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Re: multi lingual???

From: Mats Bengtsson
Subject: Re: multi lingual???
Date: Mon, 05 May 2003 15:30:34 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.0.1) Gecko/20021003

I have quickly browsed through some information I could find
at CTAN ( or a mirror thereof) on Hebrew typesetting.
Since I don't really know anything about the Hebrew language, some
of the conclusions below may be completely wrong, though.

There seems to be a number of different TeX packages that support
Hebrew typesetting:

makor: Requires omega, a Unicode extension of TeX. Since Lilypond
  currently cannot handle Unicode input this options seems problematic.
arabtex: Includes some support for Hebrew. Has several options
  for choice of input character encoding.
cjhebrew: Provides macros and environments for typesetting shorter
  pieces of Hebrew text.

As far as I can see, it shouldn't be difficult to use cjhebrew
(and maybe also arabtex) together with lilypond. In principle,
it should be enough to do
  latexpackages ="cjhebrew"

and then use commands like \textcjheb{`bgd} or \cjRL{`bgd} in the
lyrics and titling strings. There are some complications, though:
- Lilypond will not understand how much horizontal space it should
  allocate to each syllable in the lyrics.
- It seems you need elatex instead of latex in order to typeset
  the lyrics from right to left. Either you can hack ly2dvi and
  replace the command latex with elatex or you could run
  ly2dvi -k, change directory to ly2dvi.dir and run
  elatex myfile.latex manually.
- You have to manually add the commands \textcjheb or \cjRL
  for each syllable. It shouldn't be hard to teach Lilypond to
  do that for you, though.

Hopefully this could be a starting point for your own experiments.
Please report back and tell us how it works. Even better, if you
are interested in hacking C++ and Scheme, you could start looking
at how to include better support for these things in Lilypond.
One general complication is that Lilypond currently uses low-level
TeX commands for the font selection, so if you want Lilypond to
be able to figure out the correct horizontal spacing each letter
should correspond to a unique character code in the range 0-255
and the character encoding in the input file should be the same
as the character encoding used in the font files.
That's why we currently can get support for full Latin1 by just
\property Lyrics.LyricText \override #'font-name = #"ecrm1000"


Aaron wrote:
I have been trying to type set approx 200 hebrew songs.
I originally used Finale, but the hebrew stinks.
Wanting to use opensource packages, I tried abc and lilypond.
I see that the best choice for Linux is Lily pond, but I just haven't
the foggyist idea how to add hebrew to titles and lyrics.

This is becoming a major issue with me. If I don't succeed soon with the
hebrew, I will be forced to buy (ugh) Sibelius (600 dollars I think) and
install windoze. I have been windoze free for quite a while but sadly I
may have to set up a dual boot again.

Can anyone help me get hebrew lyrics and titles working with lilypond???


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        Mats Bengtsson
        Signal Processing
        Signals, Sensors and Systems
        Royal Institute of Technology
        SE-100 44  STOCKHOLM
        Phone: (+46) 8 790 8463                         
        Fax:   (+46) 8 790 7260
        Email: address@hidden

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