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East Asia Library: East Asian scripts in Orbis

Search & Display East Asian scripts in Orbis

Yale's online library catalog – Orbis – includes functionalities of searching and displaying East Asian language materials in its original script. However, there are some problems that limit the usefulness of such capability. The following will suggest search strategies, and discuss known problems and workarounds.

General Recommendations for Searching

  • Searching by romanization is still the most effective and reliable way to find East Asian language materials thoroughly in Orbis. Everyone searching for East Asian materials still needs to be familiar with the romanization rules for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages.
  • Searching by Chinese, Japanese, and Korean characters is recommended as
    • a good starting point for users who are unfamiliar with romanization;
    • (sometimes) a more efficient way for finding known titles than searching with romanization.
  • Use an authoritative dictionary as reference for transliteration/ romanization;
  • Pay special attention to the word division rules; word division can be tricky, both for non-native speakers and native speakers of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean;
  • Be flexible--try a different transliteration or word division if no result is returned.

Searching by Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Characters: Major Problems and Workarounds

Issue 1

Records cannot be retrieved because you input a variant of the character other than the one used in the catalog.

For example, the variants of Mao Zedong are: 毛澤東 ( Traditional Chinese) and 毛泽东 (Simplified Chinese) as well as 毛沢東 ( Japanese Kanji). All of these variants may be used in the library system, but search in one form cannot find records that have another variant.

Search Type Affected
All
Language (Script) Affected
Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Japanese (Kanji) , and Korean (Hanja)
Workaround
Search by romanization if no results or limited results are returned.
 
Issue 2

Some common characters are not used in the library cataloging system, so search of these characters will fail.

For example, entering these characters 江戸 , 調査 , 目録 , 解説 with Microsoft's Japanese IME will not retrieve variant characters 江戶 , 調查 , 目錄 , 解說 used in the Orbis records.

Search Type Affected
All
Language (Script) Affected
Primarily Japanese (Kanji) and Korean (Hanja)
Workaround
Search by romanization if no results or limited results are returned.
 
Issue 3
System cannot interpret CJK scripts in Author (sorted by title) search.
Search Type Affected
Author (sorted by title) search in ''Basic" search mode
Language (Script) Affected
All
Workaround
Use Author (lastname firstname) search instead

Issues related to displaying Chinese, Japanese, and Korean scripts in Orbis

Issue 1
The CJK scripts may appear as gibberish in the Orbis record (this problem normally will not appear on library public workstations).
Function Type
 Record Display
Workaround
 Need to have Unicode fonts (e.g. Arial Unicode MS) on the computer for the original characters to display correctly .
 
Issue 2
The CJK scripts may appear as gibberish when saving or printing the record in text format.
Function Type
 Print/Save Function within Orbis
Workaround
 Same as above ; please also make sure the encoding method of your web browser is UTF-8.
 
Issue 3
The CJK characters will be lost when emailed from Orbis.
Function Type
 Emailing Record
Workaround  
 If the characters are needed for email or other documents, copy and paste them directly from the Orbis record to Unicode-compliant email program or word processing program.