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difficulty with PTS dictionary and diacritics

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  • Martha Turner
    Let me apologize in advance: This is a much more basic question than what I have been seeing on this list. I have been struggling with using the PTS
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 29, 2011
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      Let me apologize in advance: This is a much more basic question than what I have been seeing on this list. I have been struggling with using the PTS dictionary online for about three months now, thinking surely my difficulties would resolve with just random trying of things. Now I am looking for help.

      THE PROBLEM: The PTS dictionary seems unpredictable in whether it returns a response when a diacritic is entered in the search box. For example: I looked up aññāṇa and saw that the etymology was [a + ñāṇa]. I cut and pasted ñāṇa and got nothing. I progressively truncated it, receiving nothing, up to just ñ --still, 0 entries. Tried other methods of entering my ñ--0 entries. There are no words in this dictionary beginning with ñ? (The Gair and Karunatillake reader lists 6 entries in its glossary beginning with ñ.) Similarly, a search for words beginning with ā returns only two words! (I just don't believe it.)

      Sometimes, however, it seems to return an appropriate result. When it returns an unlikely result, however, it persists over weeks with the same unlikely result (only two words beginning ā, for example).

      SOME TECHNICAL SPECIFICS: am using a Mac running OSX 10.6.8, Safari, my default font is Times New Roman (a unicode-enabled font), and my default encoding is UTF-8. I have tried Firefox a few times, the results have the same problems.

      Typically I am selecting "Search entry words only (not definitions)" and "Words starting with." (Tho, yes, I have tried other search parameters.) Typically, I am truncating material at the end--often truncating progressively more material until I get a result that I can scroll through. Sometimes this works--but too often it gets me nothing.

      I have tried using Edit>Special Characters>Insert to insert characters with diacritics AND have tried copying and pasting my word from the PTS text (generally accessed through accesstoinsight.org) AND have tried copying and pasting my word from a PTS dictionary entry: same results.

      Please excuse the rudimentary nature of this inquiry; I would be most grateful for any help anyone can give. Thank you.
    • palitechguy
      Hi; Just a note about viewing this Group with the Pali characters. I don t know if it would make sense to allow Pali instead of Velthius but it is definitely
      Message 2 of 5 , Oct 5, 2011
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        Hi;

        Just a note about viewing this Group with the Pali characters.

        I don't know if it would make sense to allow Pali instead of Velthius
        but it is definitely possible to use the Pali Characters in the Group (I
        don't know if the email messages sent automatically would work as well).

        I'm putting this note as an answer to Martha's question so that a person
        can see these instructions and try it out in the same message!

        The 'Gentium Basic' font with the needed Pali characters is available at
        : Gentium â€" a typeface for the nations
        <http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.php?site_id=nrsi&id=gentium>

        A Firefox add-on called Transliterator has Velthius to Pali
        transliteration built in (I requested it ages ago, sent him the codes
        and he was nice enough to add it as a standard language). Look for
        Pali-Velthius in the list of languages. You can use this for typing in
        your messages. You can read about it on the Firefox pages at :
        Transliterator
        <https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/transliterator/> .

        Before trying the following, please note this - important - step. Before
        you change something in your browser settings, write down what it is now
        so that you can change it back after trying it out!

        I have the Gentium Basic font installed on XP, Kubuntu and Ubuntu. I
        also tested this using Browsers in English and French. It should work
        for any language you use as your default for your browser.

        It should work with any Pali font (not just Gentium Basic).

        To see the message from Martha in Pali on Firefox version 6 or higher :

        Firefox on Windows XP -

        * Step 1) In the main Firefox menu use Tools - Options - Content and
        set Default Font to Gentium.
        * Step 2) In the main Firefox menu use View - Character Encoding -
        Unicode (UTF-8).

        Firefox on Ubuntu and Kubuntu (and other Linux systems) :

        * Step 1) In the main Firefox menu use Edit - Preferences - Content
        and set Default Font to Gentium.
        * Step 2) In the main Firefox menu use View - Character Encoding -
        Unicode (UTF-8).

        Internet Explorer version 8 or higher:

        * Use : Page - Encoding - Unicode (UTF-8)
        * If it doesn't work right away then you can change the font in Tools
        - Internet Options - Fonts to Gentium Basic

        To Martha [=;]

        You mention that you tried Firefox. Using Tranliterator to type in the
        Pali characters might be helpful for you.

        Safari is already UTF-8 Unicode by default. For the PTS dictionary and
        other Pali web sites : It is very likely that you can change the default
        font to Gentium Basic to see the characters (and change it back again
        when you are done - it only takes a second).

        To web page developers : New HTML5 compliant web browsers are starting
        to support "automatic font loading". In other words, if the user doesn't
        have a font required by your web page then the font will be downloaded
        automatically. No more hunting for fonts! No more worrying that users
        might not have the correct font! In a year or two, all browsers will
        support this feature. The Gentium Basic font supports this feature now.

        To moderator - I created this message using Yahoo's Standard New Rich
        Text Editor (for bold, numbering, indentation and highlight). For
        techies - It is a WYSIWYG html editor that allows adding some nice
        elements (like tables and images) and css style (like centering, etc).
        At the bottom-right of the data entry box where you type in your message
        there is a little link 'Most HTML is OK. Learn More.' for the geeks in
        the group. This might be handy for adding Pali texts in a format that
        could be used in other contexts (like Pali Dictionaries, other web
        pages, etc)?

        Hope this helps.

        peace from

        Andy

        --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Martha Turner" <mxi@...> wrote:
        >
        > Let me apologize in advance: This is a much more basic question than
        what I have been seeing on this list. I have been struggling with using
        the PTS dictionary online for about three months now, thinking surely my
        difficulties would resolve with just random trying of things. Now I am
        looking for help.
        >
        > THE PROBLEM: The PTS dictionary seems unpredictable in whether it
        returns a response when a diacritic is entered in the search box. For
        example: I looked up aññāṇa and saw that the etymology was [a
        + ñāṇa]. I cut and pasted ñāṇa and got nothing. I
        progressively truncated it, receiving nothing, up to just ñ --still,
        0 entries. Tried other methods of entering my ñ--0 entries. There
        are no words in this dictionary beginning with ñ? (The Gair and
        Karunatillake reader lists 6 entries in its glossary beginning with
        ñ.) Similarly, a search for words beginning with ā returns
        only two words! (I just don't believe it.)
        >
        > Sometimes, however, it seems to return an appropriate result. When it
        returns an unlikely result, however, it persists over weeks with the
        same unlikely result (only two words beginning ā, for example).
        >
        > SOME TECHNICAL SPECIFICS: am using a Mac running OSX 10.6.8, Safari,
        my default font is Times New Roman (a unicode-enabled font), and my
        default encoding is UTF-8. I have tried Firefox a few times, the
        results have the same problems.
        >
        > Typically I am selecting "Search entry words only (not definitions)"
        and "Words starting with." (Tho, yes, I have tried other search
        parameters.) Typically, I am truncating material at the end--often
        truncating progressively more material until I get a result that I can
        scroll through. Sometimes this works--but too often it gets me nothing.
        >
        > I have tried using Edit>Special Characters>Insert to insert characters
        with diacritics AND have tried copying and pasting my word from the PTS
        text (generally accessed through accesstoinsight.org) AND have tried
        copying and pasting my word from a PTS dictionary entry: same results.
        >
        > Please excuse the rudimentary nature of this inquiry; I would be most
        grateful for any help anyone can give. Thank you.
        >



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Stephen Hodge
        ... It is confusing to talk about a Pali font as there is really no such thing. You are really talking about fonts which include a range of diacritics for
        Message 3 of 5 , Oct 7, 2011
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          > I don't know if it would make sense to allow Pali instead of Velthius . .
          > .
          It is confusing to talk about a Pali font as there is really no such thing.
          You are really talking about fonts which include a range of diacritics for
          transcribing Indic languages. Some fonts have a huge range of diacritics
          for transcribing many different languages while some are trimmed down for
          Pali and Sanskrit. Whatever works for Sanskrit will, of necessity, also
          work for Pali. To use diacritic fonts, the group needs to be set to use
          Unicode utf-8 fonts. This is something the group owner can arrange if they
          want, but I think he may have reasons for not doing this as this discussion
          comes up every year or so here.

          > The 'Gentium Basic' font with the needed Pali characters . . .
          The SIL Gentium is a good font for Indic languages (and others) and is
          widely used in the Buddhist academic world ~ I use it myself as the need
          arises. However, it is rather ironic to use this font for Buddhist studies.
          Do you know who SIL are and what their aim is ? They are a Christian
          evangelical organization who have developed a range of language tools for
          language study for the sole purpose of translating the Bible into every
          language so they can disrupt indigenous cultures with their Christian
          "message" ! Not exactly benign. As an alternative, there is the Gandhari
          font which was developed by Buddhist scholars for specifically Buddhist
          language needs.

          Best wishes,
          Stephen Hodge
        • Магуба
          By the latter did you mean the Akkhara Muni script of Ian James? http://skyknowledge.com/akkharamuni.htm http://www.omniglot.com/writing/akkharamuni.htm Or
          Message 4 of 5 , Oct 7, 2011
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            By the latter did you mean the Akkhara Muni script of Ian James?
            http://skyknowledge.com/akkharamuni.htm
            http://www.omniglot.com/writing/akkharamuni.htm

            Or there is another font based specifically on Gandhari script?


            I admit my preferred script for writing both Pali and Sanskritis Devanagari - it's concise, aestethic and easy to write manually, but it's difficult for typing without special software. Unfortunately our keyboards are designed for typing mainly the long and clumsy alphabetical scripts and not syllabaries which actually could be more adequatefor our computer age as Marshall McLuhan has suggested once.


            ________________________________
            From: Stephen Hodge <s.hodge@...>
            To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Friday, October 7, 2011 5:51 PM
            Subject: Re: [Pali] Re: difficulty with PTS dictionary and diacritics


             

            > I don't know if it would make sense to allow Pali instead of Velthius . .
            > .
            It is confusing to talk about a Pali font as there is really no such thing.
            You are really talking about fonts which include a range of diacritics for
            transcribing Indic languages. Some fonts have a huge range of diacritics
            for transcribing many different languages while some are trimmed down for
            Pali and Sanskrit. Whatever works for Sanskrit will, of necessity, also
            work for Pali. To use diacritic fonts, the group needs to be set to use
            Unicode utf-8 fonts. This is something the group owner can arrange if they
            want, but I think he may have reasons for not doing this as this discussion
            comes up every year or so here.

            > The 'Gentium Basic' font with the needed Pali characters . . .
            The SIL Gentium is a good font for Indic languages (and others) and is
            widely used in the Buddhist academic world ~ I use it myself as the need
            arises. However, it is rather ironic to use this font for Buddhist studies.
            Do you know who SIL are and what their aim is ? They are a Christian
            evangelical organization who have developed a range of language tools for
            language study for the sole purpose of translating the Bible into every
            language so they can disrupt indigenous cultures with their Christian
            "message" ! Not exactly benign. As an alternative, there is the Gandhari
            font which was developed by Buddhist scholars for specifically Buddhist
            language needs.

            Best wishes,
            Stephen Hodge




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Stephen Hodge
            Dear Anon, ... http://skyknowledge.com/akkharamuni.htm http://www.omniglot.com/writing/akkharamuni.htm ... Neither, we were talking about transcription roman
            Message 5 of 5 , Oct 7, 2011
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              Dear Anon,

              > By the latter did you mean the Akkhara Muni script of Ian James?
              http://skyknowledge.com/akkharamuni.htm
              http://www.omniglot.com/writing/akkharamuni.htm

              > Or there is another font based specifically on Gandhari script?

              Neither, we were talking about transcription roman fonts. I meant the font
              called Gandhari, not this unnecessary monstrosity nor a Kharosthi font like
              Rhino.

              Stephen Hodge
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