Google Blogoscoped

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Google Dynamically Adjusts Query Direction for Hebrew, Arabic

Hebrew and Arabic Google will now more dynamically adjust from left-to-right/ right-to-left typing, depending on what language you enter, Google announced. For instance, if you go to Google Egypt and enter “hello world,” the text will be left-aligned flowing towards the right; entering “الخطوط الملوَّن” on the other hand will be right-aligned, flowing towards the left. (This is not to be confused with the user’s ability to type from right to left when entering Hebrew or Arabic, which was possible before in Google and elsewhere as it is already handled on the operating system level; however, on overall right-to-left web pages like MSN Israel, all query input will start at the right, including English one.)

There’s a little WMV video showing this; note I’m using the Windows language toggler to change my keyboard in-between search query 1 and query 2 (and query 2 is random input). To change your language on Windows, try searching for “add language” in the Windows help or search “windows additional languages” in Google... the method may vary with the specific OS version.

Google developer Josh Daniel writes, “Enabling applications for bidirectionality is especially tricky because any sentence or phrase may contain a mix of left-to-right text (e.g. English, numbers), right-to-left text (e.g. Arabic, Hebrew), and neutral text (e.g. punctuation). The rules for displaying the direction of characters in individual words are different from the rules for displaying the direction of words in a phrase. Things are further complicated due to widely varying limitations across web browsers.”


Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About


This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!