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Old 03-13-2010, 05:18 PM   #16
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Not e-ink, but "e-paper" (reflective LCD screen), the JetBook handles a lot of languages out of the box:

"Support for eBook contents in Albanian, Catalan, Danish, Dutch, English, Faeroese, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Croatian, Czech, Estonian, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian and other European languages "

http://www.ectaco.com/ECTACO-jetBook-Graphite/
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:35 PM   #17
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Not sure how relevant this, but the iRiver Story (E-ink) seems to cover these, according to one source. I'm not sure if it can handle general reading of a wider range.

Text: Adobe PDF and EPUB, TXT, DOC, PPT, XLS, and HWP
Comic Viewer/images: ZIP, JPG, BMP, and GIF
Audio: MP3, WMA, and OGG

Menu support for 15 Languages: English, German, French, Russian, Spanish, Chinese (both simplified and traditional), Dutch, Polish, Korean, Italian, Turkish, Japanese, Czech, and Swedish.

I have also seen the overall number of readable languages quoted as 40, but unfortunately I can't find any confirming details. You can apparently add any truetype fonts (.ttf) by dragging and dropping into the font directory, but I haven't tried it yet.
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:08 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by ChrisC333 View Post
Not sure how relevant this, but the iRiver Story (E-ink) seems to cover these, according to one source. I'm not sure if it can handle general reading of a wider range.
Thanks, Chris, for your info. Are you willing to upload the small test e-book I have added at the beginning of this thread into your iRiver Story reader? This is the easiest way to see which languages it supports.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:57 AM   #19
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Hi again,

Sorry for the delay, but I didn't see your response until a few moments ago.

I've just downloaded your test file and sadly it doesn't seem to be doing all that well

Even some of the languages that it claims to have menu support for (e.g. Dutch and Polish) have some small errors. Russian is not displaying at all, but that's not surprising.

I'd be happy to try adding some font sets if anybody knows where I could download some from. I don't have any decent information about how to use them, but there is an existing folder for fonts and it's easy enough to drop them in there. Getting them to work well might be another story....
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:22 AM   #20
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OK... some progress.

At least I've discovered how to change the settings so that it reads the 15 supported languages properly.

I just needed to find the right place to make the changes..... D'OH....

Now it's all in Russian, so lets hope I can figure out what to press to get it back to English again.

EDIT:

PHEW... that was interesting! Trying to navigate menu systems in Russian is a skill that I don't have. Fortunately I made the right guesses without stuffing anything up along the way.

The built in language choices are the 15 I mentioned plus Romanian.

With the language set to English it only gets some of the lines in your document correct. Some lines then have a few errors ( a sprinkling of ??? marks), but Russian, being a completely different script shows as all ????????s

However, once I change the setting the menu displays are fully functional, including Russian. At least it all looks OK - I don't read Russian.

So it seems that it can handle the languages one at a time, but won't mix different languages and display them all correctly - unless they use similar sets of symbols - which seems fair enough.

I'm not a linguist, so does that set look like it would be usable for a good spread of languages or are there any major omissions?

Hope that's useful anyway.

Chris

Last edited by ChrisC333; 03-16-2010 at 02:52 AM.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:59 AM   #21
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One more thing...


Even with the languages working properly on the menus the results were the same when reading your attached document - many of the lines didn't work properly. So there may be a weakness in how you've assembled it, or an unsupported assumption about how devices can interpret the code.

My guess is that the device would read complete documents OK in any of those 16 languages, plus any 'sister' languages that used similar sets of characters and symbols. Just a guess though.

Chris

YET ANOTHER EDIT...

Incidentally, if I read your file using Adobe Digital Reader software on my desktop computer (iMac) it does a similarly patchy job of reading some lines OK, some partly, and the Russian not at all.

However if I use the Stanza reader software on the same computer then it reads all the lines in your document apparently flawlessly!

What does all this mean? I've no idea. I'm just a tester....

Last edited by ChrisC333; 03-16-2010 at 03:26 AM.
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:04 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by ChrisC333 View Post
Incidentally, if I read your file using Adobe Digital Reader software on my desktop computer (iMac) it does a similarly patchy job of reading some lines OK, some partly, and the Russian not at all.

However if I use the Stanza reader software on the same computer then it reads all the lines in your document apparently flawlessly!

What does all this mean? I've no idea. I'm just a tester....
Thanks, Chris, for your long answer! I hadn't the intention that you spend all day testing, but hopefully you found it interesting too.

What does all this mean? Well, Stanza uses the fonts of your iMac. These fonts are very extended and contain the characters of almost every language. Adobe Digital Reader uses it's own fonts, which are very limited. They display only a small subset of Unicode characters by default.

Your reader uses the mobile version of Adobe Digital Reader and hence does not display the characters needed for Polish, Russian, Greek, Esperanto etc.

If you want other characters than these to display in ADR, you will have to embed the required fonts into the ePub book. This is feasible, but I don't think my grandma, who just received her reader, will succeed in doing this...

You can change the system language of your mobile device, and as far as I understand in that case your device changes also the system font. Probably that is meant by the developers when they say that all these languages are supported.
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:40 AM   #23
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If you want other characters than these to display in ADR, you will have to embed the required fonts into the ePub book. This is feasible, but I don't think my grandma, who just received her reader, will succeed in doing this...
Thanks for the explanations - it's clearer now. I thought that there might be some sort of issue with the fonts needed to be embedded or internalised in some way in the original document, but I have no knowledge of how that works in practice. I always enjoy trying to learn new stuff though.

Changing to any of the 16 supported options on the iRiver is a fairly straightforward matter of pressing the menu button and selecting Settings and then Language. But it sounds like you're saying that it still probably won't read a regular ebook in another language, using the epub format, unless it also has all the necessary characters sets already embedded. Is this a rarity with such documents? Do the publishers of non-English ebooks just assume that you are using a PC or a specialist ereader?

Incidentally, the iRiver story was available in Korea well before it came to English speaking countries, and Korean is the first language on the menu list. It also came with PDF format instruction manuals installed, in a range of languages, so I'd assumed that its handling of those languages should be reasonably well implemented. But maybe it doesn't go as deep as I thought?

Last edited by ChrisC333; 03-16-2010 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:06 PM   #24
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Do the publishers of non-English ebooks just assume that you are using a PC or a specialist ereader?
As far as I know they deliver ePubs with embedded fonts. But this helps only partly: the table of contents of the readers (that shows the titles and authors of all the books in the reader) use the system font. For languages with latin characters such as Polish and Rumanian, this is not such a problem, because you can guess what character comes where you see the question marks, but for cyrillian languages e.g. (Russian, Ukrainian) you see only question marks and then it's very hard to guess the titles and the authors
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