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Labelling in non-Western languages

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#1
Hans van der Maarel

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So we all know about the best practices in labelling, but I was wondering whether there's any special things to keep in mind when labelling a map in a non-Western language, specifically Chinese.

I'm trying to get a project where I have to produce a world map, labelled in Chinese. Matters are slightly complicated by the fact that I don't actually speak Chinese, but luckily I have some friends living nearby who do to a certain degree so I can always ask them to take a look at my first drafts and let me know whether I've made glaring mistakes ("Number 15 with extra fried rice" instead of "North Sea" for example)

Attached File  labelling_in_chinese.jpg   231.53KB   219 downloads

This is a quick and dirty sample that I put together for the client. I'm using Wikipedia to look up the labels, then copy & paste them into Illustrator.

One thing I noticed is that even though Chinese generally uses less characters than say English for names, but they tend to be much more detailed, so I don't think I can set them at really small point sizes. The smallest here is 6 point. So in many cases, there will not be a very major gain in the surface area needed to label a feature. On the other hand, the option to stack the characters vertically does give me more flexibility for placement.

Anybody else have any additional comments/experiences?
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#2
Jean-Louis

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So we all know about the best practices in labelling, but I was wondering whether there's any special things to keep in mind when labelling a map in a non-Western language, specifically Chinese.
Anybody else have any additional comments/experiences?

I did a map of Singapore once with several Chinese labels. I had the texts verified but ended up putting some of them upside down without noticing it.
Be careful and triple check!
Jean-Louis Rheault
Montreal


#3
kay

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Hello, Hans. Your map with Asian text looks really good!

Labelling text with Asian language can be a bit tricky but there is a nice advantage.
In English, the word flows from left to right all the time... On the other hand, it can flow from left to right or from top to bottom with Asian language. I can see that you are using this technique in your map; the county name for Sweden, Finland, and Norway flows from top to bottom while the one for UK and Ireland flows from left to right.

Keep up the great job, Hans. :)

Cheers,
K




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