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Hebrew font with babylonian vowels

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Michael Langlois's picture
Joined: 24 Jun 2011 - 9:05am
Hebrew font with babylonian vowels

Greetings! Do you know of a Hebrew font with babylonian vowels/punctuation? I know that a few years ago a proposal was made to implement the babylonian and palestinian systems into the Unicode standard; in the meantime, the easiest way is to keep the existing Hebrew vowels and use a font with babylonian-style design.
Thank you very much for any help you can give!

david h's picture
Joined: 19 Aug 2005 - 12:18pm

Babylonian vocalization:

Do you need...

1. Simple vocalization (Bible? Piyyut?)
2. Compound vocalization ( perfect & imperfect compound vocalization -- Bible? Piyyut?)
3. system of vocalization whose signs are dots only?
4. with ta'amim?

Michel Boyer's picture
Joined: 2 Jun 2007 - 1:01pm

That question was asked (in 2009) on the BibleWorks user forums. You can look at the answers.

I have been "making fonts work" on my Macintosh for a few years now (I am an academic in a computer science department) and your question gave me an idea: why not make a font that can display the same source with different "vocalization styles" using the style mechanism of truetype and opentype fonts?

To check if that can work, I took Maxim Iorsh's Culmus David CLM font and added three styles, plus the ability to use in TextEdit on the Mac. Style 1 just shows blank vowels. Style 2 is basic babylonian, whitout the sheva and style 3 is what I made out of the Hebrew ניקוד_בבלי article on the subject.

Here is what it gives on a few lines copied from the Mechon Mamre Targum Onqelos (to compare with the Sperber grab of the BibleWorks user forums.

On top, the paste with the "standard style". Next, the blank vowel style etc. The font does no "intelligent" modifications, and vowels go on the mater lectionis instead of the preceding consonant (contrary to what Sperber does in the link above). That can be fixed using the keyboard. That's what I did in the last line.

My guess it that using such a font on a text that is already vocalized with tiberian vowels, you can get with some properly implemented style a text close to what you want, with minimum effort; you then make a few modifications for fine tuning. If you want to try you can download DavidCLMBabel-Medium.