Alphabets of Languages with Bidirectional Scripts and their Support. Israel Ervin Gidali IBM Globalization Centre of Competency- Complex Text Languages. Agenda. The predecessors of the first true alphabets The first alphabets Direction of writing The “modern” RTL scripts
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Israel Ervin Gidali
IBM Globalization Centre of Competency-
Complex Text Languages
The predecessors of the first true alphabets:
The Egyptian hieroglyphics (since 3000 BCE)
The Mesopotamian cuneiforms (since 3100 BCE)
Proto-Sinaic and Proto-Canaanite.
Proto-Canaanite, Phoenician and Greek
the writing direction of all Semitic scripts (except Ethiopic) is
from right to left.
אין כל-חדש תחת השמש
(קהלת פרק א פסוק ט')
There is nothing new under the sun.
The Arabic script, the script of Quran, used for:
עברית שפה יפה
בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארץ
Vocalized with “points”
and cantillation marks:
European digits (Arabic digits):
(Used in Hebrew script and
in some Arabic countries)
(Used in Arabic)
Numbers are written from left to right regardless of their form
and regardless of regional variety
english text 123 TXET CIBARA
(only when translated)