When you open a translated file and words and characters are displayed as "tofu"; you will see little square boxes when your device does not have the necessary font to properly render the translated language.

This happens frequently with double-byte languages like Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese and Korean. These fonts are typically not included with a standard computer operating system unless you bought your computer in one of those countries. You may need to download these fonts in order to display the characters correctly.

ASCII vs. Unicode Fonts
As we described in another article about Unicode fonts, What Are Unicode Fonts and Why Should I Always Use Them?, some fonts, ASCII fonts, do not contain all the characters needed to properly render these languages. When your computer cannot render these characters properly you get "tofu" in its place.

ASCII fonts are commonly provided for free with your computer's operating system. Many of these fonts and some specialty fonts are only available as ASCII fonts and therefore are not suitable for translation in some cases. You should check with the manufacturer of any third party fonts before purchase.

Unicode fonts contain more characters and therefore support more languages. These fonts are also known as UTF-8 and UTF-16 fonts. Gerneally speakign you'll be able to properly render any language with Unicode fonts.

Where do I get Unicode fonts
You can find Unicode fonts from many different manufacturers and,in 2016, Google released a family of Unicode fonts known as, Noto. Noto fonts cover nearly 64,000 characters across hundreds of languages. Fortunately, Google has made the Noto family of fonts available for free. You can learn more and download them here

For more information about Unicode fonts please speak with a Pairaphrase representative.

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