[XeTeX] POLYGLOSSIA with Hebrew

Efraim Feinstein feinst at fas.harvard.edu
Thu Apr 23 17:22:18 CEST 2009


sjo wrote:
> I have tried doing Hebrew with polyglossia and ran into two problems.
> 2. The date for today shows up 5769 but the 5 is a ה rather than a ש, etc.
0. This looks like oddness in \hebrewnumeral, which is used to generate 
the numeric date.  It's using a chart similar to 
http://www.inner.org/gematria/gemchart.php where the final letters 
represent numbers between 500 and 900.  The heh-geresh represents 5000.  
The nun sofit represents 700.  It's not the representation of Hebrew 
numerals that most readers would be familiar with.

The other obvious strange things in the implementation are:
1. The Gregorian date as represented in Hebrew has no space between the 
day number and the month name (it says "כגבאפריל" instead of "כג באפריל")
2. I would usually expect a gershayim indicating that the value is 
numeric -- כ״ט = 29, instead of  כט.  In really old documents, all the 
letters in the number might have upper dots attached.
3. The values used for 15 and 16 (yod-heh and yod-vav) are never used to 
represent those numbers; it's usually tet-vav and tet-zayin.

These look like bugs (or, in the case of #0, an odd feature) in 
Polyglossia (or whatever Polyglossia is using as its backend).  I'm not 
much of a TeX expert, and I haven't looked into the source code to see 
how correctable they are.

Efraim Feinstein
feinst at fas.harvard.edu
Harvard University
Physics Department/Program in Biophysics
17 Oxford St, Cambridge, MA 02138

More information about the XeTeX mailing list