[LMB] OT: language writing direction (was HANDEDNESS)

Harimad harimad2001 at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 23 14:09:32 BST 2011

MF>--- On Fri, 9/23/11, A. Marina Fournier wrote: 
MF> I think that in Arabic and Hebrew, where the writing
MF> goes right to left, that shouldn't be much of a problem
MF> for students. I can't remember if Chinese, Japanese,
MF> or both go r->l as well.

For Chinese and Japanese, it depends.  Historically it could go vertically or horizontally; L->R or R->L.  Typically horizontally was L->R (I've heard of a few very rare exceptions) and vertically could be either.  Modern standard for Chinese is horizontal L->R, with vertical saved for signs or oddball/fancy work.  Modern standard for Japanese is still horizontal L->R *or* vertical either way.

Both countries historically insisted on right-handed writing with brushes, which makes vertical text the logical choice.

- Harimad

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