28 December 2012


However often I read the Malay newspaper, I still find it hard to parse text where the words are compacted together with little space between them. Take this paragraph, from page 2 of the Media Permata of 6 December 2012:

The first line reads:

Sebagai mengenang jasa dan membantu
  act as   remember service and   help
but I find it very difficult to parse with no spacing between the words.

Do English-language newspapers have similar compacting of the text that I don't notice as I am more familiar with English? I'm not sure. But it seems to me that the text-processing software is not working too well when dealing with Malay in this situation.

One other word of interest in this context is sumbangan ('contribution') in line 4. It is printed with a hyphen in it, which is not appropriate. It seems clear that the hyphen was added manually as a means of breaking up the line, and then was not removed when the paragraph was re-arranged. This seems to confirm that line-end hyphenation is done manually, which suggests that the text-processor cannot handle Malay very well.