Re: Multiple Directions (was: Re: Coptic/Greek (Re: Phoenician))

From: Andrew C. West (
Date: Sat May 15 2004 - 05:37:38 CDT

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    On Fri, 14 May 2004 18:44:10 +0100, Michael Everson wrote:

    > You can't play around with Ogham directionality like that. Reversing
    > it makes it read completely differently! The first example reads
    > INGACLU; the second reads ULCAGNI.

    Well I disagree. As I said in the message, the RTL result does not work in *this
    case* because the glyphs need to be rotated 180 degrees. As I said, if you had a
    font designed specifically for RTL/TTB Ogham (not that hard to create), then the
    glyphs in the font would be rotated 180 degrees compared with the glyphs in the
    Unicode code charts, with the result that my sample Ogham text would read
    ULCAGNI correctly from right to left. Then if you rotated the whole thing 90
    degrees clockwise (either using a text editor or by printing it out and manually
    rotating the printed output) you would have ULCAGNI reading upwards embedded in
    Mongolian text reading downwards. If I wasn't preoccupied with more pressing
    matters I would have a go at creating such a font to prove that this can be done.

    Also, note that the point of RTL Ogham is NOT to render it RTL per se, but as a
    step towards rendering it BTT. A similar trick is used for Mongolian. In order
    to get vertical left-to-right layout of Mongolian text (when no systems
    currently support left-to-right vertical layout), one technique is to use an RTL
    Mongolian font with the glyphs rotated 180 degrees. Then the text is written RTL
    in lines going top to bottom down the page. You print out the result, and rotate
    the sheet of paper 90 degrees, and Hey Presto! you have vertical Mongolian text
    reading left to right across the page.


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