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Text in Spanish
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Default Text in Spanish - 06-16-2008, 01:54 PM

I just met Alice this morning, did the 4 tutorials, created my own world with a beach chair that rolls over and says "Hola, ¿Cómo estás?" in text and sound. I am a Spanish teacher with no programming experience, knowledge, or skills. This is way exciting, and I'm thinking of lots of things I might do with and for my students. I regularly use a Spanish keyboard and use Windows' Spanish keyboard configuration. I had no problem typing text in Spanish into the method I was editing , but it didn't come out readable when I played my world. What can I do so that the Spanish characters will appear correctly in speech and thought balloons?

Richard Detwiler
Jenkintown Middle/High School
Jenkintown, PA
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Default 06-16-2008, 03:36 PM

I'm not sure how to get Alice to accomplish that. I entered text for an object using ASCII codes to obtain the diacritical marks. (For example: Alt-168 will show up as ¿, Alt-149 will give you ò, Alt-133 for *, etc., etc.

During Edit mode the object's "say" tile shows this: Hola, ¿Còmo est*

However when the program is run it displays jibberish. Evidently Alice is picking up the keystroke for the ALT-key.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help. Good Luck
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Default 06-17-2008, 09:59 AM

I had done a couple of postings on this a year or so ago and to be sure that information was still correct, I did a couple of tests.

The problem is that Alice only correctly decodes 7-bit fonts, at least True Type ones. As long as the ASCII code is less than 128, you will get the font you expect - even for very strange ones (the first two characters - literally - in the attached). For higher value codes (the rest of the string in the image), you just get garbage.

Why this hurts (especially since Alice is intended as a teaching tool) is that the standard (Unicode) codings for "European" characters are all greater than 127 and hence get displayed as garbage. I have looked several times - and it appears that nearly all of the (thousands) of fonts available to download follow the Unicode standard.

I don't know if this is just an Alice limitation or one of the limitations of the older JRE. If the latter, hopefully, the problem will go away with Alice 2.2.

The only other solution would be for someone to make a custom True Type font with the characters they need having codes less than 128. (If anyone knows of such a font already in existance, would you please post it.) There are certainly enough "font-maker" programs out there that actually doing the fonts shouldn't be a problem - the question is which of the existing 128 codes do you replace with what new characters?

I'm not enough of a linguist to have any idea - maybe someone who is will post some suggestions. I would make a try at actually doing the fonts if the problem doesn't go away in Alice 2.2.

A couple of final "work arounds" - which are the ones I usually use.

You can use another graphics program to create the "balloon" you need, make the area around the balloon transparent (alpha level transparancy, .png format) and import them as billboards. If you already have a Spanish keyboard, this might be the easier approach. (Note Alice comments do seem to show all 256 codes.) Most graphics programs have a group of text and thought balloons as standard objects.

You can take a similar approach with 3D text - make the characters in another program and import them as objects.
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Last edited by DrJim; 06-17-2008 at 10:03 AM.
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Exclamation 11-23-2009, 05:23 PM

You cant change the language...period

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