JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: A Photo Exhibition of Lithuanian Jewish Synagogues taken by Balys Buracas #general


sallybru <sallybru@...>
 

Unfortunately for us in the English-speaking countries, it is more important
for Lithuanians to put their web-sites in their language and get the letters
right, than it is for them to make it 'English-compatible'. We can't expect
the whole world to conform to our desires. What if an Israeli said, "It
should be in Hebrew!" That would make about as much sense.

I am reminded of the reaction of a woman that was in the Mormon Library
where I worked. She had ordered Swedish vital records of her ancestral
town, and said "Why, how do they expect me to read them, they are in
Swedish?" The answer is, of course, they don't expect you to read them.

Genealogists use the resources prepared by people for various reasons,
mostly non-genealogical. We have to take them as we find them, or (as we
have seen in many instances) form committees to translate and index and put
online for all. Then, since most genealogists are English-speaking, the
records will be in the Latin alphabet-unless some Russian/Israeli/Lithuanian
genealogists make up their indices in their own language.

The answer is fairly simple, at least in IE. Go to View pull-down menu,
choose Encoding and then More and pick what looks good. It will either work
or it will make the gibberish worse, in which case put the choice back where
it was. Hint: you may have to install special fonts (available at Microsoft
web-site) to get 'odd' languages like Lithuanian right. There is Lithuanian
(and every other language) Windows which automatically work in the
appropriate language.

"I would like to point out, however, that there is a difficulty
connected with the use of non-ASCII characters, i.e. characters with
diacritical marks. On my screen, for example, because my browser is
not set up specifically for a Lithuanian character set, there are a
lot of characters replaced by question marks. What would have been
more informatively written as "Siauliai", for example, is displayed as
"?iauliai", which doesn't convey much. It would have been better, I
dare say, to sacrifice the special S character, and use the unadorned
S, so that every browser could display a better approximation, though
inexact, to the original."

Sally Bruckheimer
Harrison, NY

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