Hebrew : Java Glossary


Hebrew is one of the more difficult languages to handle in Java. The difficulties stem from these facts:
  1. It uses a different alphabet. The glyphs are defined in Unicode in the \u0590 range.
    Hebrew alphabet
  2. I find some of the letter pairs hard to tell apart e.g. Zayin-Vav, Chet-He, Nun-Bet-Kaf, Samech-Mem, Resh-Khaf.
  3. It does not have upper and lower case, which makes it simpler.
  4. Text is right justified rather than left justified.
  5. Text reads right to left and is pronounced right to left. This is the word Shalom which means peace, hello and goodbye:
    shalom in Hebrew
    The letters above from left to right are: Mem (M), Vav (O), Lamed (L), Shin (sh). They are pronouned/read right to left, starting with Shin (sh).
    In Unicode: \u05DD, \u05D5, \u05DC, \u05E9.

    If your font supports Hebrew,
    [שלום] Shalom
    in reverse order to the way they are displayed, will render in the following brackets: [שלום].

  6. Numbers read left to right, which are intermixed with alphabetic text.
  7. When you key text, you key right to left, but key numbers left to right.
  8. You have to be aware of the varying conventions for Swing, AWT (Advanced Windowing Toolkit), console input, console output, internal Strings, and drawString which you can ignore for left-to-right languages.
  9. Mem and Nun each have two forms, one for the middle of words and one for the end.
  10. Hebrew has totally different punctuation from English.
  11. Because the characters are so intricate, you must render them larger than you would the equivalent English glyphs.
  12. Programmer tools and word processors are not built to deal with Hebrew. You have to craft your own tools.
  13. There are no alphabtetic entities for Hebrew. You must use hex, e. g. ו.

Using Hebrew In Java

Here is a program I wrote to experiment to find out how Hebrew works in Java. Here are my findings:
Hebrew Entities
Character Hex Entity Decimal Entity Description
א &x05d0; &1488; Hebrew letter Alef
ב &x05d1; &1489; Hebrew letter Bet
ג &x05d2; &1490; Hebrew letter Gimel
ד &x05d3; &1491; Hebrew letter Dalet
ה &x05d4; &1492; Hebrew letter He
ו &x05d5; &1493; Hebrew letter Vav
ז &x05d6; &1494; Hebrew letter Zayin
ח &x05d7; &1495; Hebrew letter Het
ט &x05d8; &1496; Hebrew letter Tet
י &x05d9; &1497; Hebrew letter Yod
ך &x05da; &1498; Hebrew letter Final Kaf
כ &x05db; &1499; Hebrew letter Kaf
ל &x05dc; &1500; Hebrew letter Lamed
ם &x05dd; &1501; Hebrew letter Final Mem
מ &x05de; &1502; Hebrew letter Mem
ן &x05df; &1503; Hebrew letter Final Nun
נ &x05e0; &1504; Hebrew letter Nun
ס &x05e1; &1505; Hebrew letter Samekh
ע &x05e2; &1506; Hebrew letter Ayin
ף &x05e3; &1507; Hebrew letter Final Pe
פ &x05e4; &1508; Hebrew letter Pe
ץ &x05e5; &1509; Hebrew letter Final Tsadi
צ &x05e6; &1510; Hebrew letter Tsadi
ק &x05e7; &1511; Hebrew letter Qof
ר &x05e8; &1512; Hebrew letter Resh
ש &x05e9; &1513; Hebrew letter Shin
ת &x05ea; &1514; Hebrew letter Tav
װ &x05f0; &1520; Hebrew ligature Yiddish double Vav
ױ &x05f1; &1521; Hebrew ligature Yiddish Vav Yod
ײ &x05f2; &1522; Hebrew ligature Yiddish double Yod
Hebrew accents, points and punctuation
Character Hex Entity Decimal Entity Description
֑ &x0591; &1425; Hebrew accent Etnahta
֒ &x0592; &1426; Hebrew accent Segol
֓ &x0593; &1427; Hebrew accent Shalshelet
֔ &x0594; &1428; Hebrew accent Zaqef Qatan
֕ &x0595; &1429; Hebrew accent Zaqef Gadol
֖ &x0596; &1430; Hebrew accent Tipeha
֗ &x0597; &1431; Hebrew accent Revia
֘ &x0598; &1432; Hebrew accent Zarqa
֙ &x0599; &1433; Hebrew accent Pashta
֚ &x059a; &1434; Hebrew accent Yetiv
֛ &x059b; &1435; Hebrew accent Tevir
֜ &x059c; &1436; Hebrew accent Geresh
֝ &x059d; &1437; Hebrew accent Geresh Muqdam
֞ &x059e; &1438; Hebrew accent Gershayim
֟ &x059f; &1439; Hebrew accent Qarney Para
֠ &x05a0; &1440; Hebrew accent Telisha Gedola
֡ &x05a1; &1441; Hebrew accent Pazer
֣ &x05a3; &1443; Hebrew accent Munah
֤ &x05a4; &1444; Hebrew accent Mahapakh
֥ &x05a5; &1445; Hebrew accent Merkha
֦ &x05a6; &1446; Hebrew accent Merkha Kefula
֧ &x05a7; &1447; Hebrew accent Darga
֨ &x05a8; &1448; Hebrew accent Qadma
֩ &x05a9; &1449; Hebrew accent Telisha Qetana
֪ &x05aa; &1450; Hebrew accent Yerah Ben Yomo
֫ &x05ab; &1451; Hebrew accent Ole
֬ &x05ac; &1452; Hebrew accent Iluy
֭ &x05ad; &1453; Hebrew accent Dehi
֮ &x05ae; &1454; Hebrew accent Zinor
֯ &x05af; &1455; Hebrew mark Masora circle
ְ &x05b0; &1456; Hebrew point Sheva
ֱ &x05b1; &1457; Hebrew point Hataf Segol
ֲ &x05b2; &1458; Hebrew point Hataf Patah
ֳ &x05b3; &1459; Hebrew point Hataf Qamats
ִ &x05b4; &1460; Hebrew point Hiriq
ֵ &x05b5; &1461; Hebrew point Tsere
ֶ &x05b6; &1462; Hebrew point Segol
ַ &x05b7; &1463; Hebrew point Patah
ָ &x05b8; &1464; Hebrew point Qamats
ֹ &x05b9; &1465; Hebrew point Holam
ֻ &x05bb; &1467; Hebrew point Qubuts
ּ &x05bc; &1468; Hebrew point Dagesh or Mapiq (or Shuruq)
ֽ &x05bd; &1469; Hebrew point Meteg
־ &x05be; &1470; Hebrew punctuation Maqaf
ֿ &x05bf; &1471; Hebrew point Rafe
׀ &x05c0; &1472; Hebrew punctuation Paseq
ׁ &x05c1; &1473; Hebrew point Shin dot
ׂ &x05c2; &1474; Hebrew point Sin dot
׃ &x05c3; &1475; Hebrew punctuation Sof Pasuq
ׄ &x05c4; &1476; Hebrew mark upper dot
׳ &x05f3; &1523; Hebrew punctuation Geresh
״ &x05f4; &1524; Hebrew punctuation Gershayim
&x20aa; &8362; new sheqel sign (Israel currency)

Learning More

Oracle’s Javadoc on ComponentOrientation class : available:
Oracle’s Javadoc on JTextComponent.setOrientation : available:
Oracle’s Javadoc on Component.setComponentOrientation : available:
Hebrew Unicode code table

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