Reader devices for ePub have had a strong English orientation. This has been addressed with ePub 3, but of course it needs to be easier. This test book has 28 languages from around the world including alphabet, script, logograph and all the other "too hard" languages.
It is available from the AZARDI resource site for those who are interested in language in general or perhaps a specific language.
For those interested in the page sequence, it follows the sun. Starting at the International Dateline in New Zealand with Maori, and moving with the sun more or less with lines of longitude. An alphabetic listing may have been more useful, but then that would have been alphabetic in English and missed the point.
This little exercise brings sharp focus on the brilliant work of the Unicode Consortium. It's all encompassing, non-political and awe-inspiring. While we English speakers may occassionally mumble under our breaths about UTF-8, it is those five little characters that open the world.
We included Amharic, the second largest semetic language in the world. This has some presentation issues in that it doesn't use any space characters. In AZARDI you can switch to Flow mode and increase the viewport size. We probably have something to learn here.
The DejaVu font family is embedded in the ePub. This addresses the requirements of all alphabet based languages. There are no fonts embedded for logographic and Indic scripts as we could not find reliable SIL licensed fonts.
However AZARDI does work seamlessly with the desktop and assuming you have a reasonably modern OS installation, it will find fonts on the System.
Of the languages included in this ePub 3, the following languages are supported by the included DejaVu Fonts:
The languages that AZARDI does not directly support with fonts and where suitable fonts will have to be available from the Operating System: