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I'm trying to create an English document using pdflatex and want to insert a few cyrillic and arabic glyphs.

something like

the letter Я is cyrillic, whereas ش is arabic

I tried to follow advice found Inserting some Arabic script in an English article, but it seems that xetex and pdflatex are mutually exclusive.

my feeble attempts until now look like:

\documentclass[letterpaper, 12pt]{article}
the letter Я is Cyrillic, whereas ﺵ is arabic

any hints how to achieve this?

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You'll be much better of using XeLaTeX or LuaLaTeX. The unicode support in pdflatex is limited. – Martin Schröder Jan 29 '13 at 9:29
up vote 5 down vote accepted

You have to properly mark the parts where different scripts are used; this works, for instance:

\documentclass[letterpaper, 12pt]{article}

the letter \foreignlanguage{russian}{Я} is Cyrillic,
whereas \foreignlanguage{arabic}{و} is arabic


enter image description here

share|improve this answer
thanks that works great! (though i'm having troubles now with the pdf-TOC, included images, and my multi-glyph sentence being on a separate page; but this might be related to the .sty i have to use) – umläute Jan 29 '13 at 10:20
This is awesome, thanks a lot. A small hint for arabic, if you are writing more than one letter use \textRL{السلام عليكم} to show the text correctly right to left :) – iamaziz Jun 1 at 20:58

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