (I live in Japan, I can speak enough Japanese to get by, but most importantly many of my colleagues use latex so they can help me the definitions). The author of the present gloss-japanese and gloss-nihongo definitions for Japanese has not yet responded to our (repeated) inquiries :-))

Some further points:
- In Japanese there are *many* ways to count the time. There the Western way (西暦) and the Japanese way (日本の歴), in which it is now Heisei 22. The existing polyglossia definitions implement the Japanese counting system between present back to the Meiji-era (1868) - Meiji, Taisho, Showa, Heisei. Earlier dates may be required for historians etc.
- The names of the months in Japanese are 1月、2月 etc __in the Chinese system__. In the Japanese system, the months have different names. The Japanese system is hardly ever used but is implemented in the polyglossia definitions
- Japanese can count with Western and Chinese symbols and both are commonly used.
- The Japanese terms for "chapter", "section" etc are numerous and depend on the type of document. In most Japanese non-scientific material, the difference between a chapter and a section, or any document division tends to be more fluid than in Western works.
- There are already numerous packages which implement ruby (i.e. the typesetting of furigana, the small hiragana characters above a kanji (LTR typesetting), or to the right of a kanji (Top-to-bottom RTL typesetting) to indicate pronunciation. It would be worthwhile to check how this is implemented in pTeX which is the almost universally used Japanese extension of teTeX
- Character spacing, line spacing etc is implemented in the package zhspacing, which is really written for Chinese but I think it is also OK for Japanese. Linebreaking can be set with \Xetexlinebreaklocale or something like that (CJK commonly has no spaces to indicate potential breakpoints).
- Typical Japanese typesetting is burasage, where punctuation marks 。、「」are allowed to protrude into the margin. I think that modern xetex can do this without any problem.

But mostly, I think we have several Japanese members of this email list, why don't we ask them for advice?


--- On Sat, 24/7/10, Philip Taylor (Webmaster, Ret'd) <P.Taylor at Rhul.Ac.Uk> wrote:

> From: Philip Taylor (Webmaster, Ret'd) <P.Taylor at Rhul.Ac.Uk>
> Subject: Re: [XeTeX] Japanese, Chinese, Korean support for Polyglossia
> To: "Unicode-based TeX for Mac OS X and other platforms" <xetex at tug.org>
> Date: Saturday, 24 July, 2010, 5:02 AM
> Just one comment, since we seem to be
> converging on agreement :-)
> Gerrit wrote:
> > I don’t think that there is Ruby used in academic
> writings in Taiwan.
> It all depends what you mean by "academic" : Ruby is most
> certainly
> used in texts used to teach the Chinese language to
> children, which
> some might classify as "academic".
> ** Phil.
> --------------------------------------------------
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