Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Polytonic Greek Fonts

Here are the next three lines of the passage from Antigone by Sophocles with no defined font.

ὁρᾷς παρὰ ῥείθροισι χειμάρροις ὅσα
δένδρων ὑπείκει, κλῶνας ὡς ἐκσῴζεται,
τὰ δ᾽ ἀντιτείνοντ᾽ αὐτόπρεμν᾽ ἀπόλλυται.

Tahoma is the defined font:

ὁρᾷς παρὰ ῥείθροισι χειμάρροις ὅσα
δένδρων ὑπείκει, κλῶνας ὡς ἐκσῴζεται,
τὰ δ᾽ ἀντιτείνοντ᾽ αὐτόπρεμν᾽ ἀπόλλυται.

Microsoft Sans Serif is the defined font:

ὁρᾷς παρὰ ῥείθροισι χειμάρροις ὅσα
δένδρων ὑπείκει, κλῶνας ὡς ἐκσῴζεται,
τὰ δ᾽ ἀντιτείνοντ᾽ αὐτόπρεμν᾽ ἀπόλλυται.

Palatino Linotype is the defined font:

ὁρᾷς παρὰ ῥείθροισι χειμάρροις ὅσα
δένδρων ὑπείκει, κλῶνας ὡς ἐκσῴζεται,
τὰ δ᾽ ἀντιτείνοντ᾽ αὐτόπρεμν᾽ ἀπόλλυται.

The first section with no defined font does not display properly in my browser, IE, but the rest do. At work my post from yesterday did not display properly although it was in IE on WinXP. I believe the full WinXP was not installed since it is also missing the character map. I cannot go to our tech support at work and complain that my browser does not display classical Greek. Too bad.

A translation of this passage from Antigone by Sophocles will be in my next post.


Addendum: The translation is in the next post titled Father and Son


6 Comments:

Blogger Bridget said...

Well, this is rather odd-- I could see all the Greek perfectly using the RSS feed in Safari, but when I went to the actual page, only the Tahoma displays correctly. The rest have some characters (including many of the accented ones) displayed properly and the rest as boxes.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Suz said...

So Tahoma is the most reliable. Thanks for that feedback. I haven't used polytonic Greek before because I dón't really get it about why there is such a discrepancy with the display. However, if I do use it again I will chose Tahoma.

3:27 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

All four examples looked fine in opera.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am using SuSE Linux and Mozilla Firefox, all sets look ok!

1:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

So, is it right that if you set a font (that the user has installed) it looks OK in IE? If so perhaps the answer is to set cascading fonts... I.e. specify first one that you like, but list two or three others in order of preference to try to cover most users.

My interest is Hebrew, but the issue is a real concern...

12:10 PM  
Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Hi Tim,

The point is to start with the right encoding. See this on the Better Bibles Blog. IMO it is the precomposed Greek. Then define the font as Palatino Linotype because ithis font is bundled with Windows and Macs, I believe. Then add whatever fonts you prefer after that. Then everyone will see it.

I think Hebrew is simpler, and for unmarked text it does not need to be defined. I will try out the marked Hebrew and respond on that in a few days.

Hebrew is handled by Uniscribe which is an inbuilt application that handles all complex and left to right scripts in Windows so it is less problematic than Greek in that respect. I understand that there are other problems with Hebrew but only for some of the marks.

3:58 PM  

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