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Hebrew, writing from right to left
Thread poster: xxxwonita
xxxwonita
China
Local time: 09:45
Jan 22, 2009

Modern Hebrew is written from right to left.

I wonder how would you put such an English phrase "from 14:30 to 15:30" into Hebrew. Further more, how are western names, like Barack Obama, written in Hebrew?

Old Chinese was written from top to bottom as a line, from right to left as a page, which is absolutely incompatible with the PC form. It is hardly possible to put Arabic figures or western names in a readable way. Take Barack Obama as an example, it would be:

B
a
r
a
c
k

O
b
a
m
a
.

How do you make modern Hebrew compatible with the PC standard?

Thank you for any information.


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Patrick Fischer  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:45
Member (2008)
French to German
+ ...
Here you will find some information Jan 22, 2009

http://www.ts-cyberia.net/computing_h.html

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Robert Tucker
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:45
German to English
+ ...
Vertical Chinese text Jan 22, 2009

Old Chinese was written from top to bottom as a line, from right to left as a page, which is absolutely incompatible with the PC form.


OpenOffice can write Chinese vertically from top-to-bottom, right-to-left if that is what you meant.



(It can also write Hebrew, of course.)


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Shai Navé  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 15:45
Partial member
English to Hebrew
+ ...
There isn't really any problem (more or less) Jan 22, 2009

If you choose the right tool, that supports RTL, than you can right from Right to left without a problem.
All modern browsers supports RTL, so if the code in which the sentence is written is correct, the page will be displayed from Right to Left.
Basically, if you use any tool that supports RTL you can work with Hebrew. There are some issues with common softwares that still do not support Hebrew perfectly, but in general this is not a problem.

Regarding names and writing in general. Hebrew is the exact opposite of what you would expect to see in English. If to build on your example in which the first name comes before the surname, in Hebrew the first name will be placed to the right of the surename (and not to the left as in English); the result looks like "Obama Barack". Please keep in mind that the direction of reading is also RTL so the Hebrew reader reads the name as "Barack Obama" just as the English reader does.
Ranges are pretty much handled the same. The lower value is placed on the right, than the dash or the word to, and then the higher value to the left of the dash. For example,
15:30-14:30; or Kg 10-5; again keep in mind that the direction of reading is RTL as well, so to the Hebrew reader it just flows naturally just as to the English reader who reads 14:30-15:30 and 5-10 Kg.

Side note: In contemporary Hebrew, you can see the influence of LTR languages such as English. Sometimes the ranges will appear as in English i.e 14:30-15:30. Although this is well understood, grammatically it is incorrect. This "new" practice partly stems from the use of computers and other electronic appliances in which the menus are sometimes in English or which does not support Hebrew perfectly (display Hebrew letters but can't flow the text correctly). As a result, and with the growing spread in using such devices in the last 20 years, this practice had been introduced (unofficially) into the Hebrew language; but as I mention above, grammatically it is incorrect.

[Edited at 2009-01-22 13:44 GMT]


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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 09:45
TOPIC STARTER
My question Jan 22, 2009

Shai Nave wrote:
Ranges are pretty much handled the same. The lower value is placed on the right, than the dash or the word to, and then the higher value to the left of the dash. For example,
15:30-14:30; or Kg 10-5; again keep in mind that the direction of reading is RTL as well, so to the Hebrew reader it just flows naturally just as to the English reader who reads 14:30-15:30 and 5-10 Kg.


That said, you have to read 15:30 from LTR within 15:30-14:30, and "Barack" is not written as "Kcarab" to make it phonetically identical to Hebrew. So to read RTL applies only for a whole sentence, not for each word.

Do I understand it correctly?


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Yossi Rozenman  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 15:45
English to Hebrew
+ ...
The bidirectional algorithm Jan 22, 2009

Hi Bin

Congratulations, you are the first one to post a message on this new Forum.

In the following link you will find information regarding the BiDi algorithm.

http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-html40-970708/struct/dirlang.html#h-7.2.2.1

If you have further questions, don't hasitate to ask.


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Shai Navé  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 15:45
Partial member
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Yes you are Jan 22, 2009

You are correct. Numbers are written from LTR e.g twelve is written as 12, the same as in English. Times are also written from LTR (since it is a universal system), date are usually written from LTR as well (dd/mm/yyyy) but this really depends more on the formatting chosen by the writer.
Hebrew words are written from RTL; English words that are written in English (such as names, addresses, etc.) and appear in the Hebrew sentence are written exactly as in English.
Keep in mind that Hebrew uses its own letters and not the Latin letters so Barack will indeed be written as kcaraB (and in Hebrew ברק) but only in Hebrew. If to say you want to write the word Barack in English inside a Hebrew sentence, it will be written exactly as in English - i.e Barack.
I hope that his helps to clarify things a little


Edit:
And if you would like to write a full name in English inside a Hebrew sentence is will be written from LTR just like in English. First name Surname - Barack Obama.



[Edited at 2009-01-22 15:06 GMT]


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Sabine Akabayov, PhD
Israel
Local time: 15:45
Member (2011)
English to German
+ ...
RTL applies to words as well Jan 22, 2009

Hi Bin,

the RTL applies to each word, so Barack would be "kcarab" in hebrew letters. Numbers are different. You wouldn't wirte a phone number from RTL but leave it form left to right, however if you have a series of number (e.g. 1,2,3,4) you would change the order (4,3,2,1). Hebrew originally used letters for numbers.

Sabine


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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 09:45
TOPIC STARTER
Yes, it can Jan 22, 2009

Robert Tucker wrote:

OpenOffice can write Chinese vertically from top-to-bottom, right-to-left if that is what you meant.



As in the example I give above with "Obama", it is not so obvious to recognize as when you write from LTR; and there are so many English words/abbreviations in the modern Chinese, like IT, CCTV, which are already part of our language.

In the modern Chinese, we write from LTR, top to bottom, as in most other languages. Just wonder a bit, how can another language survive with RTL order.


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Robert Tucker
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:45
German to English
+ ...
Vowels Jan 22, 2009

Bin Tiede wrote:As in the example I give above with "Obama", it is not so obvious to recognize as when you write from LTR

The main problem I find trying to learn an RTL language is that they (Hebrew and Arabic anyway) generally leave out the vowels – ברק is just qrb (qof, resh, bet), I believe.


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Patrick Fischer  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:45
Member (2008)
French to German
+ ...
a little bit easier Jan 24, 2009

Here is a quite easy way to write LTR. But it is limited to copy and paste.
http://ghanilog.free.fr/en/qwerty.htm


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Naty Schwartz  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 15:45
Member (2007)
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Sometimes you can put the vowels back in Feb 20, 2009

Robert Tucker wrote:

The main problem I find trying to learn an RTL language is that they (Hebrew and Arabic anyway) generally leave out the vowels – ברק is just qrb (qof, resh, bet), I believe.




Well, one way to make it easier to read Hebrew text without the diacritics (which is the case in most publications today) is to add vowels in ambiguous cases like ברק.
So with vowels it could be:
בראק or even באראק (but I wouldn't go as far as that)


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Robert Tucker
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:45
German to English
+ ...
Patach? Feb 21, 2009

Naty Schwartz wrote:
or even באראק (but I wouldn't go as far as that)

That would be באַראַק ?

Looks like:

http://yi.wikipedia.org/wiki/באראק_אבאמא

would go that far.

But why not בַרַק ?

How do you tell the difference between Barack and baroque, for instance, supposing the latter can be transliterated to Hebrew?


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Hebrew, writing from right to left

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