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I am working on an android software package. and the font we are using does not support many of the Polish diacritics (eg ź).

is it acceptable to substitute latin characters for unsupported characters (eg use z instead of ź).

  • Does this make software seem unprofessional?
  • Does this cause loss of meaning?
    • is there a list of acceptable substitutes somewhere?
  • Should I just use a different font when I see the user is operating in Polish?

so far I have only had this problem with polish but I would really like to avoid having to map fonts to languages. If anyone has any other suggestions I would love to hear them.

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I cannot speak about Polish in particular. But in all languages I am aware of, even if there is an acceptable mapping to Latin characters, it annoys the reader (e.g. ue instead of ü in German). And even if you go that way, you will have to abandon it when you start working with languages which require Cyrillic, Greek or similar. –  Rumi P. Oct 23 '13 at 17:41
    
thanks Rumi that helps :) –  Joran Beasley Oct 23 '13 at 18:30

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

No, it is not acceptable to omit diacritic marks.

  • It makes the software look unprofessional (to anyone who knows the language used).
  • It may cause loss of meaning, or change the meaning of a word. The text mostly remains understandable, but requires more attention and slows down reading. Just as yo woud understad Englih if some lettrs were omittd, but you wuld not lik it.
  • You should use a font that covers all the characters needed. If this means that you need to use different fonts in different occasions, so be it.
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alright :) thanks that answers the question –  Joran Beasley Oct 23 '13 at 18:08

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