entering biblical Hebrew on the Mac

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sblarose
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entering biblical Hebrew on the Mac

Postby sblarose » Mon May 11, 2015 11:37 pm

I would like opinions about the options available for entering BH on Mac OS 10.8. I have two students using Macs, both using the same version. They are slogging through at this point; but we have just begun a 12-week intensive course, and if we can settle on this question it would help in the long term. I am new to using the Mac myself and do most of my Hebrew work on the PC, so I thought I would check here. They need support for vowels, dagesh and sheva, and maqqeph at a minimum. I would like for them to be able to enter the methegh as well.

Thanks.
Sarah Blake LaRose
http://www.night-light.org

Jemoh66
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Re: entering biblical Hebrew on the Mac

Postby Jemoh66 » Tue May 12, 2015 6:09 pm

Jonathan E Mohler
Studying for a MA in Intercultural Studies
Baptist Bible Theological Seminary

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Kirk Lowery
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Re: entering biblical Hebrew on the Mac

Postby Kirk Lowery » Wed May 13, 2015 9:13 am

My ordinary practice on all platforms is to copy and paste text from the Hebrew Bible into whatever document I'm writing. Of course, a keyboard entry is still necessary for when one is generating unique text, e.g., paradigms. I avoid trying to type BH myself. It's far too easy to make mistakes unless one is only typing consonants.

Another thought: I don't know your pedagogical situation, but if it is not for papers in the classic sense, but for practice, have you considered "low tech" and have them do it by hand? Learning Hebrew cursive is also useful, IMO.
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Jemoh66
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Re: entering biblical Hebrew on the Mac

Postby Jemoh66 » Wed May 13, 2015 9:41 pm

Any serious linguistics scholar should consider using the Mellel word processor.
Goto: https://www.linguistsoftware.com/mellel.htm

Their website is http://www.mellel.com/

and watch the following also:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxQCpmNEFWs

Jonathan Mohler
Jonathan E Mohler
Studying for a MA in Intercultural Studies
Baptist Bible Theological Seminary

cvkimball
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Re: entering biblical Hebrew on the Mac

Postby cvkimball » Thu May 14, 2015 6:58 am

Hebrew cursive, also called Yiddish cursive, is a real asset in note taking and for a general background in the language.

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Ken M. Penner
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Re: entering biblical Hebrew on the Mac

Postby Ken M. Penner » Thu May 14, 2015 8:11 am

Jemoh66 wrote:Any serious linguistics scholar should consider using the Mellel word processor.

If you are tied to the Mac platform, that's good advice because Microsoft Word for Mac doesn't handle right-to-left scripts well. Mellel is the best for Macs.
However, Microsoft Word for Windows is even better: it handles right-to-left scripts and is more powerful and more standard than Mellel.
Ken M. Penner, Ph.D.
St. Francis Xavier University

Jemoh66
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Re: entering biblical Hebrew on the Mac

Postby Jemoh66 » Thu May 14, 2015 12:28 pm

Thanks Ken,

That's good to hear. My only experience with Word for Windows is writing papers in Turabian. I was not fond of it, and found Pages much more user-friendly ( I submit all my work in PDF). I knew that SBL fonts worked better in Windows because they were developed on that platform first. Can Word for Widows insert a vowel point or cantillation mark on already typed unmarked text? I found this to be a huge plus in Mellel. i.e. the way you can insert the cursor in an already typed word and add to a particular letter.

Jonathan Mohler
Jonathan E Mohler
Studying for a MA in Intercultural Studies
Baptist Bible Theological Seminary

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enkidu
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Re: entering biblical Hebrew on the Mac

Postby enkidu » Thu May 14, 2015 5:58 pm

It's perhaps worth noting that Hebrew (and all RTL) language support in Pages has improved significantly with the release of the new version (5.5.3 is the latest, I believe). Editing of existing Hebrew is easy and, with the right font, alignment is good. Unfortunately Word on the Mac, even with the latest preview release, has virtually no support for Hebrew.
Martin Shields,
Sydney, Australia.

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Ken M. Penner
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Re: entering biblical Hebrew on the Mac

Postby Ken M. Penner » Thu May 14, 2015 7:07 pm

Jemoh66 wrote:Can Word for Widows insert a vowel point or cantillation mark on already typed unmarked text?

Yes.
If Pages and Mellel are your two options, there is not even a contest. Pages is fine for high school, Mellel for graduate school; Word for Windows is professional.
Ken M. Penner, Ph.D.
St. Francis Xavier University

kwrandolph
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Re: entering biblical Hebrew on the Mac

Postby kwrandolph » Sun May 17, 2015 2:09 am

There’s one thing about entering text on the Mac is that it traditionally has had an extensive repertoire of letters and symbols that could be entered merely with keyboard commands. For Latin based alphabets, that includes letters like ø, ß, ü, ç, “”, °, ¶, and so forth, that could be typed from the English keyboard. To find where these letters and symbols are found on the keyboard, there is the option under language input called “Show Keyboard Viewer” which can be opened and viewed until the keystrokes to get these special characters are learned. It is this ready availability of all these special characters that led Macs to be used in desktop publishing as the primary OS, even on this little Dell netbook that I use.

One can also change keyboard inputs for other languages, so the keys are in typical places for those languages. Show Keyboard Viewer automatically updates for each language.

Hebrew needs to change keyboard input. There’s a Hebrew qwerty, which I have not tried, and modern Israeli input. I figure the latter would be more prevalent, so I learned and use that.

For reasons I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never learned the Masoretic points. Never use ’em. I stopped using points years before I started using Hebrew on a computer. I no longer remember them all.

As for software, where minimal formatting is required, I use lowly TextEdit. It still allows for .pdf output. For more complex output, I’ve used LibraOffice and have had no problems with it so far. Yes, I often mix Hebrew and Latin based text on the same line, and have had no problems. Both also allow for right to left input. I stopped using MS Word for Mac years ago because of poor language support by Microsoft on the Mac. At issue was not only Hebrew.

The last version of Windows™ that I tried was XP, so I don’t know about Hebrew language input in that platform. So I can’t compare them.

Whenever I submit documents for reading by the general public, I submit them as .pdf documents.

These are my experiences as a primarily Mac user and Hebrew.

One final note: I often use a font derived from the Gezar Calendar. There’s no room in that font for Masoretic points. It’s just for my own use, I haven’t given it to anyone else. I find I prefer to use that font over the Aramaic square characters used in modern Hebrew.

Karl W. Randolph.


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