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Translating into R2L (right-to-left) Languages

Translating into R2L (right-to-left) Languages

Translating into R2L languages like Arabic, Hebrew, etc. requires special care, especially when some segments are bidirectional, i.e., they contain both R2L and L2R sequences of text like the one shown below:

Bidirectional Text

Bidirectional text


Transit NXT provides the following functions for maximizing efficiency for R2L translation projects. You can:

  • Change the main reading direction for R2L languages
  • Indicate text direction by insertion point
  • Indicate text direction by background color

By changing the main text direction to "right-aligned", Transit NXT not only aligns the text right but also changes the main reading direction of the text so that even bidirectional text sequences are shown in the correct order. Select View | Text/Markups | Options | Right-aligned. Transit NXT will change the  main reading direction for the window pane. The text will then be aligned accordingly and the text sequences will be displayed in the correct order as shown in  the screenshot below:

Right Align Text

Right align text


Transit NXT facilitates L2R and R2L insertion points to indicate the direction of the text as shown in the figure below:

L2R and R2L insertion point

L2R and R2L insertion point


These are especially useful for bidirectional segments. Apart from these insertion points, you can also indicate the text direction by background color. Background colors are set by default to grey and you can activate this feature by selecting the View | Segments | Colors | Segments | Text Direction. On selecting this option, the R2L and L2R text is highlighted accordingly in all the segments as shown below:

Background Color

Background color


You can also change the background color for L2R and R2L texts in User preferences in the following manner:

Background Color Settings for Bidirectional Texts

Background color settings for bidirectional texts


In this way you can change the settings in the Transit NXT translation editor to work optimally with R2L languages. To be able to work with bidirectional texts, you have to use the correct keyboard language while switching between the R2L language and the language in question (for example, while switching between Spanish and Arabic). You can switch between languages by using the ALT + SHIFT shortcut or by selecting the language from the language bar in the task bar as shown below:

Language Bar

Language bar


That's it! After these few setting, you are now ready to work with R2L languages in the Transit NXT editor. With regards to R2L languages, the following tooltip might also be of interest to you: View fonts for non-Latin languages in Transit NXT Please do send in your feedback or comments and do not hesitate to ask us for specific tool tips.


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