Talk:Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar

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Reading this book, one will quickly notice that its main text frequently speaks of W. Gesenius in third person. This edition was published nearly a century after Gesenius' death, and it incorporates many changes, and "Gesenius'" became an essential part of the title (with the apostrophe).

That's how the book appears at Amazon, for example. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 19:13, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Index of PassagesEdit

The Index of Passages (p. 565 ff.) in this version is different from the one in my hard copy of the book, which is the nineteenth impression (1988). I'm surprised they're different, since my book also says "Second English edition 1910; Reprinted from corrected sheets of the second edition", but I guess someone along the line also updated the Index of Passages, but I don't know who or when. The new index is laid out in 5 columns, not 3, and includes some passages missing from the older index (e.g. the reference to Genesis 1:1 at §103b is missing in the older index but present in the newer one. The newer index makes the book longer; the highest numbered page in the newer version is 616, while here it's 598. Angr 14:00, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Hmm, i found actual mistakes in the index of passages in my hard copy (Dover 2006) and i believe that they are identical to the scanned version here.
In any case, proofreading the index of passages is my last priority. I could try generate one automatically. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 15:01, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
My pages viii–ix are different too, and inform me that the changes were made for the 15th impression. The additions and corrections listed on Page:Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar (1910 Kautzsch-Cowley edition).djvu/12 and Page:Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar (1910 Kautzsch-Cowley edition).djvu/13 have been incorporated into the text where that was possible without requiring moving text to a new page, and the new Index of Passages was made by "the Revd. John B. Job, Tutor in Old Testament Studies at Cliff College, Calver", but it doesn't say when. Sometime between 1910 and 1988, I guess. Strange that Dover didn't use the most recent version for its 2006 reprint, but maybe Mr. Job's contributions are still copyrighted. Angr 15:18, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
If these are all the changes, then the current scanned version is good enough. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 17:50, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Why force width to 80emEdit

I recommend removing the "width: 80em;"-specification from the table of contents' css definition: this will allow easy reading and clicking for flexible widths of the browser's window. Right now, from a certain width down part of the information is only accessible through scrolling horizontally – inconvenient. Dan Pelleg (talk) 22:47, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

  Done , thanks for the comment! --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 22:57, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Formatting questionEdit

In note that when looking at eg. Gesenius'_Hebrew_Grammar/5, the page formatting does not reflect the smaller text and slight marginal indentation of the first few paragraphs (as opposed to the original). I'd be keen to see this happen, but would like to know what the recommended method of doing this is. I think this happens at the start of every chapter. Also, if anyone knows the purpose of this smaller text, I'd be interested in knowing that too. Are they emendations to the original? If so, by whom (Cowley/Kautsch)? Or are they something else?

-- TimNelson (talk) 23:09, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the question!
It is usually the bibliography for the section. I don't know who exactly wrote it and when, although my guess is that it's mostly Kautsch.
Many sections also have some passages that are printed in smaller font size for other reasons, for example on page 25 in the bottom. Consider also the "Preliminary remark" in §8.
I suppose that it was made smaller in the printed book to save paper on less essential parts, but we don't need to save paper in WikiMedia projects, so I didn't think of any structured way to make this text smaller. Come to think of it, there may be students or even professors who would print out sections that interest them, and that may save a few trees, but for people who will read from the computer screen this will pose a significant disadvantage - smaller font is harder to read, especially in Biblical Hebrew with vowels and accents.
If you really want it, you can create {{GHGbibliography}}, that makes the margins wider and maybe applies {{smaller}} to the text and apply it where you think it's needed, but yet again - think of the people who don't like reading small-sized fonts from the screen.
In any case, i think that proofreading and correcting bugs in links is more urgent. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 14:41, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I have my own copy of Gesenius now (with the cover upside-down -- a strange feature for a new book :) ), and have noticed the inconsistent sizing. But I was assuming that the habitual smaller size of the Bibliography was there for a reason, which is why I was interested. :)
-- TimNelson (talk) 23:16, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
I really won't mind if some publishing house would pick up this here edition in Wikisource, print it and sell it for whatever price. Especially if they proofread our version on the way :) --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 17:17, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
I believe the change in font is meaningful. The smaller font signifies the intent of the author to de-emphasize it. I'm not sure how to mark it in the visible Wikisource edition--my recommendation would be to enlarge (or perhaps, if this is possible in HTML and anyone knows how to implement it in Wikisource, space out a bit) the font of the "normal" sections, leaving the smaller sections in the font the entire book appears now. However, retention of the typographic information is important to future publishing houses (I'm serious here) that would like to benefit of Wiki's Creative Commons CC BY-SA license and publish their own copies of this as a service to local communities of Hebrew students, either on paper or as an e-book. This typographical information could prove useful to them, available to search-and-replace at a single command. I will be using from now on a <!--Begin Smaller Font> sort of comment for this purpose meanwhile. Nahum (talk) 20:19, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
This is OK with me. It's also OK to have it as a template. I'm totally flexible about this. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 20:33, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

Page numbers in left marginEdit

You promise that clicking on page numbers in the left margin will produce a "scanned copy" that I can compare to the Wikisource copy. I do not see any page numbers on the left (or anywhere). I understand this is a work in progress; if this feature is not yet enabled, perhaps you should not mention it. If it is enabled, where did it go? (I use Firefox 3.6.12 on Windows XP SP3 entirely up to date. I habitually use Ctrl+1 or Ctrl+ScrollWheel to magnify the text.)

I'm not sure why you can't see the page links. Do you perhaps have javascript disabled? --Eliyak T·C 02:37, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
I am sorry about that. Try clicking the "Layout" link on the left side of the page, under Display options. Click it several times until the page looks reasonable to you.
It is a recent change to the infrastructure of Wikisource, which affected all books. I am searching for a way to make a reasonable layout the default. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 08:52, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Thank you both. Turning on javascript for Wikisource revealed the page numbers, and moved the paragraph names (12a, 12b, ...) from the left end of the line to the right margin. This is good. I will experiment with the different layouts.

An esthetic problem: Return to the original screen magnification with Ctrl+0 and press Ctrl+1 three or four times. In some layouts, first the paragraph names, and then the text itself encroaches on the gray margin on the right. This is slightly annoying, but it shows an unintended consequence of prettification.

A real problem: Clicking on the page number shows a photographic image of the page together with the same "wikified" text as before. Two glitches here: (A) The paragraph names are about one inch to the left of the right margin -- that is, they make a small part of the text illegible, and make themselves illegible and useless.

(B) The image of the page is too small to read and too big to be a thumbnail (it makes the text column next to it too narrow). It behaves quite differently from Wikipedia when you click on it. Ctrl-left-click did not produced the expected behavior (open the image in a new tab or window). Left-click enlarged the image (to full resolution) without changing its screen size -- you see less of it at one time and you must use the cursor to "navigate" the image to see other parts of it. Perhaps you could (1) change to the normal type of thumbnail or (2) just display the image at its full resolution to begin with, the text below. I would prefer option (1) for a number of reasons.

Thanks again for responding quickly and reminding stupid me to turn on javascript.


Dagesh is displayed very poorly. It appears to the left of the character it should be centered in. Sometimes (e.g., pe with dagesh) it is covered by the character, so only a small portion of the dot is visible. Sometimes the following character (e.g., samekh) covers the dagesh so only a small portion os the dot is visible. When the dagesh is fully visible it is between the two characters, not where it belongs. All this is annoying and distracting, and counter-productive for those of us who are not fluent in Hebrew. (Perhaps fluent readers did not even notice!)

You suggest installing the Ezra SIL fonts. I did. No joy. In the Options dialog, I made Firefox use Ezra SIL SR as the default sans serif font. This did not fix the dagesh problem. But it made commas and periods almost indistiguishable, as it uses Hebrew-style punctuation signs (as warned by SIL), so things are worse now.

Is there a way to force Firefox use a particular font for a particular language? Or is it necessary to uninstall all but one Hebrew font on my computer?

I experienced this issue as well, and found that the following settings make the Hebrew display well (though they make the English not as I would like!): Set the default serif font (for "Western") to "Ezra SIL SR", and deselect the checkbox that reads "Allow pages to choose their own fonts."
Actually, Ezra SIL SR is not working for me in my browser at all. Hmmm. You may still be able to locate a font that works using that checkbox I mentioned.
The Hebrew font should be Ezra SIL SR if one has installed it, even without these settings. I will attempt to track down this glitch. --Eliyak T·C 04:08, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
I am aware of this very unfortunate bug. This may happen on Windows XP, but shouldn't happen in newer versions of Windows and on other operating systems. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 08:48, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

The suggestion here works beautifully, but not perfectly. As for the English text, I found that the SBL Hebrew font does quite nicely, and is easier to read than Ezra SIL in both Hebrew and English. Try it.

It is not perfect because rafe is displayed to the left of the character instead of on top of it -- rafe looks like a slightly lowered maqqef. This is true for both fonts. I don't know if it is a common fault of both fonts, or a fault of the scanning software. (Shouldn't rafe be encoded exactly where dagesh would be in the stream of Unicode codes? That is, immediately after the code for the consonant and before the vowel and accents? Or maybe there is a work-around with a joiner or nonjoiner? I'm guessing; I really know nothing about this.) We can probably live with this -- rafe is rarely used in Hebrew.

Gesenius is a good stress test for these things. You get concentrated doses of uncommon marks in one or two sections of the book!

Thanks again for the help. You guys are wonderful!


I updated the suggested font from Ezra SIL to Taamey Frank CLM. It's Free (unlike SBL) and it handles the Dagesh problem relatively better than Ezra. In Ezra the problem happened in nearly every letter that had a Dagesh

Until now i only found a problem in words which have Dagesh, vowel and accent. For these i created the template {{dagesh}} and i am gradually applying it on the pages where it is needed (it may take some time). --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 21:27, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Acts 3:13 Melvin Areniego Berboso (talk) 14:54, 8 April 2020 (UTC)

Bible quotationEdit

Wouldn't it be appropriate to refer the reader to an Hebrew version of the bible? When a passage is referred to the link goes to a King James translation, and correct me if I am wrong, but it isn't so easy (i.e. using only hyperlinks) to get from there to an Hebrew text. Since it is a work on the grammar it might be useful and even more likely to be the intention of the author. -- 15:01, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Of course, it's just that at the time I was building it, linking to the Hebrew Wikisource was not so easy. It may be easier today. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 15:03, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
Return to "Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar" page.