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International languages & bookleteer

December 7th, 2009 by gileslane

One of the most important decisions we took with planning bookleteer was to integrate support for languages other than English from the very start – not just ones which use the European Latin character set (ABC etc), but languages that use non-Latin characters and those which read from Right-to-Left. We’ve done initial tests with languages such as Chinese (traditional & simplified), Japanese, Korean, Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Vietnamese and Arabic; we’ve also tested it with major Latin alphabet languages such as French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, where the use of diacritics is important.

Support for these languages is via a specialised Unicode font set – Code2000 – which enables titles, author names and the colophon to be written in any language supported by the fontset (full list of supported scripts here). As yet this doesn’t extend to the HTML content input (though we will enable this for the beta version) so the best way to create eBooks in different languages is to create content in offline applications, export as PDF (with the font used embedded in the file) and upload to bookleteer.

Last week we published Niharika Hariharan‘s Hindi/English eBooks for the Articulating Futures project on Diffusion – they are a great example of what can be done to make the uses of eBooks we’ve made in education and public engagement projects relevant to communities outside the English-speaking world – we’d like to see many more examples of this kind of creative use of bookleteer and the Diffusion formats that can benefit people all over the world.

We’d love to hear from others who’d like to use bookleteer to create eBooks & StoryCubes in different languages – please contact us (bookleteer at proboscis.org.uk) for a test account or (if you are in London) come along to one of our Pitch Up & Publish events.

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