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I have very limited experience with regard to .tex, and I am writing this after 6 hours of independent research, the solution might be something very simple, but I just can't find it. Here is the case: I am working on a template to present Imperial Aramaic documents. Scholarly editions include traditionaly 3-4 sections:

1)Imperial Aramaic Section;
2)Transliteration of the document in Hebrew alphabet;
3)Transliteration of the document in Latin alphabet; and optionaly a translation depending on the public concerned.

My goal is to have a clear pdf output of all of the sections above using latex. The Imperial Aramaic characters are declared in a Unicode Chart "10845  IMPERIAL ARAMAIC LETTER WAW" for example. There is also a True Type Font that includes these characters "Aramaic Imperial Yeb". The problem is the font accepts only the hebrew keyboard input, I can't use it with ASCII characters. Plus, when I enter a character from hebrew keyboard XeTex gives me question marks in the output. What should I do to make the font display its unicode characters via ASCII characters? I am using Miktex 2.9 with Texmaker under Windows Vista, but that will change to Windows 7 in a couple of days

\documentclass[12pt,a4paper]{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} 
\usepackage{xltxtra,xunicode}
\usepackage{lineno}
\usepackage{cjhebrew}
\usepackage[left=2cm,right=2cm,top=2cm,bottom=2cm]{geometry}
\usepackage{fontspec}

\begin{document}

\section*{Imperial Aramaic Document}
\subsection*{TAD A6.12}
\fontspec{Aramaic Imperial Yeb}{כק//קראעכגךףארפקק}

I have managed to get the hebrew transliteration section by using {cjHebrew} with ASCII characters :

\begin{cjhebrew}     

mn ’r/sm ‘l n.ht.hwr knzsrm wknwth wk‘t hnzspy 
/smh ptkrkr ‘lym’ zyly zy bgsrw hyty /sw/sn zk ptp’
hb lh k’.hrnn wln/sy byth grd bdykrn zyly wy‘bd ptkrn zy pr/s \end{cjhebrew} [...] \begin{cjhebrew}
yhwwn wy‘bd ptkr swsh ‘m rkbh lqbl zy qdmn
‘bd qdmy wptkrn ’.hrnn whw/srw
yhytw ‘ly ’pry‘ l‘bq wl‘bq ’rtwhy yd‘ ṭ‘m’ znh r/st spr’ mn ’r/sm ‘l n.ht.hwr pqyd’ knzsrm wknwth hmrkry’ zy m.sryn

\end{cjhebrew}

But somehow I can't make display my latin transliteration very well, since it contains non ASCII characters, though they are avaliable in True Type fonts, I can't make them appear using Xetex.

Here is what I want:

mn ȝršm ʿl nḥtḥwr knzsrm w-knwth w-kʿt hnzspy šmh ptkrkr ʿlymȝ zyly zy bgsrw hyty šwšn zk ptpȝ hb lh kȝḥrnn ^{w-l-nšy byth} grd bdykrn zyly w-yʿbd ptkrn zy prš [...] yhwwn w-yʿbd ptkr swsh ʿm rkbh lqbl zy qdmn ʿbd qdmy w-ptkrn ȝḥrnn w-hwšrw yhytw ʿly ȝpryʿ lʿbq w-lʿbq ȝrtwhy ydʿ ṭʿmȝ znh ršt sprȝ mn ȝršm ʿl nḥtḥwr pqydȝ knzsrm w-knwth hmrkryȝ zy b-mṣryn

Here is what I obtain:

mn ?rm ?l n?t?wr knzsrm w-knwth w-k?t hnzspy mh ptkrkr ?lym? zyly zy bgsrw hyty wn zk ptp? hb lh k??rnn w-l-ny byth grd bdykrn zyly w-y?bd ptkrn zy pr [...] yhwwn w-y?bd ptkr swsh ?m rkbh lqbl zy qdmn ?bd qdmy w-ptkrn ??rnn w-hwrw yhytw ?ly ?pry? l?bq w-l?bq ?rtwhy yd? ??m? znh rt spr? mn ?rm ?l n?t?wr pqyd? knzsrm w-knwth hmrkry? zy b-m?ryn

Here is what I did to obtain it:

\section{Latin Transliteration}
\fontspec{Times New Roman}
mn ȝršm ʿl nḥtḥwr knzsrm w-knwth w-kʿt hnzspy šmh ptkrkr ʿlymȝ zyly zy bgsrw hyty šwšn zk ptpȝ hb lh kȝḥrnn w-l-nšy byth grd bdykrn zyly w-yʿbd ptkrn zy prš [...] yhwwn w-yʿbd ptkr swsh ʿm rkbh lqbl zy qdmn ʿbd qdmy w-ptkrn ȝḥrnn w-hwšrw yhytw ʿly ȝpryʿ lʿbq w-lʿbq ȝrtwhy ydʿ ṭʿmȝ znh ršt sprȝ mn ȝršm ʿl nḥtḥwr pqydȝ knzsrm w-knwth hmrkryȝ zy b-mṣryn

Thank you in advance, Kaan

  • 1
    There is now a Noto Sans Imperial Aramaic (noto-website-2.storage.googleapis.com/pkgs/…), which follows the unicode standard (unicode.org/charts/PDF/U10840.pdf) instead of mapping Aramaic to Hebrew. Would using that font simplify your task? Of course, you’ll need a good text editor (like Emacs) to enter the unicode directly. – Thérèse Jan 27 '16 at 1:42
  • If you’re using fontspec, you need to compile with xelatex or lualatex, and you should omit \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} and \usepackage{xltxtra,xunicode}. I don’t work with Hebrew, but it looks to me as if cjhebrew is meant for use with pdflatex. – Thérèse Jan 27 '16 at 2:23
  • After a second look, I notice that Aramaic-Imperial-Yeb.ttf contains the same glyphs twice: once mapped to Hebrew characters, and once following the unicode standard. So you should be able to enter the Aramaic text directly, not only through Hebrew keyboard input, even with Aramaic-Imperial-Yeb.ttf (which is more attractive than the Noto font). As for the transliteration, I don’t have Times New Roman, so I don’t know whether it supports all necessary characters, but the DejaVu fonts certainly do. – Thérèse Jan 27 '16 at 3:43
3

This is not a complete answer to your question, but it’s too long for a comment. It’s my first attempt to address your questions (and probably my last for a while, until I get other work done…). There may be better solutions, and there may be mistakes in my attempt, because my experience with bidi is mostly for Arabic, and I know little about Hebrew and Aramaic. But this looks more or less like what you can see in this image of the Lord’s prayer.

% lualatex only
\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{fontspec}
\newcommand{\aramtxt}[1]% Aramaic text inside LTR
    {\bgroup\textdir TRT\aramaicfont #1\egroup}
\newcommand{\hebtxt}[1]% Hebrew text inside LTR
    {\bgroup\textdir TRT\hebfont #1\egroup}
\setmainfont{DejaVu Serif}
\newfontface\aramaicfont{Aramaic-Imperial-Yeb.ttf}[
  Script=Hebrew,
  Scale=MatchLowercase]
\newfontface\hebfont{Taamey Frank CLM Medium}[
  Script=Hebrew,
  Scale=MatchLowercase]
\begin{document}
\centering
\aramtxt{𐡃𐡁𐡔𐡌𐡉𐡉𐡀}\\
\textit{d\textsuperscript{e}-b\textsuperscript{e}-s\textsuperscript{u}mayya’}\\
who - in - Heaven (is)\\
\hebtxt{שמיי׀}
\end{document}

output of example

You might check other questions tagged “Hebrew” or “Syriac” or “bidi” for more information.

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