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Unicode Demystified by Richard Gillam

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Vertical Text Layout

As mentioned repeatedly throughout this chapter, East Asian text is traditionally written vertically, with characters proceeding in a line from the top of the page to the bottom, and with lines of text proceeding from the right-hand side of the page to the left. Books in Chinese or Japanese, like books in right-to-left languages such as Hebrew, appear to English speakers to be bound on the wrong side: They begin at what we normally think of as the back.[19]

[19] This section and the next section rely heavily on Lunde, pp. 336–386.

Thanks to Western influence and the inability of early computer systems to handle vertical text, most East Asian languages are now also written horizontally, with characters running from left to ...

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