Archive for the ‘Site News’ Category

Using CSS to display Peh-oe-ji correctly

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Times were that I was asking everyone who visited this site to download fonts in order to view the content properly. However, growing support for web fonts (in CSS3) means that many visitors with up-to-date web browsers are able to see the fonts I choose, even if those fonts are not installed on their computers. This is great for displaying Pe̍h-ōe-jī (the Taiwanese romanization used throughout the site) and Taiwanese Phonetic Symbols (Bopomofo for Taiwanese).

The following browsers are supported:

  • Firefox 3.5 and above
  • Opera 10 and above
  • Safari 3.1 and above

Support is also available in Google’s Chrome browser, but is disabled in the current version due to a security review. The developers are aiming to to reinstate support in time for version 4.0.  To check how your browser works with Taiwanese text, visit the fonts page.

Together users of the browsers listed above made up 47% of visitors in the August to October period, so hopefully this update should make life a little bit easier for many visitors here. I would encourage users who don’t have one of the above browsers to either upgrade, or install one or more of the fonts listed on the fonts page.

For those of you interested in the technical details, this is how it works. (more…)

Site redesigned and back online

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

After a while without adding any new content, I’ve decided to update the design and add some features to the site.  In addition to the updated look of the site, there are a couple of additions worth pointing out.  The first is a sitemap to allow visitors to locate the information they are looking for.  Shortly I’ll be bringing a site search online too. There’s a new image gallery with photos relevant to the language, which at the moment contains only a few images, but which will grow as time goes on.

The other notable addition will not be immediately obvious to many visitors, as it’s more of a “behind the scenes” change.  Previously I asked visitors to install a special font in order to view the romanised Taiwanese used throughout the website, but advances in browser capabilities mean that users of the latest versions of Firefox, Opera, and Safari will not need to do this, as their browser will automatically download and display the correct font. I’ll be writing a full blog post on this aspect of the redesign in the near future, including the technical details.

Tailingua is now also on Twitter, which will be used for quick updates that don’t require a full blog post. At some point I’ll be integrating the Twitter feed into the sidebar on this site.

Hope you like the changes and I’ll be glad to hear any opinions you have on the redesign.

The Year without a Post

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Almost whole year has passed by since I last posted anything here… oops. I’ve been busy getting my business off the ground, writing unpublishable books and various other frippery. Anyhow, this inexcusable situation cannot be allowed to continue – new stuff coming up, including a redevelopment of the website itself and new content.

That is… if there’s anyone still reading.

Site Update: More Romanizations and a Conversion Chart

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

Full range of Chu-im charactersMore goodness in the Scripts section of Tailingua. There are basic details on four more romanization schemes, plus a preliminary comparison chart for some of the better known systems. The picture on the right is of the extended range of Chu-im characters, including those designated specially for use with Taiwanese and Hakka. The last four characters at the bottom are for the Taiwanese stops, represented in most romanizations as “p”, “t”, “k” and “h”.

I’m currently working on ways to incorporate sound files smoothly in to pages, something which would allow me to build a useful phonics section. Also coming up in the next few weeks: more books and more detail in many of the existing areas of the site.

Site Update: Books and more…

Friday, October 12th, 2007

In response to some email I have received about the problems of rendering the romanization on the site properly, I have decided to use a version that requires no extra fonts to display correctly. I hope to develop an option for those computers with the capability to display fully-featured POJ, but for the meantime all visitors will see POJ with tone numbers instead of diacritics (accent marks).

I have updated a few pages throughout the site, but the main change is in the Bookshelf section, where I have added basic details on five more items – three textbooks for learning the language (one in German, but hey – when it comes to Taiwanese manuals, beggars can’t be choosers), one on linguistics and a series of POJ texts for children/beginners. I hope to add reviews of all the books mentioned on the site in the future.

The next task is tackling the romanizations section – details on four more systems and a conversion chart hopefully coming up this weekend. Feel free to let me know of any features or information you would like to see.

Tailingua open for business…

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

I’ve just about got the site ready to go, so please have a look. The idea is to bring together information in English about Taiwanese to form an introduction to the language, especially for people who cannot read written Chinese. I have lots more content to add, but I felt it was better to start with the content that is ready now, rather than wait for everything to be perfect (!) before putting it online.

If you have any suggestions for future development or criticism of what’s already there, please let me know – I’ll be happy to hear from you. Already planned is a phonics section, as well as expansions to the information and bookshelf sections, and more detail on scripts, including a conversion table. I’ll be adding this content as and when it’s fully ready, and will post here when something new goes up.