# Hebrew vs. German/English translation side-by-side

I am having the following problem: I have Hebrew texts and want to put translations (and other information) right next to it in a nice way. (Previously I used the old Nisus Writer for Mac which for this purpose worked perfectly.) I have been playing around with tables but neither the way to do it nor the results are overly satisfying. Especially annoying is the fact that the texts are always interrupted by each other.

This is what I want (see the picture): It should be (at least) two columns. The left one Hebrew (which begins on the right side), the right one German or English (which begins on the left side). Whenever there is space left on a line, it should be possible to easily put additional information (e.g. comments, sources) there.

Here is the text for those who want to play with it:

Gesegnet bist du, DER NAME, unser G’tt, König der Welt,
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם,
der dem Hahne (andere: Verstand) Einsicht gegeben,
אֲשֶׁר נָתַן לַשֶֹּכְוִי בִינָה,
{Iob 38,36b yBer 9,2,13c} zu unterscheiden zwischen Tag und Nacht.
לְהַבְחִין בֵּין יוֹם וּבֵין לָיְלָה:
Gesegnet bist du, DER NAME, unser G’tt, König der Welt,
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם,
der mich nicht als Heiden (andere: Fremden) gemacht.
שֶׁלֹא עָשַׂנִי גּוֹי: נ”א: נכרי
Gesegnet bist du, DER NAME, unser G’tt, König der Welt,
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם,
der mich nicht als Sklaven gemacht.
שֶׁלֹא עָשַׂנִי עָבֶד:


Is there any package to achieve this nicely and easily?

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Sorry not speaking either of the languages in the example, it isn't clear to me if they are line-by-line translations or paragraph-by paragraph (which would probably make a difference in the granularity of the input). Would it be possible to edit the question to paste in the text of that (or similar) example (just as an html table in unicode, then people could more easily experiment with putting the text into a table pr parallel paragraphs package. A table ought to "just work" what goes wrong? –  David Carlisle Apr 3 '12 at 19:54
This example and what I would like to achieve generally is a line-by-line translation! –  Moked Apr 3 '12 at 19:59
I don’t know, whether they are useful, but try out the packages parallel and paracol. –  Speravir Apr 3 '12 at 20:17
@DavidCarlisle A table will indeed "just work", but as the OP says: "Especially annoying is the fact that the texts are always interrupted by each other." –  jmc Apr 4 '12 at 19:57
@jmc that's why I asked if it was line by line or paragraph, if each fragment is a line, entering line by line isn't so bad, but if you want to translate a paragraph and then make lines in one match the other it would be more of a pain. I tried to get google translate to give me some hebrew to some english text and make an example, but my xelatex usage wasn't strong enough as it was coming out backwards (ie ltr not rtl) If someone posted an xelatex document with a couple of fragments in an rtl and ltr language, it would be easier to experiment with the TeX required to input them side by side. –  David Carlisle Apr 4 '12 at 20:07

You can use parcolumns or any similar package for this. A minimal working example:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{parcolumns}
\usepackage{polyglossia}
\setmainlanguage{hebrew}
\thispagestyle{empty}
\begin{document}
\begin{parcolumns}{2}
\colchunk{בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם,}
\setLTR
\colchunk{Gesegnet bist du, DER NAME, unser G’tt, König der Welt,}
\colplacechunks
\setRTL
\colchunk{אֲשֶׁר נָתַן לַשֶֹּכְוִי בִינָה,}
\setLTR
\colchunk{der dem Hahne (andere: Verstand) Einsicht gegeben,}
\colplacechunks
\setRTL
\colchunk{לְהַבְחִין בֵּין יוֹם וּבֵין לָיְלָה:}
\setLTR
\colchunk{zu unterscheiden zwischen Tag und Nacht.}
\end{parcolumns}
\end{document}


and here is the result:

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Thumbs up to this answer. I used a related package (parallel.sty, ctan.org/pkg/parallel) to typeset an entire book with English translation on the right and Hebrew/Yiddish/Russian/French originals on the left. –  Daniel Harbour Jun 23 '12 at 18:03

I have tried similar things with the ledpar and ledmac packages. However they do not work very nice with cjhebrew, so this depends on how you input your hebrew.

The best option seems to be ledarab, however I do not have much experience with it. (I am not fluent in hebrew, and prefer to input it using transliterations, to avoid clashes in editing the .tex files.)

I can give more specific answers if you tell how you want to input your hebrew.

The ledmac package and friends are quite heavy packages, so be warned. But they are designed specifically for this purpose, and I have typeset some nice papers with them.

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I use xelatex and therefore I am able to directly input Hebrew (as Unicode). –  Moked Apr 3 '12 at 19:23
Ok. I do not have much experience with that combo. I do suggest that you look into ledarab. If I recall correctly, its manual even has a seperate chapter on Hebrew. Together with ledpar you should be able to typeset beautiful parallel texts. –  jmc Apr 3 '12 at 19:30
Forget ledarab; it is not suitable for modern Hebrew typesetting. –  Vafa Khalighi Jun 11 '12 at 8:44