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?

  • 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

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

  • 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
  • 2
    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 '16 at 20:58
  • @iamaziz Good point about \foreignlanguage{arabic} not being enough when you have multiple letters; however \textRL is deprecated because when you load both Arabic and Farsi it uses whichever language was loaded last. Instead, the documentation says you should use \AR for Arabic and \FR for Farsi (Persian). (Discovered this here.) – ShreevatsaR May 4 '17 at 22:49
  • @ShreevatsaR Great point, and straightforward solution thanks! I didn't actually realize that since I was loading one language only. – iamaziz May 4 '17 at 23:16

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