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Old 08-29-2011, 02:08 AM   #1
Geco
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Thumbs down Kobo Touch, Japanese and Italian

Hello all, I would love to buy a Kobo Touch but due to Japanese wife I have to know if Japanese language epubs can be read and since I am Italian I also would like to know if Italian accented characters such as à, è, ù can be read as well.
I usually work with UniFont from UniFoundry site. It supports full unicode at once so I have no problem with no language! Has anyone tried to install and use it on the Touch?
Is anyone able to read Japanese or Italian with default font?
Thanks for any .

Last edited by Geco; 08-29-2011 at 02:13 AM.
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Old 08-29-2011, 03:15 AM   #2
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Self reply... it's possible!!! http://atouchofkobo.wordpress.com/2011/08/28/260/
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Old 08-29-2011, 05:24 AM   #3
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This blog post suggests that Japanese text is possible to some extent, if you install an appropriate font.

But Japanese certainly is not a language that Kobo support, and I doubt you would get the kind of polished Japanese book reading experience that you would get with an ereader for the Japanese market, like the Sony PRS range

Japanese novels are usually printed in the text top-to-bottom, right-to-left format. I am not sure the Kobo can support that.

However, dialectal marks for Italian shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:00 AM   #4
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I'll say this here for two reasons: one I would love to be proved wrong by Kobo owners and two I have been told by many electronic book reader owners that reader that Geco needs is a Bookeen. Bookeens specialize in non-english langeuge books and since he needs to acomodate Italian and Japaneese this is the one he needs: http://bookeen.com/en/.

Also try Open Office, a free Microsoft Office clone that is fluent in both langueges: it.openoffice.org and ja.openoffice.org.
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:31 PM   #5
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Thanks for the comment. My first choice was the Sony but I've tested it here in Italy and it has no Japanese font... I have to buy it there in Japan next time I'll go.
I have difficulties in buying kobo from Italy so I'll go check Booken soon if Borders cannot unlock my order before the out of business...
Japanese books are also written horizontally, mainly ebooks, since it's simpler to manage.
I use everyday LibreOffice and my wife is Japanese so I know all the tedious problems of fonts, encoding, directions, ... That's why I've searched hard and decided for Kobo.
What do you think?
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjcroy View Post
This blog post suggests that Japanese text is possible to some extent, if you install an appropriate font.
Forgot to say... I've asked him to test with that font...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjcroy View Post
But Japanese certainly is not a language that Kobo support, and I doubt you would get the kind of polished Japanese book reading experience that you would get with an ereader for the Japanese market, like the Sony PRS range

Japanese novels are usually printed in the text top-to-bottom, right-to-left format. I am not sure the Kobo can support that.

However, dialectal marks for Italian shouldn't be a problem.
Buying the Sony PRS-650 (as I wanted to do), in Italy, does not support Japanese fonts at all (personally tested in a shop) and changing font is completely undocumented and unsupported (even if possible). Buying it in Japan will probably do not support Italian marks... even if this should be a minor problem, since it's only a single letter against a complete word or book!
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:10 PM   #7
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I made mistake of trying to use a unicode font to test greek compatibility initially. Just today I tried a standard ancient Greek font (SPionic) and it worked out great (so long as you switch the to the appropriate font for appropriate epubs). I assume the same is true for many other languages.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:20 PM   #8
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@Geco: Yeah, my view is that there isn't a single ereader that will give an experience that isn't tedious or complicated for using both Japanese and Italian, or English for that matter.

If you can afford it, my recommendation would be to buy a Sony PRS-650 in Japan (20,000 yen) for your wife, and another ereader like Kobo for yourself. Then the Japanese ereader would also be linked in to the ecosystem of the Japanese ebook market, which would probably be beneficial also.

My wife is Japanese too. I have suggested to her that she buy an ereader so that she has access to new Japanese books, as paper Japanese books cannot be bought where we live in New Zealand. But currently she is content just reading the bunko that she borrows from her Japanese friends. That has kept her in stock for a couple of years, but she will have read all the nihongo books in town eventually

About the current ebook market in Japan, my wifes view was that was the selection was a bit limited so far. Sony just relaunched it's ebook business in Japan late last year, so I expect the market to grow, like it has recently in English.
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Britannicus View Post
I made mistake of trying to use a unicode font to test greek compatibility initially. Just today I tried a standard ancient Greek font (SPionic) and it worked out great (so long as you switch the to the appropriate font for appropriate epubs). I assume the same is true for many other languages.
Check the font I've suggested to the guy that made the test I've linked above... it supports full 65536 unicode characters so it should be ok even for greek.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:47 PM   #10
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is there soneone who can check a japanese / english dictionary with the kobo ?
Is it working ? (especially kanji).
Or, is there only a japanese/japanese dictioary and is it working ?

regards,

TIA

P.S./ image will be much apreciated.

I suppose i'm not the only one looking for that :-)
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pportnawak View Post
is there soneone who can check a japanese / english dictionary with the kobo ?
Is it working ? (especially kanji).
Or, is there only a japanese/japanese dictioary and is it working ?

regards,

TIA

P.S./ image will be much apreciated.

I suppose i'm not the only one looking for that :-)
doesn't seem to have japn-engl or engl-japn (yet? i really hope they don't think they can get away with omitting this when releasing in japan)

DOES have japn-japn and it works.

no kanji dic.

one bad point is i find i sometimes have to change to japanese interface to get an option. BUT once it recognizes that the book is japanese, i can do annotations, fonts, etc in japanese...it's just a matter of getting it to realise its japanese.

also some books seem to need a bigger font to make highlighting AT ALL doable. i think it's because it's much harder for the software to recognise words than in english or languages with spaces. this of course complicated dictionary use. but i did have success when i upped the font a degree or two.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:07 AM   #12
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thnak for answering my questions. I 'd like some more explanations ...

jap-jap dictionary :

you highlight a word (ie kanjis) and it give a definition in japanese ?

japanese book :

is having the metadata set as language=japanese sufficient to make this happen?

font :

which one should i use ? or it's just that i have to up the font as fingers can be too big for selection?
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pportnawak View Post
thnak for answering my questions. I 'd like some more explanations ...

jap-jap dictionary :

you highlight a word (ie kanjis) and it give a definition in japanese ?

japanese book :

is having the metadata set as language=japanese sufficient to make this happen?

font :

which one should i use ? or it's just that i have to up the font as fingers can be too big for selection?

Yes, generally, highlighting the kanji gives you a definition in japanese, if in the dictionary.
Size of font should be not the smallest two or three options if you want to select a kanji....and you will for sure need to use the little tabs to move the highlighting, because it will only highlight one kanji on its own. it doesn't know what constitutes a word

i've also had success just typing into the japn-japn dictionary to look up a definition, but i just tried to figure out how i'd done it, but couldn't. I'll get back to you on that.

I'm not sure what factors determine whether it recognizes it as japanese. What I did was go once into japanese interface, open a japanese book, and either it set the font asモリサワリュウミン or when i went into fonts, that option suddenly appeared, along with Gothic MB101 appearing in japanese (モリサワゴシックMB101). Those are the two fonts that are included that are meant to work with japanese books. some of the others might work so-so, but they don't change font size or something.

Now, even when I'm in an English book, in English interface, I get the font option for モリサワリュウミン written as "Ryumin". Soooo, I think once you have got it to realise you want the japanese fonts, you can potentially use the correct fonts even when in the english interface.

about getting it to recognise whether the book is japanese or not...that is related to the thing i'll get back to you about looking up a word by typing it in.

sorry if this answer is all over the place...i'm a bit out of it.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:56 PM   #14
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thanks for the answers and the time taken in answering them.

regards.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:30 PM   #15
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no problem. hope it helps some.

the look up by typing in thing that i mentioned....somehow it's not possible to do anymore. i don't know why, unless syncing at one point messed my dictionaries up...but i tried uninstalling and reinstalling with no luck.

what i previously was able to do was, once i had gone into a book while in japanese interface, chosen the japanese font, etc. i was able to envoke the dictionary by long tapping a word, then choosing dictionary in the menu, then in the top left corner i hit an arrow and it opened up a dictionary that i could type into. since i was in the japanese interface, i could type in japanese. somehow, that set the book as japanese and afterwards, i could type into the japanese dictionary, even when in english interface.

right now, i only get 4 options when trying to type into single language dictionaries. (english, german, italian and spanish), i have previously had dutch and japanese appear there, so why suddenly they disappeared is beyond me.

it may or may not have to do with the fact that even though i have all the dictionaries marked with a check, no matter how many times i sync (or even remove and add back all the dictionaries), it tells me i still have to sync to download 1 dictionary (and doesn't tell me which one).

not sure if any of this info is relevant, as i'm not sure exactly what your end goal is.

i would say that in general at the moment, the japanese dictionary function is lacking. i can look up things much better on my computer or edictionary. my uneducated guess (not from lack of trying to educate myself on this point) is that they are still fine tuning the japanese before releasing this firmware/the glo in japan. i am most definitely hoping that they will soon fix all the anomalies and make it as easy for a japanese (or Japn as foreign language) reader as it is for the other supported languages. but i wouldn't get my hopes up about them including a kanji drawing look up method ....as cool as that would be.

if you have any more questions, let me know, i'll try to answer them, keep in mind that i am new to kobo and actually, this is my first ereader ever! but on the up side, i know some japanese, which some of the best experts on here don't, which is why i'm adding my 2 cents
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