Armenian on Mac

kj's picture

Hello.

> Is there a way to view Armenian websites on a Mac?
I use firefox as my browser.

> I have already bought Hrant's Maral from Linotype, and I have Arasan.
Am sure there are other Armenian typefaces that I can buy for a Mac, but I couldn't find any for sale. Can anyone help me out in this?

Cheers

Jens Kutilek's picture

Two fonts with Armenian support should be already included on your Mac (at least in Mac OS X 10.5), Mshtakan and Arial Unicode. If one of them is installed, Armenian websites should be displayed properly.

Jens

kj's picture

I have a Mac OSX 10.4 and it didnt come with either :S
Is there a way to solve this?

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

Go to this menu in your Font Book:

Mikey :-)

guifa's picture

Use your OS X installer CDs/DVD to install the additional fonts.

«El futuro es una línea tan fina que apenas nos damos cuenta de pintarla nosotros mismos». (La Luz Oscura, por Javier Guerrero)

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

Use your OS X installer CDs/DVD to install the additional fonts.

gulp... this reminds me, I scratched mine all up... double gulp

kj's picture

umm...mind my ignorance... never thought of doing that...

Thanks guys... most of the sites are working now.
except this one though >>> http://www.aztagdaily.com/DisplayPage.php

Umm... what about Armenian typefaces for sale? Anyone can help in that?

kj's picture

Btw... Mateo I got the first part of the quote "the future is a thin line..." but didnt get the rest. Can u translate please?

Yo comenzaré a aprender español pronto :) :)

guifa's picture

Aztag Daily doesn't work for me either. You may need to play around with the text encoding. Armenian isn't on my list of encodings to switch to so I couldn't test this morning (gotta head off to work in a sec).

The quote says, "The future is a line so fine that we barely realize that we ourselves draw it"

«El futuro es una línea tan fina que apenas nos damos cuenta de pintarla nosotros mismos». (La Luz Oscura, por Javier Guerrero)

kj's picture

Have a nice day Mateo.
But may i ask why the interest in Armenian?

ebensorkin's picture

I plan to make a mono one of these days ( madness I expect ) but in reality you will be waiting for a few years.

aszszelp's picture

Yeah, that Newspaper page is ARMSCII-8 encoded, not Unicode. (That's like pages still encoded Latin-1, Latin-2, etc. instead of Unicode: very common).

You have to change the Encoding in your browser, something like: View > Encodings > [Other > SE and SW Asia] > Armenian (ARMSCII-8).

Then it works fine.
I'm such in love with the looks of the Armenian script!

kj's picture

Hey 'aszszelp' thanks for the help.
I'm Happy ur in love with the looks of the Armenian script.
Being an Armenian and knowing that is flattering, tnx.

aszszelp's picture

Hm, something like that would flatter me too in a reciprocal situation...

but then again: the script is not your achievment, but St. Mesrop's, so that feeling is somewhat out of place ;-)

kj's picture

Thank you for the Info :) :P 'aszszelp'
We have been studying about St. Mesrop Mashtots ever since kindergarten.
So maybe I misused the word 'flattered'.

aszszelp's picture

No, no, as I already put it: it's a natural feeling even in such cases... it's just not rational.

But the human existence as such is not rational, so...

oprion's picture

Ahh... Armenia... this brings back memories. Probably the most hospitable place in the world.
I wish I took pictures of the church walls, beautifully carved with the Armenian characters.
_____________________________________________
Personal Art and Design Portal of Ivan Gulkov
www.ivangdesign.com

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

ARMSCII-8... I don’t seem to have access to this on the mac.

aszszelp's picture

Firefox has it. Firefox is available for Mac. When saying, "I don't seem to have access to this on the mac." do you mean Safari?

It's not much supported (as I'm just reading on Wikipedia) as it was started being developed in 1991 (till 1999).

Unicode also supported Armenian since the 1.0.0st version (published October 1991), so that's why the 256-char encoding did not catch on much, I guess.

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

Yes, I meant Safari.

I put ARMSCII-8 into Firefox and I got garbled text.

Mikey :-)

kj's picture

No Firefox is working very well with me Mike.
Go to View >> Character Encoding >> More Encodings >> SE & SW Asian >> Armenian (ARMSCII-8)

Thats wat i did and it worked properly.

Do u guys read Armenian?

Yeah I read the same article A. apparently the Unicode concept hasn't well spread in the Armenian based websites. I know a couple of people in Aztag Daily, maybe i should tell them about this.

Guys no one still told me about Armenian typefaces for sale? no clue?

kj's picture

Oh and Ivan you should definitely go there again to take pictures :)

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

I did that

and i still get question marks

hmm...

kj's picture

Hmmm... Maybe you also need to activate the Armenian in the system preferences.

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

how do I that?

Mark Simonson's picture

It works for me with Firefox/MacOS 10.5 without doing anything special, other than choosing the character encoding.

aszszelp's picture

KJ: maybe this ressource helps:

http://cg.scs.carleton.ca/~luc/armenia.html

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

I have 10.4, perhaps that’s why its not working.

aszszelp's picture

the fact that you see ?s and not garbled text lets me assume that you simply don't have fonts installed that support armenian.

if it was an encoding issue, you'd see garbled "latin" text (as you do when you open up the page initially).

cerulean's picture

Look at the MyFonts results for the search term "Unicode". You can find Armenian in many of the fonts that try to cover as much of the entire world as possible. If one of the little blue icons beside each font shows a capital To, it has Armenian in it. Check the codepages to see what it looks like -- sometimes the style is completely different from the other alphabets in the font!

Michel Boyer's picture

I downloaded the font "Arial AM" on a PC and then installed it on my mac. Here is what I can see with Safari on OS X 10.4.11. Since I don't read Armenian, I can't be sure this is right. In any case, my guess is that you should find answer to your question here.

Michel

kj's picture

Hey Michel, thanks a lot.
This is Armenian allright.

K J

Carolyn Puzzovio's picture

(Even though I'm not Armenian) I'm working on new OpenType fonts with Armenian and Latin characters, using the latest Unicode version.
I've recently finished 'Lagoon' - which is based on the type found in an antique book printed in Venice.
It has very many ligatures - a lot of work! At the moment I'm giving away a few CDs of fonts (fully compatible with Mac/PC).
KJ - email your postal address and I will send you a CD with this and other Armenian/Latin fonts. All I ask is that you let me know what you think of my work. Thank you.

Carolyn P

kj's picture

Hey Carolyn, I will be happy to receive and check your work.
Here's my postal address:
>
>
>
Khajag Meguerditch Apelian
P.O.Box 150 850
Sharjah UAE.
>
>
>

K J

hrant's picture

Khajag, as you've probably noticed, Arasan is not Unicode. As you've found out however Mshtagan (which is Unicode) does come with OSX. It's decent. But don't use Arial-Unicode's Armenian - it's quite horrid, and full of structural mistakes.

> what about Armenian typefaces for sale?

Ironically enough it's hard to find an Armenian font for sale; people who design Armenian fonts don't expect to get any money for them! So they just give them away. This is of course why most Armenian fonts are so crappy.

Besides the great classicist work done by Carolyn, I have a font called Nour (in four weights) which has won two competitions (one by the UK magazine Creative Review, the other by the government of Armenia). It attempts to be highly authentic but equally readable, and has a somewhat elaborate relationship with a Latin counterpart (called Patria). It's all Unicode (although I have it in other encodings too). Please feel free to contact me: hpapazian at gmail dot com.

> ARMSCII-8 [is] like pages still encoded Latin-1, Latin-2

It's certainly worse than that. ArmSCII-8 is one of two quasi-standard 8-bit encodings; the other is mine (the one in Arasan).

> the script is not your achievment

Well, we all participate. In fact some scholars think what Saint Mesrop invented looked quite different originally, and it's when the scribes started using the new script at speed that it started looking a bit Greek.

hhp

Miguel Sousa's picture

> Mshtagan (which is Unicode) does come with OSX. It’s decent.

Decent?! That's a gross overstatement, to say the least. Mshtakan is neither decent, appealing or even well executed. Having it as a system font is a disservice to the improvement of contemporary Armenian typography. There are free Armenian fonts out there that are *way* better than Mshtakan. I have nothing against Michael Everson, but the design of Mshtakan is simply too poor to fit the bill of a system font. I mean, have you tried to read a webpage with that thing?

Seriously, can this be called "decent"?

Even people that never saw a ja (ձ) and have no clue of what it's supposed to look like will say it was drawn by a child..

hrant's picture

I hereby stand accused of being too nice.
Let the court records show this. :-)

I once consulted casually on the font (in fact I came up with the name - it means "eternal" - Everson, get it?) but if I ever saw that "ja" I'm sure I told Michael that it's a disaster!! Puke freely, man. In fact the version I saw might have had a decent one. I'll have to check my old (pre-Gmail) emails.

So: I retract my positive comment - thank you Miguel. Also: Sylfaen (which comes with Windows) has a pretty good Armenian component (but the Georgian is a caricature). Another bit of evidence (as if we needed more) that Microsoft cares more about type than Apple. Apple certainly cares about buffing titanium though.

hhp

hrant's picture

So I went back and checked my emails from that time (from 12/2002 to 2/2003) and it looks like I warned him on at least four occasions that the "ja" was no good. Here's an example of what I wrote:

"
The ja totally doesn't work... :-( That squiggle
looks like a diacritic. And none of the three in your
sequence are usable. Try making the ascender part of
the righthand stroke of the base.
"

The thing is, later on he showed me some alternates, one of which was decent, and I told him so. So I sort of assumed he used that one (or a better one) in the end. I guess not.

Also, I had helped him out more than I remembered, and seem to have asked him for some crediting, but never got confirmation of that. Is there any crediting in Mshtakan (not Mshtagan BTW) that anybody can see? I don't have a Mac handy.

hhp

nina's picture

Hrant, there either is no crediting to you, or I am too stupid to find it.

hrant's picture

Thanks for checking.

hhp

guifa's picture

I was looking through my fonts I have for armenian and might have found part of the problem. While all the rest of the (granted, rather limited) Armenian fonts I have tend to have quite varied metrics, Mshtakan shares more than a few similarities with another font that I presume is well distributed (if not, as already noted by hrant, well designed). Mshtakan is black, Arial Unicode is blue.

The metrics are nearly identical, although Mshtakan (which as far as I know was designed to be more of a screen font) is bolder. But the x-heights, ascender and descender height are nearly identical. Some of the more unique letters seem to be almost traced out of Arial Unicode. Specifically, է, ժ, ծ, ձ, ճ, մ, ւ, and ֆ. I'm not saying he copied it of course, but he has a very clear influence (although, to his credit, he did go for what, if I've learned well from hrant and I'm sure he'll correct me if I be wrong, is a far better and more authentic հ and ն, and actually got the ք correct).

«El futuro es una línea tan fina que apenas nos damos cuenta de pintarla nosotros mismos». (La Luz Oscura, por Javier Guerrero)

[side note: hrant, within about a week or two once I'll have an interesting setup for the italic of Coruña with regards to Armenian]

hrant's picture

Nice investigation.

I'm not sure what Michael would have gained by copying the metrics from Arial. Arial's Armenian is neither passable nor in much use AFAIK. Tracing* on the other hand is advantageous - but of course not OK, at least not without permission and crediting.

* By which I have to ask what exactly you mean.

> the x-heights, ascender and descender height are nearly identical.

How nearly? Because in the past I've been surprised at how close I've come on occasion myself. After I made Patria I was curious to compare it against two highly reputable fonts: Times and Georgia. To my shock all three were quite close in vertical proportions! Plus as with the metrics, I can't think of a good reason to copy it. That is, unless Arial was in fact a direct source for the outlines (at least some of them) in which case it would be natural to keep the vertical proportions (and maybe change them a hair to divert suspicion).

Concerning the "ho", IIRC* he asked me about which form to use and I strongly recommended what I consider to be the authentic form (especially since his design is classicist) and he used that. The "now" is the good form too (although the rendering is cruddy). Here BTW is a collage of the evolution of the "h", from the original capital, to the superb classical lc form, to the sad, Latinized junk from the 70s:

_


_

* I really don't want to go back and read those disheartening emails again...

Lastly, the Arial "keh" is Latinized and not to my liking, but it is in fact a valid historic form, so not totally off the wall. The Arial "sha" however, even though it does have some precedent from the 20th century, is almost as bad as the "ja" (that in fact Michael seems to have sadly used as a model).

hhp

guifa's picture

When I said traced I didn't mean it quite so literally. But, ժ, ծ, and է seem to curve virtually identically (cf to the letter f or ð, which start their curves at different points in different fonts, and varies its degree of overhang and level and angle of cross bars). I'm not suggesting he intentionally copied Arial, but just might have thought of Arial too closely as a model. I can't remember who said it on here, but I remember someone mentioning that the biggest problem Latin-native designers have with something like Cyrillic is that we tend to be at times too conservative as a sort of crutch. Maybe that was part of the case.

«El futuro es una línea tan fina que apenas nos damos cuenta de pintarla nosotros mismos». (La Luz Oscura, por Javier Guerrero)

hrant's picture

Well, conservatism is highly recommended for non-natives! It's pretty much impossible to truly innovate in a script without a feeling for the intangibles, something that can only be acquired informally over many years, preferably before a certain age (like 10). The thing is, even conservatism requires finding good models to emulate, and this is best done by asking natives. And then listening to them.

hhp

evertype's picture

My stars, Hrant. The mails you wrote me in 2002 were a lot more encouraging: So I took a look at your revised font: Wow, what a difference! I think the slant is a good amount. For the spacing you might consider making it even slightly looser. Don't worry about the liwn, it's pretty normal that way. Some people would call this very old-fashioned, but in the conext of all the contemporary crap that passes for Armenian fonts these days, I think this is a worthwhile effort. The main thing now would be to polish the forms. As for the name, maybe call it "Mshtakan", which means perpetual: it plays well with your last name, as well as the design's "old" nature.

I never looked at Arial Unicode. My source for shapes was font showings in Darbinyan 1965 and Gorcakalyan 1973. I sent you a copy of Darbinyan.

I remember (six years on) some of the discussion we had about ho and ja and so on. I checked to see what ja variants I had, and it seems that you didn't like any of them. I'd be happy to improve the ja. I have a chance to do a update on the font just now. Perhaps there is no redeeming it in your eyes, Hrant, but if ja and anything else wrong with it can be corrected, I'll be happy to do so with your advice, which I respect.

Michael Everson
evertype.com

hrant's picture

Michael, I've been meaning to reply all this time (I wasn't
being courteously quiet or dismissive anything) and I'd like
to get this off my shoulders before ATypI-Dublin...

(BTW, did you edit your post at some time? Because I have this
memory of it being more... defensive. Or maybe I'm getting old.)

The operative thing here is *2002*. Back then things were much
bleaker in the Armenian type design scene, and your design was
refreshing in its conservative stylistic authenticity. Since then
it's improved quite a bit, so things are more competitive. But really
I think Mshtakan is still pretty usable... EXCEPT for the "ja". :-/

Also, once again about the crediting: it would be nice to see my
name mentioned somewhere (in passing, nothing major) as an
advisor or consultant or some such thing.

hhp

evertype's picture

I read this only now, after we met at ATypI... so for the purposes of the list… There is in fact scope for a revision of the font and I should be delighted to fix the loathesome ja (and the black star which oodles of people bemoaned), and to include crediting, because you did offer plenty of good advice in 2002.

(My own records don't show any discussion about crediting for what that is worth. Maybe not much. Anyway now is now.)

hrant's picture

Sounds good.
And it was a distinct pleasure meeting you in person!

hhp

15levels's picture

Hello everyone... joining quite late this discussion, however I know I am not the only one who is trying to replace the disastrous Mshtakan on Lion. I still cannot find a way to do it. Can someone recommend if that can be done at all and if yes, then how?

Many thanks,

Ruben

ps. BTW, you are welcome to take a look at my calligraphy works, if interested ... http://15levels.com/art/armeniancalligraphy

Tom Gewecke's picture

@Ruben Could you explain in more detail what your problem is? Can't you just remove it and replace it with the font of your choice?

15levels's picture

Tom, I cannot find a way to define a default Armenian font in Mac OSX Lion. Will it work if I rename another Armenian font "Mshtakan" and delete the original one?

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