Directionality without prejudice

Yaron Shahrabani sh.yaron at
Sat Dec 11 14:59:49 GMT 2010

On Sat, Dec 11, 2010 at 1:40 PM, Chris Scaife <scaife.chris at>wrote:

> Thanks for that information Yaron,  and also for your positive feedback :)
> It is indeed interesting to learn about how numbers are spoken because I
> don't think that Unicode standard is correct in this respect.
I'd love to assist with that, feel free to guide and consult me, my hobby is
linguistics and I have many connections we can use.

> I do hope to proceed with my bidirectional terminal emulator, but have
> discovered that I cannot make it work with things like ncurses library when
> directionality on my display widget is under control of such a complicated
> algorithm. Thus Gtk, Pango and Cairo display code have become a dead end :(
There is an old bug in GNOME showing reversed Hebrew in the task manager for
years now and nothing was done so far so unfortunately you are possibly
right ☺

> I am currently learning how to use the AGG library which includes excellent
> support for Windows as well as Posix compliant systems. Alas it all takes
> time especially because due to other situations I was not programming for a
> great many years.
The Heb-bugzap list is mainly in English and we will be delighted to use
English only for this discussion, Most of us are pretty fluent, Shachar has
already replied, he began reading your work and I think he liked it so far,
pay attention that Shachar has his own company and he doesn't like to be
bothered so keep your messages to him as short as possible and if you post
an article just send him the link.

> I'll try to get on your mailing list now, but I can't read any Hebrew or
> Arabic myself and depend entirely on Google translator
Let me help you when needed, My Arabic is not that good but I got some
friends from the open source community who can, just don't hesitate to ask.

> regards,
> Chris Scaife
Kind regards,
Yaron Shahrabani.

> On 11 December 2010 02:27, Yaron Shahrabani <sh.yaron at> wrote:
>> Hey Chris! lovely article!
>> To support your claims (Although I'm not a native Arabic speaker) I can
>> add that in Arabic you pronounce number in the opposite direction:
>> 0-10 same ol'
>> 11 - Had 'Ashar / Had Ta'ash (The second form is derived from an Ancient
>> Jewish Arabic colloquial spoken mostly by Jewish Iraqian living in Israel
>> like my grand mother)
>> 12 - Thnein Ashar / Thnein Ta'ash
>> 13 - Thlat Ashar / Thlat Ta'ash
>> etc.
>> The difference appear from now on:
>> 20 - 'Ishrin
>> 21 - Wahad (one) u(and) 'Ishrin (twenty)
>> 22 - Tnein (two) u 'Ishrin
>> etc.
>> When it comes to Hundred:
>> 100 - Maia / Mia
>> 101 - [Maia / Mia] u wahad
>> So the reading direction changes along the way meaning that 121 would be:
>> Mi'a u wahad u 'Ishrin
>> That's all about counting in Arabic.
>> I would consult my fellow open source activists and if needed we will
>> translate your document and use it but first I have to send it there.
>> Our mailing list called heb-bugzap and you can subscribe via:
>> We will discuss about this matter there.
>> Thank you very much,
>> Yaron Shahrabani
>> <Hebrew translator>
>> On Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 1:35 PM, Chris Scaife <scaife.chris at>wrote:
>>>  Not that long ago I started a project to make a bidirectional terminal
>>> emulator according to the Unicode standards.
>>> This was prompted by problems I encountered on a different project
>>> I've been having a good think about directionality of text and have just
>>> uploaded my R2L.html document.
>>> It details my thoughts on the issues and I will greatly value any
>>> feedback I get.
>>> Anyone interested can find it in my original internationalization
>>> project:
>>> There is also a jpg image and a css file that goes with it.
>>> Thanks for reading :)
>>> --
>>> Ubuntu-RTL mailing list
>>> Ubuntu-RTL at
>>> Modify settings or unsubscribe at:
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