Why do Jews and Arabs write from right to left?

Why do Jews and Arabs write from right to left?

  • Perhaps the whole point is that the Semitic languages ​​are very ancient and originated when there was still no paper. It appeared only about 2 thousands of years ago. Therefore, people carved their first letters on stones using a chisel and a hammer. And how convenient is it to use these tools for right-handers, who are more than 80%? That's right, if you hold the hammer in your right hand and the chisel in your left. So it’s more convenient to hollow inscriptions from right to left! And even the appearance of paper could not change the formed traditions and rules of writing ancestors.

  • Usually they answer this question that it was so customary for them from the very beginning.

    But there is still a good reason for writing a letter starting from the right side.

    Both Arabic and Hebrew come from the languages ​​of the Semitic group, which existed long before the invention of paper.

    Texts were then created on clay tablets, metal plates, carved on stone.

    Why do Jews and Arabs write from right to left?

    The vast majority of people on earth are right-handed, right-handed, so it’s more convenient to hold the chisel with your left hand, hold the hammer in your right hand, and work like that. So they started to write on the right.

    The inscription of the Hebrew letters still resembles cuneiform writing, as if imprisoned for work with a chisel.

    When the paper appeared, they did not want to relearn.

    Why do Jews and Arabs write from right to left?

  • Generally speaking, it is more logical to put the question the other way around - why do almost all peoples write from left to right?

    Writing as a way of storing information originated in the Middle East. Cuneiform is an invention of the Sumerians who lived on the territory of modern Iraq (Mesopotamia).

    Arabic and Hebrew are the most ancient alphabetic languages ​​that have come down to us, both of them arose on the basis of the Phoenician writing, in which they also wrote from right to left. Most likely, this was due to the direction of movement of the shadow from the sun (in the northern hemisphere, on vertical surfaces, it also moves from right to left, and writing arose primarily as a way of marking bales of goods).

    But the thing is that the Greek alphabet and Latin also come from the Phoenician! And the inscriptions of the letters, and their names, the Greeks borrowed from the Phoenicians! Moreover, arising at about the same time and also from the Phoenician Aramaic alphabet uses the letter from right to left, that is, SAVED the direction of the letter of its predecessor!

    This may be partly due to the fact that the Greeks initially changed the direction of writing from line to line - just like a plowman, having reached the end of a field, does not return to its beginning, but makes a furrow in the opposite direction. This way of writing is called "bustrophedon", and in translation it just means "turning bull". Over time, they settled on one direction of writing - from left to right, and one can also think of an explanation for this: when a person writes with his right hand - and most of them are right-handed - he does not obstruct the already written text.

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