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Displaying Central European Fonts

Modern technology being what it is -- that is, Anglocentric -- it's quite possible that your browser is not displaying all the fonts correctly for certain Central European languages, in particular Czech, Polish and Hungarian. To find out, inspect the following tables:

CzechHungarianPolish
    should look like    
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    should look like    
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    should look like    
    should look like    
    should look like    
    should look like    

If any parts of the columns above don't match up, it probably means one of two things:

  1. Your computer doesn't have all the necessary fonts installed.
  2. The fonts are installed, but your browser isn't configured properly to display them.

Modern browsers such as Netscape 4, Microsoft IE4 and higher versions should not have the latter problem, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if it happens sometimes for inexplicable reasons. Sometimes this can be fixed with a simple change in settings: e.g. in Netscape, go to the View menu, click on Character Encoding and choose the option that says Central European (ISO-8859-2). If you don't see that option, it's possible you may be able to get the right result with another choice under the character encoding menu.

As for the problem of fonts not being installed, I'm no expert in these matters, but I can at least testify that the problem is fairly easy to fix if you're running Windows 95 (and presumably 98 as well). All you have to do is go into the Control Panels and install "Multi-Language Support" (you'll need the installation CD-ROM). Once this is done you'll find that not only Netscape and IE but also Microsoft Word and other programs are able to handle the Central European fonts appropriately.

Presumably, the solution for more recent operating systems such as Windows XP should be as simple if not simpler, but I don't happen to know anything about it. The problem can also be tackled on Macintosh and Unix systems, but again I have no personal knowledge of how to do it. As a starting point I can suggest doing a web search for "Central European fonts" -- there are quite many websites out there offering free downloads of all sorts of things that might possibly be helpful. In case you should need to know, the character set used for the Central European fonts on these pages is ISO-8859-2.

I realize this page is perhaps not as helpful as it could be. If you have any knowledge that might be worth adding to what I've written here, please do send me some e-mail: me@pronunciationguide.info.

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