[b}To previous readers of this message: please note the message has been edited on January 19th after receiving new instructions from the author, Gerrit Fricke: see code at /home/.i18n has been changed but now everything works.
Also please note that a new revised manual will be uploaded shortly to be shown at the link address mentioned underneath where the original German text is displayed.
Further revisions might be added later on for those who want to be able to add a 3d, different language locale environment
I've been trying and errowing these last few days.
In the mean time I found this
. It's a manual written by Gerrit Fricke on how to display Chinese in a German environment.
It's basically what we want, however I've not been able to implement everything 100 % as Gnome applications (e.g. GIMP, GnuCash, Evolution) still do not display correctly in my western environment. This however may have to do with my own settings.
As it is, the article is written with the presumption to create a German environment with SCIM. I subsitituted German with Dutch and SCIM with fcitx and it works flawless for me in a KDE environment. I have no reason to doubt why it would not work in any other western language environment. After consulting Gerrit Fricke I translated the article. My comments are in a different colour in between:
Problem: I installed everything but my IME (input method editor) will only start when I'm logged in with locale Chinese. But I don't like my menus to be Chinese. Do I have to chance locales every time I want to write Chinese or is there a method to activate the IME even when my desktop is localised to German?
This manual is to help all those that would like to be able to write Chinese with a German localised desktop without having to change the locale continuously.
My distro is Mandrake 9.1 with KDE 3.1.4. but this manual is supposed to work with Mandrake 9.0/9.1/9.2, in case you have any other distribution you will have to try yourself.. When installing Mandrake, I also installed the locales-de for German and locales-zh for Chinese. These are the locale packages from the installation CD's for German and Chinese support. Furthermore the font packages ttf-gb2312 and ttf-big5 should have been installed from the CD's as well as well as kde-i18-zh, the Chinese environment for the KDE desktop in case you want the desktop to be displayed in simplified Chinese and kde-i18-de for a German desktop.
Now, using LocaleDrake you are able to switch to Chinese quite easily. OK so far , but how do I write Chinese? Mandrake ships with Chinput and XCIN. Chinput does not work under Mandrake 9.1 (at least not the version on the distro CD) and XCIN is not really my thing. So what's next?
I downloaded SCIM from turbolinux
. The default packages work flawless, even if there are some dependency problems with GTK2, which however you may circumvent quite easily by opening a console (as root) and by typing:
urpmi --allow-nodeps packagename
Obviously you will have to be in the directory with the rpm packages you want to install. GTK2 should be installed (which is usually installed by default with Mandrake 9.1).
You have to download and install scim (actual version scim-0.8.2-1.i586.rpm by the time of writing this article) and scim-chinese-0.2.6-1.i586 rpm (for pinyin input method)
last update of this online article was Nov. 8th 2003
Furthermore you have to modify the file /etc/X11/xinit/XIM
(as root). Given the locale this file decides which IME is to be used and to be started at the same time. In case you want to use SCIM, you will have to delete everything that stands underneath:
zh_CN*) # Simplified Chinese
and replace it with
if type - scim > /dev/null 2>&1 ; then
elif type -p xcin > /dev/null 2>&1 ; then
LANG=zh_CN LC_ALL=zh_CN xcin &
Save. Now use LocaleDrake and change the language to simplified Chinese. Now log out and start KDE again. Now you are able to write Chinese: just press CTRL and SPACE and the IME starts.
even when setting fcitx as IME iso SCIM I got the Mandrake standard installed Chinput as IME at this point but this will be solved automatically later on
Unfortunately all IME's I'm aware of only work with the corresponding locale, in this case with simplified Chinese as the desktop language. Most people however prefer a Desktop completely in German while still being able to input Chinese. To achieve this open the .i18n
file in your home directory (please note the dot in front, meaning it is a hidden file, so adjust your konqueror to show hidden files) and open the file with Kwrite. The contents of this file with Chinese locale should look something like this:
Replace it with:
here I put nl_NL.UTF.8 for Dutch iso de.DE.UTF.8 and fcitx iso SCIM
Save. Very important are
as these point to /usr/share/locale/de/LC_Messages
, the directory that contains the translations of programs in German. This is to say we maintain simplified Chinese as the language for the desktop but the files for the applications are being retrieved from the directory with the German translations. OK, now log out and start KDE again.
obviously for Dutch I put in Languague=nl_NL:de_DE.UTF-8:nl iso LANGUAGE=de_DE:de_DE.UTF-8:de
There you are! KDE in German and you can still input Chinese! But these terrible fonts! How do we change them? Go the the KDE configuration center and change the font overthere into our favorite one (in my case helvetica or arial). Now KDE looks decent again. But what about GTK2 applications? They apparently still use the font AR PL SungtiL GB. That's may be fine for Chinese applications, but look terrible with the latin alphabet. So we'll make a file called .gtkrc-2.0
And save it to your /home directory. Fontofyourchoice may be helvetica or whatever you prefer and you may also change the size.
GTK1 applications now still look messy. You can change that by opening /etc/gtk/gtkrc.iso-8859-15
with Kwrite as root and save it as /etc/gtk/gtkrc.zh_CN.utf8
. Before you do so however, make sure you save the original file /etc/gtrk/gtkrc.zh_CN.utf8
under a different name , e.g. /etc/gtk/gtkrc.zh_CN.utf8-original
. You can never tell, mayvbe someday you would still like to have a Desktop in Chinese.
Now GIMP 1.2 or GRIP should also contain the fontofyourchoice, that you may change anytime by modifying /etc/gtk/gtkrc.zh_CN.utf8
Now you're ready configuring. A German desktop, Chinese IME and the fonts of your choice.
that is, a Dutch desktop for me...
Special remarks for OpenOffice:
As this suite does not recognize "OnTheSpot-Modus", you will have to delete this option while setting up SCIM under (B]Frontend/X Window[/B]. At the same time deactivate the "show status"
box. Please make sure you have installed OpenOffice 1.1 or upgrade as this version finally supports CJK decently.
Now configure the options under tools/options/language
settings. For mixed documents make sure you have German iso standard/default. as the locale setting. Now in case you write a mixed Chinese/German document, you are able to use different fonts for German and Chinese, in case you configured OpenOffice under tools/options/textdocument/basic fonts (western, asian)
. As default for simplified Chinese you should use AR PL KaitiM GB or AR PL SungtiL Gb. In case you have installed windows fonts you can also use Simsun or SimHei.
OpenOffice works perfectly for me with these settings in Dutch environment
Have fun toggling Chinese.
This manual is to be used at your own risk. The author is neither liable for any damages nor can he exclude any errors. However this document has been written to his best knowledge.
This text is published under the GNU free document licence (FDL). In case you pass it on, please do so only when mentioning the name of the author.
copywright Gerrit Fricke
published on Pro Linux, last update November 8th 2003
Gerrit Fricke has been informed on the translation published here and who knows, he might join us in our contemplations.
Where nearing the Linux nirvana as far as this topic is concerned and as soon as I've been able to get my GNOME applications working under a proper Dutch environment, I'll have reached my destination.
So JDW, give it a try and tell me what you think about it. Just remember that with this setting, your solution does not work anymore, so make an appropriate back up before you try it out (and it takes some time, so don't do it in your lunch break ;-).
hasta la pasta,