Multi language fonts

jsbr's picture

I'm looking for a font that supports english, turkish, somali, arabic and urdu - all in one font. Any ideas?

I've been looking af Helvetica World, but I dont knoe if it supports all of them...

Thanx

Jzbr

Jongseong's picture

What is the intended use of the font?

Unless technical limitations require a single font to support all scripts and languages (for example in an interface font), the best and really the only solution is to match different fonts for each of the scripts.

English and Turkish use the Latin script, as does Somali nowadays. Arabic and Urdu use the Arabic script, although they are usually written in different styles (Nasta'liq for Urdu, Naskh for Arabic).

The Somali Latin alphabet doesn't seem to require special diacritics, so I would say you need a Latin design that supports the Turkish characters (ç, ğ, ı, ö, ş, ü) and Arabic designs for the Arabic and Urdu languages that are compatible with each other. Then you'd be set.

The Latin and Arabic scripts have different metric requirements and are written in different directions, so there really is no reason for you to use a single font to support them both. In fact you really shouldn't use a single font for both. I'm sure other Typophiles will point you to some good Arabic-Latin combinations, but even those combinations that are designed to work together side by side in multi-script settings usually come in different fonts, as far as I am aware.

Si_Daniels's picture

Assuming Somali uses Latin script then Arial, Times New Roman, Tahoma might be safe bets on both Mac OS and Windows. Of course supporting a language doesn't necessarily mean native-readers like reading them.

twardoch's picture

For just the fonts that support Turkish available on MyFonts, see:
http://tinyurl.com/92kots

For just the fonts that support Arabic, see:
http://tinyurl.com/982rmc
(note: the MyFonts font preview system cannot currently render right-to-left Arabic text).

For the fonts that support both Turkish and Arabic:
http://tinyurl.com/7x9caa
(but as Jongseong says, it may make sense to mix two fonts rather than insisting on using one).

Regards,
Adam

jsbr's picture

Thank you all so much for great input.

The reason why I'm lookin for only ONE font that supports all the languages is that I want the different languages to look the same - and have the same feel. It's for a magasin that comes in five different languages, so they should look similar.

Thanx again
Jsbr

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