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I have an English paragraph with a right-to-left Hebrew phrase in the middle of the paragraph with a footnote referring to a word within that Hebrew phrase.

Should the footnote be positioned at the beginning of the Hebrew word or at the end?

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1  
It's not clear this is really a TeX question, but surely the footnote should go in the same relative position as you read the text (i.e. at the end of the word reading from right to left.) –  Alan Munn Jun 15 '13 at 3:38

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Well, first of all, you'll definitely put the \footnote{} command after your right-to-left phrase - it doesn't make sense otherwise. But then, you still have (at least) three options:

  1. Footnote command within the right-to-left group of your right-to-left phrase,
    immediately after the actual phrase.
  2. Footnote command within a separate right-to-left group, immediately closing your phrase' right-to-left group.
  3. Footnote command in a left-to-right group, immediately closing your phrase' right-to-left group.

Here are screenshots with the output of all three approaches. It seems to me that the 3rd option is what you would want, but I can't categorically declare it to be superior.

(The body of the page:) enter image description here

(The footnote area:) enter image description here

And here's the code:

\documentclass{article}
%\usepackage[utf8x]{inputenc}
\usepackage[english,hebrew]{babel}
\usepackage{lipsum}
\begin{document}
\raggedleft
\selectlanguage{english}
\verb|\R{...\footnote{...}}| \\
This is an English paragraph with a Hebrew word: \R{מילה\footnote{זוהי הערת התחתית הראשונה. \L{This is the second sentence of the first footnote.}}}
and then more English text.

\bigskip

\verb|\R{...}\R{\footnote{...}}| \\
This is a second English paragraph with a Hebrew word: \R{מילה}\R{\footnote{זוהי הערת התחתית השניה. \L{This is the second sentence of the second footnote.}}}
and then more English text.

\bigskip

\verb|\R{...}{\footnote{\R{...}}| \\
This is a second English paragraph with a Hebrew word: \R{מילה}\footnote{\R{זוהי הערת התחתית השלישית.} This is the second sentence of the third footnote.}
and then more English text.
\end{document} 
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It seems as if #1 would be best because it's referring to the Hebrew word, but the footnote itself should be left-to-right like #3. Opinions? –  user19446 Jun 15 '13 at 21:17
    
@cgnieder: Done. \R is a babel macro for left-to-right languages. –  einpoklum Jun 15 '13 at 21:19
    
@JoshVoigts: Unless the footnote is somehow part of the "run" of Hebrew text - and usually, it shouldn't be - I would disagree that 1 is best. –  einpoklum Jun 15 '13 at 21:20

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