[OS X TeX] Typesetting classical Arabic commentary

Will Robertson will at guerilla.net.au
Thu Aug 26 07:13:27 EDT 2004

On 26 Aug 2004, at 6:08 PM, Musa Furber wrote:

> My current project is a translation of a classic law primer from 
> Arabic. In the future, I would like to add commentary to the complete 
> text.
> A typical Arabic commentary is of the format
> 	(A) abcdef (B) abcdef ...
> where the primary text is printed within parenthesis and the 
> commentary without.
> It is common to have the primary text printed alone in the margin and 
> the commentary (along with the primary text) within the main text 
> block.

This is more a question for comp.text.tex.
Also, I'm not sure what you're trying to do, being myself unfortunately 
unversed in Arabic.

As you say, the primary text is in the margin and the rest without. You 
could redefine the width of the margin and literally do what you 
suggest. A command along the lines of:


So you'd write:

   This is a piece of
   \cmt{Arabic}{a language well worth studying.}
   text. Actually it's in English.

To get:

   %% MAIN TEXT %%      %%    MARGINS    %%

   This is a piece
   of Arabic text.      (Arabic) A language
   Actually it's        well worth studying.
   in English.

Oh, but this wouldn't give you inline paragraphs, which I think you 
I'd be inclined to look at the parallel package (search on CTAN), which 
can typeset two synchronised columns of text, and not bother trying to 
use the same source to typeset both the original and the commentary.

Depends how much work you want to do, I guess. My original statement 
still stands: ask on comp.text.tex and you'll no doubt receive better 


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