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Paragraph Style + Chinese

Apr 19, 2013 7:37 AM

Tags: #chinese #paragraph_style #character_style

I am writing a document in English and have to include Chinese terms in both traditional and simplified Chinese. I am wondering, how can I add Chinese in as the language when creating a character style as no chinese language is listed?

 
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    Apr 19, 2013 7:57 AM   in reply to HSGROW_HK

    I suspect you need to add Hunspell Dictionaries. See http://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/kb/add_cs_dictionaries.html

     

    There seem to be some Chinese dictionaries available from the second link, https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/language-tools/

     
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    Apr 19, 2013 8:42 AM   in reply to HSGROW_HK

    Well, I don't know. Perhaps someone else who sets chinese for a living knows a source for dictionaries.

     

    But are you trying to set the language to do spellcheck/hyphenation or to simply keep all these words from being flaged as misspelled in UK English, or to assign a font that has the correct glyphs? The only part of that requiring the ditionary is actual spellchecking and hyphenation (does Chinese use hyphens?) to prevent falgging as misspelled you can assign [No Language], and obviously the language assigned has nothing to do withthe correct choice of font to get the required glyphs.

     
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    Apr 19, 2013 9:34 AM   in reply to HSGROW_HK

    I don't know your platform, so I can't tell you how to extract the Firefox dictionaries from the Firefox installer format. Interestingly enough, my ten seconds of research seems to indicate that Firefox uses the old MySpell OpenOffice dictionaries - not the Hunspell dictionaries.

     

    But you really don't need Chinese dictionaries installed, I think.  There are some cases where it's easier to get a particular kind of in-language behavior by correctly marking text with its appropriate language (e.g. getting Farsi numerals in Farsi text). But I can't think of anything off the top of my head that can't be done in InDesign without marking Chinese as Chinese. You can wrap Chinese wherever you want, pretty much - there's no hyphenation in Chinese. I was always taught that it was bad form to break a compound (a word made from two or more glyphs) when you didn't need to - but that it wasn't overtly wrong.

     

    If it's the case that you are typesetting mostly English text with a few Chinese words here and there, all you really need is a character style that specifies the Chinese font you intend to use. If you really want to mark Chinese-as-Chinese, you can edit the list of languages in a variety of ways. Or you can just mark Chinese text as Chinese in Word, and place the Word file into InDesign - ID will respect Word's language settings, and add Chinese language to the list.

     
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    Apr 19, 2013 10:27 AM   in reply to HSGROW_HK

    Chinese does use hyphenation along with commas and full stops (periods, if you will).

    I've not seen a single use of hyphenation anywhere in Chinese in twenty years of exposure. Perhaps it's used in mainland China? Most of my work is with (or for) the Chinese diaspora. Or maybe we're having a communication problem; "using hyphens" is very different from "using hyphenation to indicate a word broken across lines."

     
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    Apr 19, 2013 10:38 AM   in reply to HSGROW_HK

    I ran a couple of tests - and now I'm confused. Seems that my Trad Chinese set in PMingLiu marked as Chinese (Taiwan) or Chinese (Hong Kong) in Word gest marked by InDesign as Chinese: Simplified, but that English text set in MingLiu and marked as Chinese (Taiwan) in Word get marked as Chinese: Traditional in InDesign. I don't think I ever noticed; when handling Chinese I always have some English text here and there throughout the document, so Chinese: Traditional has always been in the Languages dropdown.

     

    Most of my Chinese text is produced in China using translation memory tools, so no doubt there's something funny going on under the hood. I'm about to do a 15-language flier, it'll give me an opportunity to test this further.

     
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    Apr 22, 2013 2:28 PM   in reply to HSGROW_HK

    I've always thought that ID used language attributes only for hyphenating and spell-checking.  As far as I've noticed, the only effect of the CJK attributes is to disable hyphenation for alphabetic text.  Note that ID does apply Japanese line-breaking rules to characters in Japanese fonts, regardless of the language attribute, suggesting this capability depends on settings hard-wired into the fonts.  (It used to be that Adobe explained Japanese type features in western languages only in the documentation for Illustrator, where the interface can access analogous settings; now that World Tools Pro offers access to the Japanese features of ID in western versions I expect its documentation would be more useful.)

     

    I'm not sure how one might spell-check or hyphenate Chinese, but that doesn't stop me from using CJK language attributes in virtually every job.  I work mainly with scholarly text, mostly in English but with many bits of Chinese both in characters and romanization, as well some Japanese or Korean, and occasionally European languages.  When the text is mostly alphabetic it is worth my while to apply character styles to mark C, J, and K, and I include the language attribute in the char. styles.  I generally need to distinguish traditional Chinese from simplified, and style those separately.  ID's GREP searching makes it pretty simple to apply the styles to anything in the CJK range, though I must decide the language for individual strings, and trad. from simp. Chinese: there are small discrete blocks for Japanese kana and Korean hangul, but not for the Chinese forms used by all three languages, nor for simplified Chinese (or "simplified" Japanese kanji); I generally GREP-search for the whole CJK block ([\x{2E80}-\x{9FBB}]+), eyeballing each string so I can apply the appropriate style.  Note that changing the Chinese attribute from traditional to simplified does not affect either the coding or the appearance of the characters: it's just a label.

     

    As Joel points out, western-language versions of ID don't come with language attributes for CJK languages, although ID readily brings in CJK language attributes when importing MS Word documents.  Once imported, they are available to insert into character styles, and these survive transfer between ID documents.  I get a lot of *.doc files with C, J, and K, and for a long time didn't realize that stock ID lacked the CJK language attributes -- not unreasonable, given that western-language versions of ID come bundled with good Chinese, Japanese, and Korean typefaces.  But note that as Jongware showed back in 2011, finding "unlisted" languages isn't trivial.

     

    The CJK language attributes are of no consequence for print publication (beyond interfering with hyphenating alphabetic text).  Nor are those tags passed on to PDF.  They might be (or might become) useful in other forms of electronic publication, but for now I rely on PDF to ensure consistent handling of the CJK and unusual diacritics (tone-marked vowels for pinyin romanization of Chinese, macrons and breves for romanizing J and K).  On the other hand, once I have segregated C, J, and K with char. styles I might as well apply the language attributes, in case they eventually prove useful in "re-purposing" my ID files.

     
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