Talk:Ruby character

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Katakana for Tokyo[edit]

Though it serves as an example of one kind of ruby usage, I wonder if the katakana ruby for Tokyo is a practical example. Since the word Tokyo is not a foreign word, katakana is inappropriate. Since I don't know too much Japanese, I am curious to know the answer. Any taker? Kowloonese 03:20, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Sometimes, furigana for kun-yomi is written in hiragana, while furigana for on-yomi is written in katakana. Gwalla | Talk 18:30, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)
So are you saying the opposite is ture? Since Tokyo is on-yomi, it should not be using hiragana in the Ruby. i.e. one of the two examples is bad practice. Kowloonese 18:38, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)
No, neither is bad practice. They just have different uses. --Marnen Laibow-Koser (talk) 20:37, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Firefox support?[edit]

The ruby characters showed up in my version of Mozilla Foxfire v.0.9.2 for MS Windows, so the support must have been added. gK 15:34, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Can someone confirm this please? Chameleon 15:45, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I have the most recent version of Firefox (1.0). I deleted the Koan plug-in in order to see if Firefox could handle the Ruby by itself, and it couldn't. I'm going to have to reinstall Koan now. Chameleon 22:21, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia complex ruby support[edit]

The article says that Wikipedia doesn't support complex ruby. How can this be? AFAIK, Wikipedia supports (i.e. doesn't interfere with) any and all legitimate HTML constructs. Why should there be a difference here? --Marnen Laibow-Koser (talk) 20:38, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

It really can't. See it yourself:

<rbc> 10 31 2002 </rbc> Month Day Year Expiration Date

--minghong 08:38, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Weird. I did some testing in the Sandbox and found that apparently Wikipedia doesn't recognize that <r(b|t)c> is legitimate markup, so it converts the < > to &lt; &gt; -- which of course kills the tag. I suppose we can expect this to be fixed in a future release from MediaWiki... --Marnen Laibow-Koser (talk) 15:11, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

ruby in Chinese[edit]

the ruby thing is entirely a Japanese thing. In Chinese texts, one only see it in grade-school materials or dictionaries. The many places implies its use in Chinese really should be taken out.

Xah Lee 11:12, 2005 Mar 1 (UTC)

Ruby is a useful tool for teaching Chinese. — Chameleon 19:22, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
It is used elsewhere in Chinese. In Buddhist texts, as a pronunciation aid (and through an entire book of mine), for example. Especially Taiwan, as you might expect.Apeman 03:30, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

I just lived in "mainland" China for three years, and only saw "ruby" used in kids books when they first learned to read. Maybe it's common in Taiwan or in certain subject areas such as Buddhist texts, but the article to me implies it's common in both mainland China and Taiwan for every day use in newspapers, books, etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:21, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

I have a book of Buddhist text which was published in Mainland China. And yes it has Hanyu Pinyin ruby text (since many characters are not read in the usual way). The usage of ruby text outside this and kids books is rare here, though. --Ahyangyi (talk) 15:20, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

Ruby markup on Wikipedia[edit]

There is a template to facilitate the use of ruby markup on Wikipedia.

Input: {{Ruby-zh-p|这|zhè}} {{Ruby-zh-p|是|shì}} {{Ruby-zh-p|一|yì}} {{Ruby-zh-p|些|xiē}} {{Ruby-zh-p|汉|hàn}} {{Ruby-zh-p|字|zì}}。

You'll see: (zhè) (shì) () (xiē) (hàn) ()

In addition, links to Wiktionary definitions are automatically added to each Han character. To make the text legible, the font size is a little larger than usual. This template is therefore not for in-line text.

If larger characters are necessary, then input: {{Ruby-big|梦|mèng}}

You'll see: (mèng)

Put {{Ruby_notice}} on any pages with ruby text. — Chameleon 19:22, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Very interesting! However, it is coded to produce text for Chinese renderings only, and it uses explicit font selection rather than just giving the browser cues via HTML "lang" attributes, which I think would be the better way to go about it. I would rather see something more versatile before adding info about the templates to the article. — mjb 21:29, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Seems to work fine for Japanese to me. — Chameleon 21:40, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
It is my understanding that some East Asian readers are very sensitive to font selection, and do not like to see Chinese text rendered in a Japanese font, or vice-versa. Unicode does not distinguish between and , but they are often "seen" as Japanese and Chinese, respectively (the two glyphs should appear slightly different here). Often the differences are subtle, but a hook or tail here, an pointed stroke there, were (and still are) points of contention in the Han unification process.
I would rather see an optional argument to specify the language code (ja, zh, ko, etc.). For example, {{Ruby|&#20140;|kyō|ja}} would produce something like <ruby lang="ja"><rb>[[Wiktionary:京]]</rb><rt>kyō</rt></ruby>. Explicitly specifying fonts should not be necessary. — mjb 00:41, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Template:Ruby currently specifies a font for the transcription (because Pinyin tone marks don't work in all fonts) but no font is specified for the Han character. It is left for the browser to decide automatically. — Chameleon 01:02, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
OK, I've made a Japanese version: {{Furi}}. {{Ruby}} can now be just for Chinese. — Chameleon 01:16, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I think language-specific templates like that are probably ideal. As for what they should contain, font-wise, perhaps we should solicit opinions from people who have contributed to other articles such as Han unification and Wikipedia:Manual of Style (Japan-related articles)… I suspect there will have to be some compromises between doing "what's right" and "what works." — mjb 01:41, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I think the choice of names for the templates Furi and Ruby are not good. Furigana can be done in romaji, hiragana or katagana. Chinese annotation can be done in pinyin or bopomofo, their font requirement may be different too. Probably the Ruby template should be left as generic while each kind of ruby usage requires a different template for better font control. Kowloonese 02:13, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)
Note: I changed the uses of the (deprecated?) Ruby template above to Ruby-zh-p or Ruby-ja to avoid the message "The template below (Ruby) is being considered for deletion. See templates for discussion to help reach a consensus." from messing stuff up, hope that's ok. --Kai Carver (talk) 16:43, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

The words "Ruby" and "Furi" don't refer to the fact that the annotation is romaji, hiragana, katakana, pinyin or bopomofo. "Furi" just refers to the Japanese word for such annotations; "Ruby" just refers to a non-Japanese word for such annotations. The only difference at the moment between the templates is the language tags. — Chameleon 10:55, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Add Chinese chars[edit]

Give kanji and hanzi for Japanese and Chinese terms.

"Zhuyin is not as easy to read when presented horizontally.": Say why. Substantiate your claims.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Moved from Talk:Ruby characters -- ran (talk) 22:24, 8 March 2006 (UTC)


I took out this sentence from the first paragraph:

At one time, ruby was called "agate" in the United States.

as this is referring to ruby the typeface, not ruby the 'small, annotative characters that can be placed above or to the side of a character when writing logographic languages such as Chinese or Japanese to show the pronunciation'. If you are unaware that rubi characters are ultimately named after an annotative typeface for English, then this is really confusing as it jumps from one meaning to another. The typeface is talked about further down in the History section. — Moogsi 20:36, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Tho if you think the typeface deserves a better place in the article then please put it back in the first paragraph. But distinguishing it from the Japanese meaning, cos I had to go to Agate and back to know it was referring to a font. — Moogsi 20:47, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Four-character idiom[edit]

The Ruby notation on Four-character idiom seems to be working incorrectly. Can someone take a look? Shawnc 01:30, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

The examples sections look fine to me. IE6/Win32 renders them nicely. Firefox doesn't support ruby markup, so it "falls back" to parenthesized text as expected (since HTML renderers are supposed to ignore tags they don't recognize). What were you observing that was incorrect? —mjb 07:51, 17 June 2006 (UTC)


What's the difference between ruby characters and furigana? —Tamfang 19:46, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

This question is answered in the articles.

  • ruby = small typographic annotations adjacent to the main text.
  • furigana = ruby as used in Japanese writing, usually to provide a phonetic spelling for kanji that might be unfamiliar to the reader (because the reader is very young, or the kanji is very obscure). It is one of the more common uses of ruby, but not the only one.

mjb 07:46, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Ruby Usage In Japanese Generally Frowned Upon On Wikipedia?[edit]

Well, at least according to WP:MOS-JA → "Do not use the <ruby> tag to further annotate the kanji, as many browsers cannot display it properly, and it does not degrade gracefully." Evidently that's a codified guideline among Japanese Wiki-editors, and it was subsequently cited in an ongoing discussion/dispute as a reason for me to remove said helpful and clarifying hiragana ruby tags from a mangaka's name in kanji on a Wikipedia article. What does everyone here think; agree or disagree?

 – Bakemono 04:51, 01 July 2006 (UTC)

It is posible to have acceptable output in all navigators by using the the following CSS code (should be added as default in wikipedia CSS imho):


on navigators with proper CSS support (like firefox), it would display with furigana on top, and parenthesis won't show; with navigators without proper CSS support (like konqueror) it will show on the same line, with the parenthesis. with MS-IE it works fine too (but I don't know if because of the CSS or the ruby support; well, doesn't matter), with the exception that the ruby text is not centered.

Srtxg 13:49, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

The use of the word "mangaka" certainly shows your affinity for using Japanese words in place of equivalent English ones, so your desire to uphold the usage of Japanese text is understandable by extension. Have you considered the potential that writing a name fully in kanji then with its furigana in following parentheses would be easier to look up in a search, instead of splitting up the furigana in markup? Do what's better for text searching, and you know which method to use. You should just use ruby on outside websites.-- 08:11, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
I do see that as a good idea myself, and it would look a lot better that way. There are also quite a few other good points here as well. I have taken a single year of Japanese and am going to take one next year, but kanji was never really gone over in the first year of it—the instructor said that it would be more of a focus the second year. IMO it is harder to search for something in kanji than in furigana, unless you have a lot of experience with a Japanese IME (in which I only have a little). One thing to note is that I don't really do much of anything in that area (I've looked up a couple articles in that scope, but that is about the end of it). impinball (talk) 06:02, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

XHTML Markup[edit]

Is it possible to code basic ruby so that it doesn't show up at all when the browser lacks support? I'm trying to write a document with ruby support, but I would rather not have all of the parentheses appearing for users without ruby support. Anybody know? (This is not related to Wikipedia!)  freshofftheufoΓΛĿЌ  11:59, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Not a language lesson[edit]

I understand that this is not a language lesson, but the example of (love) is important. We should not focus on writing in an in-universe style, and the information informs people who are not familiar with the subject. If we need to shorten the example, can we merge the information with another section in this article or add it to a different article and then a relevant lead–in and wikilink, for the reader to lean more? Taric25 19:02, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

The examples are there to be brief illustrations of the info given in the intro. They show the 2 most common situations: pronunciation guides in Japanese and Chinese -- certainly not the only uses of ruby, but that's clear from the text, which says these are usual/typical applications. The intro plus those examples are all someone needs to come away with an understanding of what ruby is. More detailed info and, if we want, further examples about how ruby is used belongs in the Uses of ruby section, which the reader can look at if they want to learn about those relatively esoteric details. Your (love) example falls into that category.
However, I don't think the text around that example is written well, and it doesn't really belong. The point is to explain what ruby is, not what it could be or what it is not. Yet you have speculation (a big no-no in Wikipedia) -- an example of how ruby could be used and why people "theoretically" might want to use it that way, and you try to explain, in argumentative terms, why that situation is unlikely. That's a waste of the reader's time, and the detail about man'yōgana is going off on a further tangent that isn't relevant to ruby at all.
If it were to stay, which I feel it really shouldn't, then you need to rewrite it. Ditch the "first of all", "second of all", and "thus"; those should've been clues that you're not writing in an informative style, but rather you're trying to make a logical argument / trying to persuade the reader. Don't make a statement that you set out to contradict with "but this isn't always the case" or argue against, because then it's unclear what your point really is. And if you find that you're writing in such a way that the reader has to get all the way to the end before you've made your point, then you need to start over. The paragraph should begin with the conclusion / the point being made, then continue with an explanation. —mjb 03:51, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the ai example is irrelevant and the paragraph after it rambling, and suggest it be deleted. Jpatokal 02:14, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Graphs in Text Boxes Incorrect[edit]

I'd fix it myself if I knew how, but in the boxes with the characters in the section near the top, the "tō" of "Tokyo" and the "ai" character are wrong in all cases--unless it's my browser or something, but I think not. Can anyone fix that?Apeman 03:35, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Just wanted to declare that Korean uses rubies aussi. Orthodoxy

Pinyin and zhuyin[edit]

"Most Chinese ruby characters are written with the zhuyin (also known as bopomofo) syllabary, but pinyin is also occasionally used."

This is probably biased, and I'm wondering if there is any evidence that testifies "most". Actually pinyin is much more widely used in mainland China, esp. in primary school textbooks, dictionaries and when typing Chinese characters. Those zhuyin symbols are not taught in schools and most mainlanders have never used them. Puppy8800 (talk) 04:26, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Ruby annotation in HTML 5[edit]

It should be noted that as of 22 Sep 2009 HTML 5 is an Editor's Draft. (ref: HTML5: A vocabulary and associated APIs for HTML and XHTML, World Wide Web Consortium, URL = It appears that HTML 5 will not support complex ruby. -- allennames 03:23, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Any particular reason why the upcoming HTML standard is not even mentioned in this article, while obsolete XHTML 1.1 is? (talk) 05:33, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
XHTML 1.1 is not obsolete; like HTML 4.01, it's a current recommendation and is actively used in XML applications, e.g. for storing HTML fragments in XML used by web content generation systems. HTML5 probably isn't mentioned in the article just due to relative lack of interest (not a lot of people even see this article), and maybe also the WP:SPECULATION policy which discourages writing about future events. You might be WP:BOLD and add a mention of it to the markup section anyway, carefully worded to avoid implying that HTML5 will ever be completed. —mjb (talk) 08:40, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I would like to add a section on HTML 5 support of the <ruby>, <rt>, and <rb> tags in Safari, Chrome, FireFox and IE. At the present time, most of these browsers handle all of the tests for "Simple ruby" (but fail the multi-line/complex tests.) Would there be any objection to adding a small section under the existing XHTML 1.1 section? Don.Kosak (talk) 17:58, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Definition too specific[edit]

The current definition has problems, probably because it began as a description of a specific Japanese use, and what's being defined has become more general over time:

Ruby characters are small, annotative glosses that can be placed above or to the right of a Chinese character when writing languages with logographic characters such as Chinese or Japanese to show the pronunciation. Typically called just ruby or rubi, such annotations are usually used as a pronunciation guide for relatively obscure characters.

  • though ruby annotations may have originated with Japanese (or Chinese or Korean), they can be used for any kind of text, and are specified in this more general way on the web. So the meaning of the term is now broader, and the definition should reflect that, even if the original and most common use in Asian texts should be acknowledged.
  • "ruby characters"? "ruby annotations" seems better. or "ruby text".
  • ruby annotations aren't just used for pronunciation. They can be used to indicate meaning, or for some other annotation purpose. "often" would be better than "usually".
  • does anyone outside Japan call them "rubi"? The use of "ruby" by itself as a noun is a bit strange to me, but not unheard of?
  • it seems wrong to call them "glosses", since that term relates more specifically to meaning, not so much to pronunciation. Also "annotative glosses" sounds unnecessarily technical.
  • the title of the article is "Ruby character", but this term doesn't make sense to me, since a ruby annotation can be composed of several characters. I don't think this is a common use and it shouldn't be the title of this article.

I'm putting this up here for discussion before making any changes as I am no expert on the subject. Also I feel a bit lazy to make so many changes :-) --Kai Carver (talk) 17:33, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

I'm curious about the breadth of this term too. If we're just talking about uses regarding Chinese & Japanese, then the stuff regarding the Bible, for instance, should be moved elsewhere (to Interlinear glossing, maybe?). babbage (talk) 23:25, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

pinyin ruby[edit]

does pinyin ruby plugin for Web browsers exist?

Ruby the Language[edit]

As Ruby the programming language also came from Japan I can't but help think there could be a link here? Does anybody know? Mathmo Talk 06:47, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Safari support[edit]

Markup example in the article is rendered fine in Safari 4.1.3 (Mac OS 10.4.11). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:20, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Relation to rubric?[edit]

I was under the impression that ruby characters had their origin in rubrics, particularly as described in Rubric#Instructions_in_liturgical_contexts:

...rubric has a second meaning of an instruction in a text, regardless of how it is written or printed. This is in fact the oldest recorded meaning in English, found in 1375.

Rubrics were typically printed in red ink, hence the etymological relation to ruby.

Does anyone know more about this? Does it merit mention in the article body? -- Eiríkr Útlendi | Tala við mig 18:55, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

As noted in Ruby character#History, the name is from the traditional point-size name, not from the gemstone. I don't think they are related. --Kusunose 04:37, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
To expand a bit, a rubric often is an "interlinear annotations in printed documents", which is what the 5.5-point ruby type was used for. What I dimly recall reading is that the name for the type size came from this use for printing rubric text, but I cannot remember in sufficient detail to add to the article. -- Eiríkr ÚtlendiTala við mig 07:10, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

The article on Furigana states that it is "one type of Ruby." This article, however, does not seem to make any clear distinction between Ruby and Furigana. The Furigana article does not contain some of the technical aspects/uses of Ruby. Does it need to be made clear that this is the distinction between the two articles?Opaanderson (talk) 01:26, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Remove discussion of japanese gemination marker ("little tsu") in uses section[edit]

This portion is entirely unhelpful and seems not to be discussing ruby at all. Also, having looked at the document it cites, at least quickly, nowhere is the little tsu mentioned at all. However, I'm new to editing wikipedia and I don't know the policy for removing portions outright - what should be done here? Telmac (talk) 15:22, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

Similar but equal[edit]

Is there a font tool which similarly allows 1 line of text to be written atop another line of text, but where they are of equal size instead of small on big like ruby? Or perhaps to have big on small as its inverse? If there is, I am wondering if I could do an article for them in the see also. Ranze (talk) 21:20, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

Newlineajf (talk) 18:04, 13 December 2016 (UTC)