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Old 01-28-2011, 11:31 PM   #1
jimmyzou
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Is it possible to read Chinese on a KOBO wireless?

This seems tough as there is much fewer dev on Kobo than Kindle or Sony.
But since Kobo wireless has its fireware on a Micro SD card, that gives no dare for us to try out anything possible on it, right?
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:08 AM   #2
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That's an interesting question.

As an experiment, I just downloaded this book 三字經 in EPUB format onto my Sony Reader. I just picked the first one I found at the Gutenberg site.

My reader displays it as all question marks: ?????????.

I can't read Chinese, but I can view the document in my Firefox browser with the EPUBReader add-on, and I can see Chinese characters, so I believe the format is good. I just can't read it on my Sony Reader. I don't know about the Kobo.
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Old 01-29-2011, 09:40 AM   #3
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Thanks for finding a sample book, Ken. On my Kobo, the title shows all blanks, and the text is all "?".

So no joy
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Old 01-29-2011, 12:38 PM   #4
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I don't have a Kobo to try this with, but have you considered converting the file into a PDF with Calibre and then trying it on the device? I'd be interested to hear whether that fixes the problem at all.
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Old 01-29-2011, 03:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny Fekete View Post
..., but have you considered converting the file into a PDF with Calibre and then trying it on the device? I'd be interested to hear whether that fixes the problem at all.
That's an interesting idea, since PDF includes its own font information.

But when I tried this command (using Calibre's ebook-convert program):
ebook-convert chinese_anonymous.epub chinese_anonymous.pdf
I got this output. Maybe I'll try another and see if it works.
Code:
1% Converting input to HTML...
InputFormatPlugin: EPUB Input running
on /home/ken/doc/epub/chinese_anonymous.epub
Parsing all content...
34% Running transforms on ebook...
Merging user specified metadata...
Detecting structure...
Flattening CSS and remapping font sizes...
Source base font size is 12.00000pt
Cleaning up manifest...
Trimming unused files from manifest...
Creating PDF Output...
67% Creating PDF Output
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/lib64/calibre/calibre/ebooks/pdf/writer.py", line 167, in _render_html
    self._render_book()
  File "/usr/lib64/calibre/calibre/ebooks/pdf/writer.py", line 148, in _render_book
    self._write()
  File "/usr/lib64/calibre/calibre/ebooks/pdf/writer.py", line 196, in _write
    outPDF = PdfFileWriter(title=self.metadata.title, author=self.metadata.author)
TypeError: __init__() got an unexpected keyword argument 'title'
PDF output written to /home/ken/doc/epub/chinese_anonymous.pdf
Output saved to   /home/ken/doc/epub/chinese_anonymous.pdf
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Old 01-29-2011, 04:28 PM   #6
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Do a search on "Chinese" in this forum and you'll get some results from people who have played around with different work arounds to get Chinese to display. Don't know how well they work and they're slightly more labour intensive than just having them show up natively, but they may be worth looking into for you.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:35 PM   #7
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I registered on the forum just to post this....

I've been using Kobo Bulk Fixer to embed Chinese fonts to magazines (i.e. 南方周末) downloaded via Calibre. http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=83209

You need to replace the "LiberationSerif-" fonts file (all of them) in the program directory to a Chinese font. You can use a Chinese font like Droid Sans Fallback.

Last edited by ricw; 04-01-2011 at 01:02 AM.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricw View Post
I registered on the forum just to post this....

I've been using Kobo Bulk Fixer to embed Chinese fonts to magazines (i.e. 南方周末) downloaded via Calibre. http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=83209

You need to replace the "LiberationSerif-" fonts file (all of them) in the program directory to a Chinese font. You can use a Chinese font like Droif Sans Fallback.
This seems neater than embeding Chinese fonts in the PDFs.
I have been using different Sony readers before, so I know it's not a problem at all to read Chinese on those. Just wondering if there is a way to mod the firmware and add Chinese fonts into it, so the Epubs or Pdfs could be plug and play without fixing.
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:11 AM   #9
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What do you mean by "replacing the 'LiberationSerif....'"?

I have a Kobo but it is not around me at this moment. I know it does not support Chinese natively but boy, it is so cheap now (only USD99).

By "replacing the 'LiberationSerif...." files, do you mean copying Chinese font files into the respective program directory and renaming it as "LiberationSerif....."?

Raymond
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:05 AM   #10
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Yes. Overwrite the Liberation serif fonts that came with it. Note that not all Chinese fonts work.. For me I think Droid Sans Fallback works best. (it supports many other languages also!)
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:36 AM   #11
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So I think I've found the font source: http://android.git.kernel.org/?p=pla.../fonts;hb=HEAD

But when I plug in my Original Kobo with 1.8 firmware, there is no logical place to find .ttf fonts or Liberation Serif ... or any fonts. I've looked in every directory using Windows 7 Explorer.

If this is as "easy" as swapping out Kobo's base font with this Droid one, I'm all over this customization ... but I'm asking for a little more hand holding. Please and thank you.
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:13 PM   #12
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The problem with Asian fonts is that the database for them is usually (relatively) huge!
For a language like Korean it should not be too big of a problem because they have an alphabet (as long as you don't include the characters), but for Chinese, the number of characters is quite substantial.

However, since the Kobo has an SD card slot, the size of the font files should not be too big of an issue. Maybe Kobo will have an extra Font file we can download alongside firmware 2.0

Go Kobo!

I really wish an actually rep from Kobo would read this thread though...
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayupark View Post
The problem with Asian fonts is that the database for them is usually (relatively) huge!
For a language like Korean it should not be too big of a problem because they have an alphabet (as long as you don't include the characters), but for Chinese, the number of characters is quite substantial.

However, since the Kobo has an SD card slot, the size of the font files should not be too big of an issue. Maybe Kobo will have an extra Font file we can download alongside firmware 2.0

Go Kobo!

I really wish an actually rep from Kobo would read this thread though...

"since the Kobo has an SD card slot," you meant the slot inside, right? I have not had chance to look into the firmware files on the SD card inside, I supposed it not that easy that the font file is a seperate file on that SD?
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:15 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by SensualPoet View Post
So I think I've found the font source: http://android.git.kernel.org/?p=pla.../fonts;hb=HEAD
But when I plug in my Original Kobo with 1.8 firmware, there is no logical place to find .ttf fonts or Liberation Serif ... or any fonts. I've looked in every directory using Windows 7 Explorer.
No... change nothing on the eReader. Instead, embed Droid Sans Fallback font into the ePub files so that Kobo loads the Chinese fonts embedded. Replace the LiberationSerif fonts in the "Kobobulkfixer" program directory w/ Droid Sans Fallback, then "fix" the ePubs using the program. Note that you can't fix an ePub more than once, so keep your original copy.
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:22 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ricw View Post
No... change nothing on the eReader. Instead, embed Droid Sans Fallback font into the ePub files so that Kobo loads the Chinese fonts embedded. Replace the LiberationSerif fonts in the "Kobobulkfixer" program directory w/ Droid Sans Fallback, then "fix" the ePubs using the program. Note that you can't fix an ePub more than once, so keep your original copy.

I replaced all four "LiberationSerif ...".ttf file with the same Droid Sans Fallback .ttf file that I download (around 14M), and changed file name back to the "LiberationSerif -...", run it on a chinese epub book. The size of the ebook changed from 24k to 24M, then copied it into kobo wifi. But only the cover page of the book is displaying Chinese, all the contents still showing "????".
What have I done wrong here? Took me 4 hours to reach this step. Desparately need help!!
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