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Old 01-15-2010, 07:23 AM   #1
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Amazon expands language support in Kindle Store

From the press release:
Quote:
SEATTLE, Jan 15, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced that authors and publishers around the world can now use the self-service Kindle Digital Text Platform (DTP) to upload and sell books in English, German and French to customers worldwide in the Kindle Store (www.amazon.com/kindlestore). Until today, DTP was only available to authors and publishers based in the United States. Now, authors and publishers outside the United States can take advantage of this same opportunity and start offering their books to Kindle customers at http://dtp.amazon.com.
********

It's great that Amazon is expanding the number of supported languages, but only until you realize that Amazon will never be able to support most of the languages in use; the Mobipocket format cannot display text in any direction other than left-to-right. Would you like to use Arabic? Sorry, that reads right to left. Japanese? Sorry, that's written vertically.

And the Kindle has less than complete support for Unicode (which is rather odd, because no other device based on the Mobipocket format has that problem). So if you want to display a language in anything other than Latin based characters (Western European languages, basically), you're out of luck.
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:28 AM   #2
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Until today, DTP was only available to authors and publishers based in the United States. Now, authors and publishers outside the United States can take advantage of this same opportunity and start offering their books to Kindle customers at http://dtp.amazon.com.
That part is intersting.
One step in the right direction. Keep going amazon, maybe you'll get it right. ePub ePub ePub !
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:58 AM   #3
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This is exiting...it will be interesting to see how this influences the non-english content on the kindle store in the next weeks and months...
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:26 AM   #4
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I think it's a good move for us customers. Currently there is too less competition in the ebook market in europe, especially in germany, france and austria. Now, when Amazon will offer it's plattform to publishers as well as directly to authors it will get interesting. I hope that we will see more books being published as ebooks too in europe within the next months.
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:43 AM   #5
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That is good since I think that we, in the US, think that the entire planet speaks english
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcuadro View Post
That is good since I think that we, in the US, think that the entire planet speaks english
Not hardly. You haven't been to the southwest lately, have you?
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by rcuadro View Post
That is good since I think that we, in the US, think that the entire planet speaks english
Yes and the rest speaks french or german... What about all other languages? Even if the format can't handle text from right, there are plenty of other "western" languages out there. I don't understand why they won't just open it to any language.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:51 AM   #8
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This isn't only about non-english content, previously an Australian publisher (say) could not use DTP because all the accounting was US based.
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
It's great that Amazon is expanding the number of supported languages, but only until you realize that Amazon will never be able to support most of the languages in use; the Mobipocket format cannot display text in any direction other than left-to-right. Would you like to use Arabic? Sorry, that reads right to left. Japanese? Sorry, that's written vertically.

And the Kindle has less than complete support for Unicode (which is rather odd, because no other device based on the Mobipocket format has that problem). So if you want to display a language in anything other than Latin based characters (Western European languages, basically), you're out of luck.
Wow, I didn't realize Mobi had those limitations...my wife was kinda waiting for a Japanese Kindle...thanks for the news, Nate!
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:02 AM   #10
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Japanese can be written left-to-right, top to bottom, and, indeed, frequently is written so.
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:25 AM   #11
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The direction of Japanese language depends upon which format one is using:

Tategaki is written in columns going from top to bottom.

Yokogaki is the modern format and is written horizontally.

When I read Yukio Mishima, Yasunari Kawabata, or Haruki Murakami (or any Japanese writer, for that matter), I read them in English, since my knowledge of Japanese is now over 40 years ago.


Don

Last edited by Dr. Drib; 01-15-2010 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Drib View Post
The direction of Japanese language depends upon which format one is using:

Tategaki is written in columns going from top to bottom.

Yokogaki is the modern format and is written horizontally.

When I read Yukio Mishima, Yasunari Kawabata, or Haruki Murakami (or any Japanese writer, for that matter), I read them in the yokogaki format.


Don
That's impressive I'd love to read Murakami in Japanese, although I heard the translations are pretty damn good anyway.
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:32 AM   #13
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That's impressive I'd love to read Murakami in Japanese, although I heard the translations are pretty damn good anyway.
You caught me during my edit. I used to read some Japanese, but not anymore. It's all English now. (Sorry.)

(I got caught up in my humor and was trying to state that when I read Japanese writers now, I read them horizontally - because I'm reading them in English.)

Don

Last edited by Dr. Drib; 01-15-2010 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:34 AM   #14
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You can read fiction in japanese? I'm jealous and impressed!
I have a looooooooong way to go to get there.
Many japanese books suffer horribly in the translation, the language structure and way of thinking generally being so different. Murakami and a few others fortunately seem to have outstanding translators.
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:39 AM   #15
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You can read fiction in japanese? I'm jealous and impressed!
I have a looooooooong way to go to get there.
Many japanese books suffer horribly in the translation, the language structure and way of thinking generally being so different. Murakami and a few others fortunately seem to have outstanding translators.

Nooo. Again, I apologize.

I agree that many Japanese books can have horrible translations, according to professional translators.

Murakami has had two really excellent translators; and Murakami himself is a translator of Raymond Carver, one of my favorite Literary writers.


Don

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