Orr-Stav Communications

Hebrew-English translation • English copyediting • Hebrew communication | תרגום עברית–אנגלית, עריכה באנגלית, תקשורת בעברית

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Creative Commons License
clam"r by Jonathan Orr-Stav is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work introduced at http://bit.ly/clamreng.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license are available at http://orr-stav.com/first/contact.php.
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Square Hebrew - SimHebrew Converter | ממיר כתב מרובע לכלאמ”ר

mmir ctb mruby lclam”r v. 0.9.9

To simulate Square Hebrew text in Roman characters, type or cut-and-paste standard Square Hebrew text into the field on the right, then click the conversion button [<] The converted text will appear in the left field.
To convert text from SimHebrew to Square Hebrew, type or cut-and-paste the SimHebrew text in the left field, then click on [>] button. The converted text will appear in the right field.
The mapping used in the conversion is shown in the table at the top of the page.

SimHebrew | כלאמ”ר (כתב לא מרובע)

להמרת טקסט מטקסט עברי רגיל (להלן, ׳כתב מרובע׳), הקלד או גזור–והדבק טקסט עברי סטנדרטי בשדה מצד ימין, והקלק על כפתור ההמרה > . הטקסט המומר יופיע בשדה השמאלי
להמרת טקסט מכלאמ”ר לכתב מרובע, הקלד או גזור–והדבק טקסט בכלאמ”ר בשדה השמאלי, והקלק על הכפתור
< . הטקסט יופיע בשדה הימני.
טבלת המיפוי מופיעה למעלה

Square Hebrew | כתב מרובע


  • לקבלת הסבר על כלאמ”ר

    [+]

    לקבלת הסבר מהו כלאמ”ר, ולמה, ראו את דף ההסבר.

  • הוראות שימוש בממיר

    [+]

    להמרת טקסט מטקסט עברי רגיל (להלן, ׳כתב מרובע׳), הקלד או גזור–והדבק טקסט בשדה מצד ימין (1), ואז הקלק על כפתור ההמרה > (2). הטקסט המומר יופיע בשדה השמאלי (3).
    להמרת טקסט מכלאמ”ר לכתב מרובע, הקלד או גזור–והדבק טקסט בכלאמ”ר בשדה השמאלי, והקלק על הכפתור < (4). הטקסט יופיע בשדה הימני.
    טבלת המיפוי מופיעה למעלה

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  • בעיות ידועות

    [+]
    • תערובת של כתב מרובע וטקסט באותיות לטיניות אינה מומרת כהלכה חזרה מכלאמ”ר לכתב מרובע – מאחר והתוכנה אינה יודעת אילו מילים אמורות להיות עברית, ואילו לא (אלא אם כן הן כוללות אותיות לטיניות שאינן חלק מכלאמ”ר – כגון ׳ג׳יי׳ ו–׳אי׳

    • אותיות סופיות אינן מומרות כהלכה כאשר אין אחריהן רווח (למשל, כאשר מופיע מקף במקום רווח)

    • חולָם מלא (וֹ) ושוּרוּק (וּ) אינן מומרות לאותיות ׳אוֹ׳ ו–׳יוּ׳ עדיין, כפי שהן אמורות – זה בטיפול.

    • לדיווח על בעיות אחרות, כיתבו לנו אימייל

  • שאלות, הערות?

    [+]

  • lqblt hsbr yl clam”r

    [+]

    lqblt hsbr mhu clam”r, vlmh, rau at df hhsbr

  • horaot wimuw bmmir

    [+]
    lhmrt 'tqs't m'tqs't ybri rgil (lhln, ׳ctb mruby׳), hqld av gzor–vhdbq 'tqs't bwdh mxd imin (1), vaz hqlq yl cptor hhmrh > (2). h'tqs't hmumr iopiy bwdh hwmali (3).
    lhmrt 'tqs't mclam”r lctb mruby, hqld av gzor–vhdbq 'tqs't bclam”r bwdh hwmali, vhqlq yl hcptor < (4). h'tqs't iopiy bwdh himni.
    'tblt hmipui mopiyh lmylh
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  • byiot iduyot

    [+]
    • tyrobt wl ctb mruby v'tqs't baotiot l'tiniot ainh mumrt chlch kzrh mclam”r lctb mruby – makr vhtocnh ainh iodyt alu milim amurot lhiot ybrit, valu loyzit (ala am cn hn collut aotiot l'tiniot wainn klq mclam”r – cgon ׳J׳ v–׳E׳
    • aotiot sopiot ainn mumrot chlch cawr ain akrihn rvvk (lmwl, cawr mopiy mqf bmqom rvvk)
    • kolָm mla (o) vwvּrvּq (u) ainn mumrot laotiot ׳o׳ v–׳u׳ ydiin, cpi whn amurot – zh b'tipul.
    • ldivok yl byiot akrot, citbu lnu aimiil
  • walot, hyrot?

    [+]
    citbu lnu lctobt clamr@orr-stav.com

  • For general explanation of SimHebrew[+]
    For an explanation of what is SimHebrew (Simulated Hebrew), and why it was invented, see the explanation page.
  • How to use the converter[+]
    To simulate Square Hebrew text in Roman characters, type or cut-and-paste text into the field on the right [1], ]
    then click the conversion button [<] (2). The converted text will appear in the left field [3].
    To convert text from SimHebrew to Square Hebrew, type or cut-and-paste the SimHebrew text in the left field, then click on [>] button [4]. The converted text will appear in the right field.
    The mapping used in the conversion is shown in the table at the top of the page.
  • Known issues[+]
    • A mixture of Square Hebrew and SimHebrew text does not convert properly back from SimHebrew to Square Hebrew - because the software does not know which words are meant to be Hebrew, and which are meant to be in a foreign language (unless they contain characters that do not appear in SimHebrew, such as the letter j, or capital letters)
    • Final letters are not converted properly when not followed by a space (e.g., when followed by a hyphen)
    • The letters and are not converted to ḥolam malé (וֹ) and shuruq (וּ), respectively — we’re working on a fix.
    • To report other problems, email us.
  • Questions, comments?[+]
    Write to us at SimHebrew@orr-stav.com
SimHebrew - FAQ
  • So what exactly is SimHebrew?[+]

    A: SimHebrew is short for simulated Hebrew, and as its name suggests, it simulates Hebrew in Roman characters—that is to say, it simulates how Hebrew is written in its traditional, “Square Hebrew” script.
  • How is that different from phonetic representation?[+]
    Phonetic representation (which is really, quasi-phonetic, because real phonetic representation uses characters from the Phonetic Alphabet) of Hebrew focuses on providing what traditional Hebrew doesn’t have—dedicated vowel letters—and disregards a critical property that it does have—namely, clear distinctions between certain Hebrew characters that may sound similar but are very distinct.
    As a result, critical information is lost: Hebrew has numerous sounds that in phonetic rendition appear to be the same, but in reality represent entirely different letters in the original. So if I say, for example, Et le’et – ve’et le’et! —it sounds as though I’m repeating the same word—et—four times, but in reality, I’m using three distinct words (for time, pen and shovel), with distinct spellings in in the original Square Hebrew.
    A second problem is consistency: with the exception of extremely short and simple words, any given Hebrew text will likely not be transliterated in the same way by any two users. Without consistency, databases or data searches in phonetically-rendered Hebrew are impractical, because the user cannot predict how the information is spelled in the database (this is the problem that Samuel Johnson encountered when he compiled his Dictionary of the English Language—and resolved by decreeing a particular spelling for all words).
    In SimHebrew, each Hebrew letter is mapped to only one Roman character—and vice versa—so there’s never a question of how a word is spelled: the spelling in SimHebrew reflects the spelling in Square Hebrew. This provides the consistency that you need to create searchable databases. It also means that Hebrew texts can be converted to and from SimHebrew without any loss of information, or corruption—something that has never been demonstrated before using standard English characters. You can test this for yourself in the Square-SimHebrew converter above: type or paste in traditional Square Hebrew in the right field, click the [<] button, and it produces the SimHebrew equivalent in the left field; click the [>] field, and the SimHebrew text is converted back to the original Square Hebrew. You can’t do that with any other Roman character representation of Hebrew.
  • Why is SimHebrew even necessary? Why can’t Hebrew be represented as is?[+]
    For two reasons. One is that the conventional Square Hebrew script has many limitations when it comes to use in computerised or electronic contexts: most software apps and hardware interfaces either don’t allow you to use Square Hebrew at all, or do so only partially, and with many problems—such as converting the Hebrew into gibberish, or reversing the order in which the characters—or the words—are displayed, or wrecking the order of words in a sentence the moment any punctuation marks or Roman characters are added, etc.
    A second reason for the use of SimHebrew is that for your average Westerner, reading Hebrew is a triple whammy: a) It’s a foreign language; b) It’s a non-European language, so there’s little to relate to in relation to English, French, German, etc.; and c) it’s written in a totally different script to the Roman or Cyrillic alphabets of European languages, which is psychologically very daunting. So if you want people to get a feel for the Hebrew text without translation, you need to transcribe it in quasi-phonetic form—and that, as we’ve noted, is very problematic.

  • SimHebrew is about representing Hebrew in Roman characters. Hasn’t this been done before?[+]
    Several well-known attempts were made throughout the 20th century to “Romanize” written Hebrew—some by some well-known individuals such as Ze’ev Jabotinsky and Itamar Ben-Avi—but they all failed, because, they all based on two misguided premises: 1) that the Square Hebrew alphabet is somehow “flawed” by lacking dedicated vowel letters, so that these must be added to the Hebrew, and 2) that the phonetic values of Roman characters in English or in German are sacrosanct, so all kinds of additional, invented or special characters must be added to represent Hebrew characters such as ḥet, shin and tzadi. The first premise is wrong—Hebrew alphabet is perfectly suited to representing Hebrew, without vowel letters—and simply raises the hackles of Israelis, who are fiercely protective of the traditional Hebrew script; the second premise means that such “Romanized“ systems can’t used in computerised contexts or electronic displays that are based on the standard English alphabet. SimHebrew takes the opposite approach: adapt the English alphabet to suit the Hebrew, instead of the other way around. After all, every European language assigns phonetic values to characters to suit its needs: if the Spanish pronounce ‘j’ as in Rioja; the Irish pronounce the word Taosieach as “Teeshuck”, then Hebrew can decide to assign phonetic values to suit its own needs, so that Hebrew characters with no obvious counterparts are represented by English characters with no Hebrew equivalents, based on their graphic similarity. Thus, k can stand for ḥet (ח), y can represent ayin (ע), x can represent tzadi (צ), and w can stand for shin (ש).
    (Ironically, this precisely what the Greeks did—in reverse—when they adopted the Canaanite alphabet as their writing system: they changed the phonetic values of Canaanite characters to suit their needs. Since the Canaanite script is the original script used for Hebrew, SimHebrew is basically a kind of “reverse-engineering” of the European alphabet to reclaim it for Hebrew.)
    Since it uses the standard ASCII (i.e., the English alphabet), SimHebrew can easily be used in all computerised contexts and electronic displays, so Hebrew texts can be conveyed without any special adaptions or decoding add-ons.

  • So what applications do you see SimHebrew being useful for?[+]
    There are many, but the most important ones are:
    Text mining: SimHebrew allows Hebrew to be text-mined with standard text-mining software applications, which typically can’t analyse Square Hebrew, because they require the text to be in standard ASCII characters, i.e. in Roman characters.
    Consistent and predictable listing of Hebrew titles in international publication databases: Currently, Hebrew publications can only be listed in databases such as the International Standard Book Numbering system (ISBN) or International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) publication databases, because these, too, require the titles to be listed in standard Roman characters. So currently they are either translated into English, or rendered phonetically—neither of which is consistent across the board. As a translator of academic texts, I see this problem a lot: references to Hebrew publications are either translated or rendered phonetically, which means that they are rarely consistent, and it’s hit-and-miss if you can ever find them.
    Preserving Hebrew texts in electronic form for posterity: Square Hebrew requires special decoding software to read and store; SimHebrew allows Square Hebrew to be stored in standard ASCII characters and converted back to Square Hebrew in the future when necessary—just as a telephone system converts sound into digital information and back to audio at the other end, or a modem converts computerized information into bits, and converts it back into text, images, videos, etc. Currently, we’re about to launch a crowdfunding on transcribing the entire Hebrew Bible into SimHebrew: with our Square-to-SimHebrew converter, this is much easier than doing it by hand, but
    Making Hebrew more accessible to non-Hebrew speakers. By removing the exotic script hurdle, SimHebrew allows non-Hebrew speakers to get a sense of the “logic” of how Hebrew is written, even before learning the Square Hebrew characters. It makes it more like learning a European language: we quickly learn and accept the rules of French spelling that Champs-Élysées is not pronounced ‘Champs-eligh-seez’ in French; and that Dvorak is pronounced “Dvozhak” and not “Dvorak”. Similarly, when we learn that brawit bra alhim at hwmiim vat harx is read “be-resheet bara elohim et ha-shamayim ve-et haaretz”, we learn important cues about how Hebrew is written. SimHebrew also makes it possible to appreciate the poetic brevity of Hebrew: verses such as “Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off” (I Kings 20:11), are only four words in the original Hebrew, and SimHebrew simulates this accurately: al ithll kvgr cmptk (al yithalel ḥoger kimefate’aḥ). Once Hebrew learners master this “logic”, they are better placed to master the Square Hebrew alphabet.
  • Can you give me some examples of Hebrew characters that changed from the original Canaanite in the transition to Greek and then to Roman?[+]
    Q:
    A: Of course. Well, the biggest change is the decision by the Greeks to co-opt four Canaanite characters into serving as vowels: the aleph became alpha, which is the vowel denoting the /ah/ sound; the Hebrew letter hé was coopted into serving as the vowel /eh/, or Epsilon; yod was turned into iota, for the vowel /i/; and the Hebrew/Canaanite ayin became the vowel /o/. Later, Romans made the Hebrew vav to serve both as /v/ and as the vowel /u/. Then there are Hebrew consonants that are near equivalents of others—like tet and samekh— which were dropped from the Greek and Roman lineup because they are redundant because European languages need only one character for the /t/ sound, one for /s/, etc. The Hebrew letter tzadi was also dropped, because it was unneeded.

  • Could the principles of SimHebrew be used to simulate Aramaic, or Arabic?[+]
    Q: Could the principles of SimHebrew be used to simulate Aramaic, or Arabic?
    A: Aramaic—absolutely, because Square Hebrew characters are, in fact, Aramaic, originally (adopted by the Talmudic Sages in the fourth century BC to replace the original Canaanite Hebrew script for putting the Hebrew Bible and Talmud in writing).
    With Arabic it’s more difficult: the Arabic alphabet has two more letters than the English one, so even if you could devise a plausible one-to-one mapping, you would have to add some kind of diacritic marks to English characters to represent distinct Arabic ones.
  • Where can I see examples of SimHebrew?[+]
    A: