Teaching and Learning with Technology

Computing With Accents and Foreign Scripts

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Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian and Montenegrin

This Page

  1. About these Languages
  2. Activating and Switching Keyboards for Typing
  3. Latin-2 Browser and Font Setup
  4. Cyrillic Browser and Font Setup
  5. Web Development
    1. Language Codes: bs (Bosnian), hr (Croatian), sr or sr-SR (Serbian), sr-ME (Montenegrin for now), sr-Cyrl (Serbian, Cyrillic script), sr-Latn (Serbian, Latn script), sh (Serbo-Croatian, Deprecated but still in use)
  6. Unicode Character Codes for HTML
  7. Cyrillic Unicode Chart for Serbian (Separate Page)
  8. Links

About These Languages

Breakup of Soviet Era Yugoslavia

Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian and Montenegrin are four extremely closely related forms of one "Serbo-Croatian" language or macrolanguage. Before the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990's into the different republics, linguists and Yugoslavians referred to the "Serbo-Croatian" language which had regional differences. After the breakup, it was decided by the that these regional varieties would be termed "Serbian", "Croatian", "Bosnian" and "Montenegrin."

Two Scripts

Any of the languages can be written in either the Roman alphabet or the Cyrillic alphabet. Generally speaking, Croatian is mostly written in the Roman alphabet, but Serbian fluctuates between the two scripts.

Latin 2 Encoding

If any of Croatian, Serbian or Bosnian are written in the Roman alphabet, then it should be encoded as Latin-2 (ISO-8859-2) like Czech, Slovak, Romanian, Polish and Hungarian. Even they they are written in the Latin alphabet, they require special font and keyboard support separate from languages like Spanish and French.

Links

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Activating Keyboards for Typing

In order to integrate foreign scripts into your computer, you must set up "keyboard" or input utilities in your operating system. These utilities will allow you to switch between typing English and other languages in word processors and Web tools. This process will also make sure the correct fonts are installed and available on your operating system.

See instructions for Setting up Keyboards for details.

Note: Most instructions work regardless of whether you are using the Roman alphabet or Cyrillic.

Windows

Other Windows Applications

Microsoft includes several keyboards for Croatian, Bosnian and Serbian. All keyboards are in the Roman (Latin) script except for Serbian keyboards which are designated as "Cyrillic."

If you wish to activate one of these keyboards, do the following:

  1. Go to Start then Control Panels then Regional and Language Options. Follow the instructions for Activating the Language Bar
  2. While in the Regional and Language Options control panel, click on the Languages tab, then the Details button.
  3. Click the Add button and select the target language from the Input Language dropdown menu.
  4. Click OK to close all windows and save changes.

See Detailed Instructions for more detailed instructions with screen capture images.

Macintosh

OS X

Apple provides the following keyboards

See the Macintosh Keyboard Instructions for details on how to activate the keyboard.

Extended Keyboard Roman Character Codes

The extended keyboard must be activated in the International System Preferences. Unlike the U.S. standard keyboard, these accent codes work for any letter, not just selected vowels.

Mac Accent Codes, X = any letter
ACCENT SAMPLE TEMPLATE
Hachek Caron š,Š Option+V, X
Acute ý,Ý Option+E, X
D-stroke đ,Đ Option+L, X

Example 1: To input the lower case ć (y-acute) hold down the Option key, then the E key. Release both keys then type lowercase c.
Example 2: To input the capital Ć hold down the Option key, then the E key. Release all three keys then type capital C.

System 9

Apple provides several Cyrillic and Central European keyboards in their Language Kits, but none specifically for these languages.

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Latin 2 Browser and Font Setup

Please note which fonts are needed for each platform before viewing instructions to configure your browsers in the Preferences or Tools menu. Most browsers are recommended, but older browsers like Netscape 4.7 may need more adjustments.

Fonts by Platform

Recommended Browsers

All modern browsers support this script. Click link in list to view configuration instructions. In some cases, you will be asked to match a script with a font.

Test Web Sites

If you have your browser configured correctly, the Web sites above should display the correct letters.
NOTE: The following test Web sites were selected randomly. They are in no way endorsed or critiqued by Penn State.

Manually Switch Encoding

If you see some unusual letters instead of the appropriate Central European letters, you will need to manually switch from Western encoding to one of the Central European encodings or Unicode under the View menu of your browser.

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Cyrillic Browser and Font Setup

Browser Setup

Please note which fonts are needed for each platform before viewing instructions to configure your browsers in the Preferences or Tools menu. Most browsers are recommended, but older browsers like Netscape 4.7 may need more adjustments.

Eastern European Slavic Fonts

Central European Slavic Fonts

Fonts with links are freeware fonts can be downloaded and placed on Windows or Mac OS X . These fonts are designed for medieval or ancient scholars.

Recommended Browsers

Browsers which fully support Unicode are strongly recommended. Click link in list to view configuration instructions. You will be asked to match a script with a font.

Test Web Sites

If you have your browser configured correctly, the Web sites above should display the correct letters.
NOTE: The following test Web site was selected randomly. It is in no way endorsed or critiqued by Penn State.

Manually Switch Encoding

If you see some unusual letters instead of the appropriate Cyrillic letters, you will need to manually switch from Western encoding to one of the Cyrillic encodings or Unicode under the View menu of your browser.

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Web Development

Encoding and Language Tags

These are the codes which allow browsers and screen readers to process data as the appropriate language. All letters in codes are lower case. If you are developing a new Web page, Unicode is recommended since one page can also support characters from Western European, Central European and Cyrillic languages.

Using Encoding and Language Codes

Computers process text by assuming a certain encoding or a system of matching electronic data with visual text characters. Whenever you develop a Web site you need to make sure the proper encoding is specified in the header tags; otherwise the browser may default to U.S. settings and not display the text properly.

To declare an encoding, insert or inspect the following meta-tag at the top of your HTML file, then replace "???" with one of the encoding codes listed above. If you are not sure, use utf-8 as the encoding.

Generic Encoding Template

<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=??? ">
...
<head>

Declare Unicode

<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8 ">
...
<head>

XHTML

The final close slash must be included after the final quote mark in the encoding header tag if you are using XHTML

Declare Unicode in XHTML

<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
...
<head>

No Encoding Declared

If no encoding is declared, then the browser uses the default setting, which in the U.S. is typically Latin-1. Some display errors may occur.

Language Tags

Language tags are also suggested so that search engines and screen readers parse the language of a page. These are metadata tags which indicate the language of a page, not devices to trigger translation. Visit the Language Tag page to view information on where to insert it.

Inputting and Editing Text in an HTML Editor

One option is to use Dreamweaver, Microsoft Expression or other Web editor and change the keyboard to the correct script. This will allow you to type content in directly with the appropriate script. However, it is important to verify that the correct encoding is specified in the Web page header.

Another option is to compose the basic text in an international or foreign language text editor or word processor and export the content as an HTML or text file with the appropriate encoding. This file could be opened in another HTML editor such as Dreamweaver or Microsoft Expression, and edited for formatting.

Other Web Tools

For Web tools such as Blogs at Penn State, Facebook, Twitter, del.icio.us, Flicker, and others, users can typically change the keyboard and input text. In most cases, this content will be encoded as Unicode.

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Inserting Unicode Character Codes for HTML

The Entity Codes

Use these codes to input accented letters in HTML. For instance, if you want to type više you would type vi&#353;e.

Be sure the appropriate Encodings and Language Tags are used.

Entity Code
Let Entity Codes
Ć &#262;
Capital C-acute
ć &#263;
Lower C-acute
Đ &#272;
Capital D-stroke
đ &#273;
Lower D-stroke
Č &#268; 
Capital C hachek
č &#269;
Lower C-hachek
Š &#352; 
Capital S hachek
š &#353;
Lower S-hachek
Ž &#381; 
Capital Z hachek
ž &#382;
Lower Z-hachek

NOTE: Because these are Unicode characters, the formatting may not exactly match that of the surrounding text depending on the browser.

European Quote Marks

Many modern texts use American style quotes, but if you wish to include European style quote marks, here are the codes. Note that these codes may not work in older browsers.

Entity Codes for Quotation Marks
Sym HTMl Entity Code
« &laquo; (left angle)
» &raquo; (right angle)
&lsaquo; (left single angle)
&rsaquo; (right single angle)
&bdquo;(bottom quote)
&sbquo;(single bottom quote)
&ldquo;(left curly quote)
&lsquo;(left single curly quote)
&rdquo;(right curly quote)
&rsquo;(right single curly quote)
&ndash; (en dash)
&mdash; (em dash)

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Links

Latin 2 Resources

Cyrillic Web Development Tips

Sociolinguistics Situation

Slavic Languages

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Last Modified: Tuesday, 04-Jun-2013 12:40:04 EDT