Help:Multilingual support (East Asian)

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search

Throughout Wikipedia, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese characters (CJKV characters) are used in relevant articles.

Computers with older operating systems with the default language set to English or other Western or Cyrillic language settings will require some setup and proper fonts (See also: List of CJK fonts) to be able to display the characters.

Newer computer operating systems may not require any additional steps to view most CJKV characters.

Check for existing support

If you see boxes, question marks, or meaningless letters mixing into the first part, you do not have support for East Asian characters.


The text below has been language-tagged as Chinese and is shown in the default font used by your browser. Unless your browser locale is set to Taiwan, Hong Kong or Macau, this is usually the same font as is used for simplified Chinese characters.
Compare it to this image:
The text below has been language-tagged as traditional Chinese and is shown in the default font used by your browser.
Compare it to this image:


The text below has been language-tagged as Japanese and is shown in the default font used by your browser.
かつ、尊厳と権利と について平等である。
Compare it to this image:
Japanese text test.svg


The text below has been language-tagged as Korean and is shown in the default font used by your browser.
모든 인간은 태어날 때부터
자유로우며 그 존엄과 권리에
있어 동등하다. 인간은 천부적으로
이성과 양심을 부여받았으며 서로
형제애의 정신으로 행동하여야 한다.
Compare it to this image:
Korean text test.svg


The text below has been language-tagged as Vietnamese and is shown in the default font used by your browser.
Tất cả mọi người sinh ra đều được tự do và bình đẳng về nhân phẩm và quyền.
Mọi con người đều được tạo hóa ban cho lý trí và lương tâm và cần phải đối xử với nhau trong tình bằng hữu.

Chữ Hán Nôm

The text below has been language-tagged as Vietnamese written in Han-Nom characters and is shown in the default font used by your browser.
Compare it to this image:
Start of the UDHR in logographic Vietnamese (Nom).svg


Windows 95, 98, ME and NT

In order to display Asian characters in your browser, download and install the Microsoft Global Input Method Editors (IMEs) of the language(s) that you need (make sure to select "with Language Pack"). This is the system extension that provides the language support to your English Windows system when you are using Internet Explorer. Select the "with language pack" option if you do not have any related character set on your machine. The IMEs allow you to input CJK, while the language pack is the character set that you need to display the particular language. If you are an Office XP user, the Global IMEs will not work for you; you will need to install a new version of the IMEs for Office XP users.

Sometimes the system offers to download Asian fonts by default while viewing pages in those languages. Otherwise, update your system manually with these language support packs.

Windows 2000

Instructions for Windows 2000

Windows XP and Server 2003

Windows XP and Server 2003 include native support for East Asian languages. To install the files, check the Install files for East Asian languages in the Control Panel > Regional and Language Options > Languages. Note that a minimum of 230 MB of disk space is required and that the Windows CD-ROM is needed while installing support for East Asian languages using this method. (Non-East Asian localizations only)

Instructions for Windows XP and Server 2003

Alternatively, you can use the installation packages intended for 98/NT by following these links:

Simplified Chinese.
Traditional Chinese.

No disc is needed for this option.

Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10

Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 include support for East Asian characters in the standard installation.

Mac OS X

All recent versions of OS X (10.4+) support East Asian characters natively.

In very old versions of OS X, such as 10.1 you had to install Languages Kits from Apple in order to read Chinese, Japanese or Korean on the Internet. The Language Kit for CJK contains WorldScript software known as scripts which support the encoding for the character set of a particular language. Each language needs a separate script. In more recent versions of OS X, it is included with all installations of OS X.

Once you have installed the Language Kit, just select the particular language character set that you need to see on the Internet page either from View > Encoding (for Microsoft IE) or View > Character set (for Netscape).


GNOME supports East Asian characters natively. You may need to install appropriate fonts.


KDE supports East Asian characters natively. You may need to install the following packages:

  • Simplified Chinese: kde-i18n-zhcn for KDE 3.5.x, kde-l10n-zhcn for KDE 4.x
  • Traditional Chinese: kde-i18n-zhtw for KDE 3.5.x, kde-l10n-zhtw for KDE 4.x
  • Japanese: kde-i18n-ja for KDE 3.5.x, kde-l10n-ja for KDE 4.x
  • Korean: kde-i18n-ko for KDE 3.5.x, kde-l10n-ko for KDE 4.x

If this does not help, or works partially, but some characters are still missing, you may need to run qtconfig, and add a comprehensive unicode font to your chosen browser font's substitutions.

Debian-based GNU/Linux

In order to display Chinese, Japanese and/or Korean characters, you must install some font packages:

Language Serif Sans serif
Chinese (both Simplified & Traditional) fonts-arphic-ukai fonts-arphic-uming
Japanese fonts-ipafont-mincho fonts-ipafont-gothic
Korean fonts-unfonts-core

There are some alternative packages for some languages, but the ones listed above do work.

To install all the fonts listed above in Debian, Ubuntu, and other variants:

sudo apt-get install fonts-arphic-ukai fonts-arphic-uming fonts-ipafont-mincho fonts-ipafont-gothic fonts-unfonts-core

Arch Linux

For a large collection of fonts which comprehensively support Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, with a consistent design and look, install the following package:

pacman -S adobe-source-han-sans-otc-fonts 

It may be necessary to update the font cache:

fc-cache -vf

and restart the system.

Fedora Linux

Install the appropriate ttfonts packages.

For Fedora Core 3, the packages are ttfonts-zh_TW (traditional Chinese), ttfonts-zh_CN (simplified Chinese), ttfonts-ja (Japanese) and ttfonts-ko (Korean). E.g. 'yum install ttfonts-ko'

For Fedora 4-7, the packages are fonts-japanese, fonts-chinese, and fonts-korean. The command to download and install these fonts is

yum install fonts-japanese fonts-chinese fonts-korean

Gentoo Linux

Enabling the cjk (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) USE flag improves East Asian support in some packages, but is not essential.

Some useful font packages are (category media-fonts) arphicfonts (han), baekmuk-fonts (hangul) and kochi-substitute (hiragana/katakana).

e.g. for viewing Chinese text:

# emerge arphicfonts


CJK fonts can be installed on FreeBSD using freebsd ports collection:

# cd /usr/ports/x11-fonts/cyberbit-ttfonts && make install clean
# cd /usr/ports/japanese/font-kochi && make install clean

or by installing precompiled packages:

# pkg_add -r ja-kochi-ttfonts


On NetBSD and other systems using pkgsrc, one can install CJK fonts with the following commands:

# cd /usr/pkgsrc/fonts/kochi-ttf && make install clean
# cd /usr/pkgsrc/fonts/cyberbit-ttf && make install clean

Other UNIX Distributions

Download the appropriate .ttf file (for example, kochi-gothic-subst.ttf) and copy it to your system's TrueType font directory (for example, /usr/lib/X11/fonts/TTF/). For example (for Dejavu fonts):

tar -xjvf dejavu-fonts-ttf-2.33.tar.bz2 (you need bzip support, or use bzcat dejavu-fonts-ttf-2.33.tar.bz2 | tar xvf -)
cp ./dejavu-fonts-ttf-2.33/ttf/* /usr/lib/X11/fonts/TTF

(or get the link to the current version here, and then update this help)

Then run (as root):

fc-cache /usr/lib/X11/fonts/TTF/

Restart X if it is in use, and the new font should be installed.

Unicode Fonts

See also