Including a little Hebrew in an English LaTeX document

I was looking up how to put a little Hebrew inside a LaTeX document and ran across a good answer on tex.stackexchange. Short answer: use the cjhebrew package.

In a nutshell, you put your Hebrew text between \< and > using the cjhebrew package’s transliteration. You write left-to-right, and the text will appear right-to-left. For example, \<'lp> produces

aleph in Hebrew

using ‘ for א, l for ל, and p for ף.

The code for each Hebrew letter is its English transliteration, with three footnotes.

First, when two Hebrew letters roughly correspond to the same English letter, one form may have a dot in front of it. For example, ט and ת both make a t sound; the former is encoded as .t and the latter as t.

Second, five Hebrew letters have a different form when used at the end of a word [1]. For such letters the final form is the capitalized value of the regular form. For example, פ and its final form ף are denoted by p and P respectively. The package will automatically choose between regular and final forms, but you can override this by using the capital letter in the middle of a word or by using a | after a regular form at the end of a word.

Finally, the letter ש is written with a /s The author already used s for ס and .s for צ, so he needed a new symbol to encode a third letter corresponding to s [2]. Also ש has a couple other forms. The letter can make either the sh or s sound, and you may see dots on top of the letter to distinguish these. The cjhebrew package uses +s for ש with a dot on the top right, the sh sound, and ,s for ש with a dot on the top left, the s sound.

Here is the complete consonant transliteration table from the cjhebrew documentation.

Note that the code for א is a single quote ' and the code for ע is a back tick (grave accent) `.

You can also add vowel points (niqqud). These are also represented by their transliteration to English sounds, with one exception. The sh’va is either silent or represents a schwa sound, so there’s not a convenient transliterations. But the sh’va looks like a colon, so it is represented by a colon. See the package documentation for more details.

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[1] You may have seen something similar in Greek with sigma σ and final sigma ς. Even English had something like this. For example, people used to use a different form of t at the end of a word when writing cursive. My mother wrote this way.

[2] It would be more phonetically faithful to transliterate צ as ts, but that would make the LaTeX package harder to implement since it would have to disambiguate whether ts represents צ or תס.

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