The Multilingual PC Directory

Web Edition v1.1

Contents

  1. Introduction (this document)
  2. Choosing Multilingual Products (this document)
  3. Product Profiles - Over 500 products listed by name or language (30K)
  4. Languages On-Line - Hundreds of files and sites (12K)
  5. Company Profiles - Over 400 companies (22K)
  6. International Reference - How to contact overseas
  7. Glossary of Terms - hundreds of explanations (48K)
  8. Biography - Dozens of resources (8K)
  9. Web Publishing Details (this document)
  10. Conscience Page - Will you sleep tonight ?
  11. Registration - Get the latest version, book or disk
  12. Copyright information (this document)

Did You Know ?

That the country with most official languages is India with fifteen. These include Assamese, Bengali, English, Hindi, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Teluga and Urdu.

Introduction

1.1. Overview
1.2. Searching for Products
1.3. Finding Certain Languages
1.4. Types of Multilingual Support
1.5. Windows vs DOS Products

1.1. Overview

The Multilingual PC Directory is designed to help you find products which support non-English languages on PCs and compatibles.

1.2. Searching for Products

Select the Product Profile option from the Contents above. A search option by language is available.

1.3. Finding Certain Languages

There are many languages whose alphabets happen to support the display of other languages. For example, the Russian alphabet can also be used to display Bulgarian. The Appendix Alphabets and Scripts in Common (in the printed version of the book), tries to identify these similarities which may lead you to solve your language requirements.

1.4. Types of Multilingual Support

The term "multilingual" in the title Multilingual PC Directory refers to the diversity of languages supported by the various products, and not specifically to products that are only multilingual. Indeed, this directory includes three main types of products which help towards the handling of non-English languages. For example:

  1. Bilingual products. Products which support two languages, though one is usually English.
  2. Multilingual products. Products which support more than two languages, though one is usually English.
  3. Nationalised products. Products that have been fully translated for use by a non-English user.

1.5. Windows vs DOS Products

Windows is a Microsoft product, the latest version of which is MS Windows v3.1. It features a WYSIWYG display, that is, What You See Is What You Get). This is in contrast to many DOS-based products which display your text without any indication of the typestyle or size of text you will get in your printouts.

The Windows-based screen image is of obvious benefit to those who wish to see foreign language characters on-screen. The second advantage is that Windows 3.1 supports TrueType scaleable fonts, characters which can be scaled to a range of sizes. These may be used by any application program requiring Windows to run.

Note however, that there are many DOS applications which use their own windows-like display, though the characters and fonts are specifically designed for that particular program.


Did You Know ?

That Nakhi spoken in southern China is one of the few remaining languages still using a pictographic writing system.

2. Choosing a Multilingual Product

Your choice of multilingual product will depend on several factors:

2.1. Language requirements
2.2. Degree of multilingual support
2.3. Pricing
2.4. Availability locally, nationally, or internationally

2.1. Language Requirements

The languages supported by a product are derived from the manufacturer or publisher, and by inspection. Many products are not specifically multilingual, but their support of particular fonts and character sets may make them so. For example, many laser printers support the Roman-8 character set (see Appendix, Character Sets, in printed book) which supports Western European languages.

2.2. Degree of Multilingual Support

The degree of support for non-English languages varies considerably from product to product. The Multilingual PC Directory tries to indicate those features which are English only and those which provide non-English support. It is recommended that you confirm with the manufacturer or publisher the extent of language support which may include one or more of the following:

  1. Ability to display non-English characters.
  2. Ability to print non-English characters.
  3. Ability to enter non-English characters.
  4. The use of non-English screen messages and menus.
  5. The use of non-English documentation.
  6. The availability of non-English technical support.
  7. The support of internationally recognised standards, such as those relating to character sets, keyboard layouts and units of measurement.

Manufacturers are often lax in specifying those languages which are supported by a product. Sometimes a claim for Cyrillic support does not extend to beyond the Russian alphabet.

For example, Bulgarian is written in the Cyrillic script, as is Russian and Macedonian. The Russian alphabet includes all the characters in the Bulgarian alphabet, so that a product which supports the display of Russian also supports Bulgarian. Unfortunately, Macedonian requires characters in addition to those found in the Russian alphabet, so that a product which supports Russian probably does not support Macedonian.

2.3. Pricing

Prices include several factors and may vary considerably. You may wish to consider all of your accumulated costs:

  1. Product cost.
  2. Additional taxes.
  3. Postage/Shipping costs.
  4. Possible costs for basic technical support.
  5. Possible costs for contacting company by telephone, fax, or mail.
  6. Currency conversion or credit card charges.

2.3.1. Product Cost

Manufacturers and publishers will often specify a recommended or list price. This is often an artificially high price to enable distributors and dealers to offer good discounts. A manufacturer or publisher may offer its products only at list prices to avoid undercutting the companies it supplies.

Some distributors do not deal directly with the public. However, many dealers buy in sufficient quantity to sell at below distributor pricing! It is recommended that you shop around.

Products produced overseas often cost less than if purchased locally. However, the additional costs are usually offset by cheaper technical support and better legal rights if you encounter any problems with the supplier.

2.3.2. Taxes

In general, products purchased overseas do not incur the overseas local tax. However, importing products may incur not only your own local tax, but import duty too. You should check with your local government office responsible for imports (see Appendix in printed book, International Payments).

2.3.3. Postage/ Shipping Costs

Companies will often provide a variety of delivery services whose costs vary inversely with the delivery time. You may wish to check for pricing on:

  1. Over-night and next-day delivery.
  2. Standard first class and priority services.
  3. Airmail services.
  4. Surface mail.

2.3.4. Technical Support Costs

Many products include free unlimited technical support to registered users. However, some companies may limit the support to a certain time frame after registration, or set number of telephone calls. Further support may be available at extra cost.

2.3.5. Communications Costs

Many companies provide technical support through local dealers. Others have national affiliates. Obviously, the further away the company, the greater the cost of contacting them. A fax or email message are two of the most cost-effective means of contacting a company and have the advantage that your instructions are in writing.

2.3.6. Currency Charges

If you need to make payment in an overseas currency, the best means of payment is via credit card. It will be charged in the local currency, and the bank will use the going conversion rates on the day that the transaction is processed in your home country. The conversion rates compare well with other methods of overseas payment, though they will not be as good as commercial rates quoted in the financial press for large transactions, which might be typically two or three percent better.

A charge is made for a banker's draft drawn in foreign currencies, which will also be subject to the going conversion rates, plus the bank's commission.


" Quote "

" A fool and his money are soon parted. What I want to know is how they got together in the first place.", Cyril Fletcher, BBC Radio program., 28 May 1969.

4. Product Availability

Products are available from many sources such as your local dealer, an affiliate, or the overseas manufacturer or publisher. You may wish to consider:

  1. Your recourse in the event of faulty products.
  2. Making payment in foreign funds.
  3. Cost of shipping.
  4. Cost of communicating with supplier

4.1. Recourse for Faulty Goods

Your best means of payment is via credit card, many of which provide automatic purchase insurance cover, and may include accidental damage, loss and theft. Restrictions may include goods of a certain value, to the amount charged only to your card, and may be effective for a specified number of days from purchase. Check the exact details with your credit card company.

If you bought your products mail order, you may be protected by one of a number of consumer or trade associates. You may want to check whether the company is a member of one of these organisations. If you bought your product through a magazine advertisment, check whether the magazine is a member.

4.2. Making Payments in Foreign Funds

There are many ways to pay for goods overseas. Your options are more fully covered in Appendix, International Payments, and include:

  1. Credit cards and charge cards.
  2. Banker's Draft or International money order.
  3. Wired funds.

Did You Know ?


Copyright Information

World Copyright Reserved.

© 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995. Ian Tresman

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
Tresman, Ian
The multilingual PC directory.
I. Title
005.365
ISBN: 1-87309103-6 (Book 3rd Edition)

Published in the United Kingdom by:

Knowledge Computing
9 Ashdown Drive
Borehamwood, Herts. WD6 4LZ.
United Kingdom.
Telephone: 0181-953 7722
Tel. Int'l: +44 181 953 7722
Facsimile: 0181-905 1879
Fax Int'l: +44 181 905 1879
CompuServe: 72240,3447
email: 72240.3447@compuserve.com

The Small Print

The right of Ian Tresman to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying and information storage or retrieval systems, without a licence or other permission from the copyright owner.

A number of words have been entered into the text which are believed to constitute trademarks. However, neither the presence or absence of such designations should be regarded as affecting the legal status of any trademark.

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information herein, neither the author nor the publisher, can be held responsible for any errors, omissions, typos, or updates.


Book Printing History

First Published September 1991.
Second Printing, Nov 1991 with revisions.
Third Printing, April 1992 with revisions.
Fourth Printing, July 1992 with revisions.
Fifth Printing, October 1992 with revisions.
Sixth Printing, January 1993 with revisions.
2nd Edition Published April 1993.
Second Printing, May 1993 with revisions.
Third Printing, July 1993 with revisions.
Fourth Printing, August 1993 with revisions.
Fifth Printing, October 1993 with revisions.
Sixth Printing, November 1993 with revisions.
Seventh Printing, Jan 1994 with revisions.
Eighth Printing, February 1994 with revisions.
Ninth Printing, March 1994 with revisions.
Tenth Printing, April 1994 with revisions.
Third Edition Published July 1994.
Second printing, Sept 1994 with revisions
Third printing, Nov 1994, with revisions
Fourth printing, Jan 1995, with revisions.
Fifth printing, Mar 1995, with revisions.
Electronic Edition First Published March 1995

Publishing Details

In 1991, the product and company information for the First Edition of the printed book was originally stored in Q&A before being exported into WordPerfect v5.1. Later, portions were produced with WordPerfect for Windows 6.0 and 6.1. In 1995, the book was converted into Windows Help File format using a combination of Microsoft Word for Windows 6.0 and Helllp! (from Guy Software, email 71750.1036@compuserve.com). Finally, the Helllp! source files were converted into hypertext markup language (HTML) and edited with Microsoft's Internet Assistant and HTML Assistant (from H Harawitz, email harawitz@fox.nstn.ns.ca). The resulting files were viewed with Netscape from Netscape Communications Corp.


"Quote "

"A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the word you first thought of.", Burt Bacharach., Quote and Unquote, 1970

From The Multilingual PC Directory

Copyright 1995, Knowledge Computing, Email: 72240.3447@compuserve.com