Re: Japanese RTL (was RE: Mongolian (was RE: Syriac and Mongolian joi

From: Yung-Fong Tang (
Date: Mon Jan 10 2000 - 12:57:17 EST

I think we should be very careful about the CJK direction and bi-di direction.
From my point view, Latin and Arabic character have implicit directionality.
While CJK letter don't. I think CJK characters need explicit directionality to
layout properly. In general, CJK character could be layout 1) vertically top to
bottom ( line right to left), 2) left to right and 3) right to left (May not be
true for Korean). What I mean it lack of implicit directionality mean that by
looking at the CJK character itself cannot decide where is the placement of the
next CJK character.

For Traditional Chinese,
1) is still heavely used in any legal document, novel, newspaper (as content)
[At least Taiwan, Hong Kong and USA]
2) is mainly used for . Sometimes banner or title. web pages.
3) is still heavely used as newspaper title or sub title. Banner. Howerver,
usually a one liner (or 2-3 lines of title), but not a paragraph.

"Reynolds, Gregg" wrote:

> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: []
> > Sent: Monday, January 10, 2000 6:48 AM
> ...
> > And, as I am at it, also CJK ideographs and Japanese kana are
> > sometimes seen
> > printed as horizontal RTL (see the titles in any Japanese or Taiwanese
> > newspaper). So why they too are in bidi class "L", rather
> > being neutral?
> >
> > E.g.:
> > 3042;HIRAGANA LETTER A;Lo;0;L;;;;;N;;;;;
> > 30A2;KATAKANA LETTER A;Lo;0;L;;;;;N;;;;;
> > 4E00;<CJK Ideograph, First>;Lo;0;L;;;;;N;;;;;
> >
> Happy New Year, Unigang.
> Just got back from Tokyo, where I found the following examples of RTL
> Japanese:
> - A tranlation of one of Dickens' novels: text LTR, running headers
> RTL katakana (stoopidly, I didn't buy it on the spot, thinking I would
> return later to pick it up, and never got around to it.)
> - Signage at temples and shrines. Usually a single line of only a
> few kanji; reads RTL, but should be construed as a sequence of columns one
> kanji deep, according to my native-speaker companion
> - An Arabic phrase book, which uses interlinear katakana
> transliteration, RTL so as to mirror the RTL Arabic. This one I bought, so
> when I get around to it I'll put a snippet up on my website.
> BTW, in each case the characters retain their ordinary orientation; it's the
> sequencing of characters that runs LTR or RTL. That is, RTL lines are not
> mirror images of LTR lines.
> So I'd say for Japanese at least neutral would be accurate.
> -gregg

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