GameBoy Book Reader -
Languages (General)

[Last Modified: July 2003]



Which languages can be supported by a text reader based on a Windows platform, depends on which CodePage is in use when displaying the original text file.

A CodePage is a set of characters which can be displayed at once, each having a unique code to represent it.

Codepage 1252

This represents the West European character set. A Windows program which uses this Codepage can display English, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, Danish, Spanish, Portugese, Catalan, Italian, Finnish and some others. This was the only Codepage the original Book Reader supported.

The first language other than English tried on Book Reader - Finnish - now with updated scroll bar text.





Early version of Book Reader displaying English

Slightly later version displaying Swedish

V3.4 showing Icelandic. Thanks to Ragnar for the scroll bar text and comments about character shapes. Hopefully it looks a little better now. Apparently the title last word should have a double L. I will have to fix this later - I suppose the text at Runeberg is wrong? At least I think that's where it came from.


Codepage 949

This Codepage is used to represent the Korean Extended Wansung character set.

This was the second CodePage to be covered by Makebook, but the font was stored in a separate file from the West European set, and was processed differently by the Reader. This made extending to further languages difficult.


The original Korean version of GameBoy Book Reader

Click on Button to see the Korean Project Page

Codepage 936

This Codepage is used to represent the PRC Chinese character set.

This was the third CodePage to be covered by Makebook. By now the decision had been made to code the font file as Unicode, thus potentially including all world languages in one Book Reader.

This makes adding further languages potentally much easier. Increasing the character height also eased adding languages like Chinese.


The appearance of GameBoy Book Reader V3.0 displaying Chinese text

Click on Button to see the Chinese Project Page

Codepage 1250

Used for the Eastern European language block.

I was sent a text file from Poland to test how easy adding a further language might be.


The appearance of GameBoy Book Reader V3.0 displaying Polish in 12 pixel high characters...

...and in 8 pixel high


Codepage 1253

Used for Greek.

I have been sent the words for the scroll bar (thanks to K. Tsakaloglou), and tidied up the font a little. Some glyphs could be a bit more elegant but it doesn't look too bad now.


Greek text - it's a sort of prayer. This is using V3.4

Codepage 1251

Used for Russian.

Thanks to Nikita's help, we have added Russian language support. This was available from V3.2.


Russian text and scroll bar.


Codepage 932

Used for Japanese.

Added in V3.3. Perfected (?) in V4.2.


Japanese text, with new scroll bar - thanks Luc!.

Codepage 950

Used for Chinese (Taiwan).

Finally got font correct in V4.2


Traditional Chinese text. The scroll bar comes from Simplified Chinese, so may be wrong. Any traditional reading chinese help?


Codepage 1255

Used for Hebrew.

Added in V4.5


The first right to left code page added. Additionally 'combining' characters (used for 'pointing' with vowel symbols in Hebrew) has been added. Shown is the Gameboy Advance version in the 12 pixel high font.

Codepage 1256

Used for Arabic.

Added in V4.6

I could really use some feedback here as I know next to nothing about Arabic.


In addition to being right to left and having combining (or transparent) characters, arabic also has some complicated presentation rules. A single character codepoint may represent up to 4 alternative glyphs depending on what the neighbouring characters are. Further it is mandatory to use a single 'ligature' glyph for certain combinations of 2 characters. Shown is the Gameboy Advance version in the 16 pixel high font.

Other Codepages

These are to follow. In most cases there is no practical difficulty in adding them except for having some feedback from a native speaker.

874 - Thai

1254 - Turkish

1257 - Baltic

1258 - Vietnam



If you think you can help...


... please use this e-mail address:


I usually ask for a text file which displays correctly in Notepad plus a bitmap of the first page showing how it appears in Wordpad. Plus in some cases help in finalising the font appearance, or in some cases in designing it completely.