[NTG-context] Problem with German quotes and kerning

Mojca Miklavec mojca.miklavec.lists at gmail.com
Wed Jan 25 13:45:01 CET 2006

On 1/23/06, Thomas A. Schmitz wrote:
> Hi all,
> this seems to be a general TeX-problem, not ConTeXt specific, but I'm
> not sure I understand the details. Here's the problem: when I use
> mainlanguage[de], I can type "` to get German opening quotes,
> \quotedblbase „. However, this characters needs some (a lot of)
> kerning when it comes before, e.g., W or V; it is too far away from
> the following character. Most font-designers don't care about German
> typography, so I tried and added the kerning manually. But this works
> only if I input the character directly via the keyboard or via the
> symbolic name, it does not work with "` (nor with \quotation{ });
> language German seems to make the ` active. In emacs, I find "` the
> most convenient way to input German quotes. Is there a way to have
> kerning with this input, or do I have to change my habits?

On the transferred page:
there are already kerning issues listed.

If the problem on that page is not expressed clearly enough (and if
the proposal is not OK), add your comments to that page.

I agree that kerning "German" style of quotation marks was (and
perhaps still is?) horrible, perhaps slightly better in LM than it was
in CM. We use them as well (to be honest - 95% of LaTeX-people uses
the wrong ones).

I use \quotation because of these reasons:
- I never know which is the proper command to get the desired
quotation marks with combination of ", `, ', ...
- I trust Hans that the macro is optimized in such a way that the
hyphenation and everything else on the word boundary will be OK
(although I'm not sure what happens to kerning)
- I can simply redefine the quotation marks or the style of text to be
used, for example it's easy to replace them by guillemet/guillemot
alternative if necessary

It might be a personal decision which ones one uses, but I would say
that using "` vs. \quotation is approximately the same as using \"{a}
vs ä. All of them work, but the second variant is somewhat cleaner.


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