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Foreign Type Fonts

Type fonts are the characters you see on the screen when you view a website or a document that correspond to keys you can select on your keyboard. (We assume you have a QWERTY keyboard.)  Each language uses a certain set of characters that defines their alphabet or writing system. Web browsers and technology are getting pretty good at automatically presenting the correct characters for a web page or document you are viewing.  However, there may be times when you will need to download a special type font to view something correctly.  This is more likely if it is a lesser-known language. 

Some languages share the same alphabet or writing system.  Also, there are hundreds of different styles of fonts for a given alphabet or writing system.  If you are going to type using a word processor, you will need the appropriate foreign fonts loaded on your computer, as well as, the software that properly maps each character to a key or combination of keys on your QWERTY keyboard. Also to the way in which your typing will appear on the screen. For example, Arabic is written right to left and not left to right like in English.  Your computer software has to adjust for that.
   Type Fonts for Foreign Languages

We cover how to find a type font you need to be able to view a website whose language uses a different set of characters than the Latin-based alphabets used by western countries.  We also cover sources of downloading fonts for use in your word processors and desktop publishing systems where you need to enter text in another language that does not use a Latin-based alphabet. 

Remember, if you are entering characters in another language, they will need to be mapped to your standard QWERTY keyboard and in some cases there may be special software required to allow you to type in another language, such as when the language is written
right to left instead of left to right. (Microsoft provides a Windows Character Map tool that displays your keyboard in a separate window with the keys configured for a foreign font.

If you need to view a website that is not in the English language, in many cases your browser will automatically display the text correctly due to the inclusion of foreign type fonts with the browser.  The information embedded in the webpage tells your browser what language type fonts the text is in. Also see the article below on free tools to automatically translate web pages.

If you encounter a case where the page does not display correctly in the original language, there are several options available. The common option is to install the necessary type fonts used by the language on your computer. If you are using Microsoft's Internet Explorer, it has many options for getting the fonts. Check the IE Help Menu for information by searching for "foreign language support." 

Almost all foreign fonts have at least one typeface (type style) that is available for free or as shareware from various sources. Microsoft has made available just about every foreign font you would need. You can even download, for free, their CJK language Pac for Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Apple Computer also has language kits available. Firefox, Netscape and other browsers can also show you how to get foreign fonts for their browsers.  
Some websites that use foreign fonts let you download free fonts to view their pages.

Check a browser's help, online help and knowledge base for information on foreign fonts. 
Foreign Font Resources
To search the web, enter the name of the language you want a font for or the name of the written form of the language which may differ from the name of the language itself. Include the term "type fonts" and if you are looking for free or shareware, enter those words as well.


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