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Suggestions For A Fountain Pen For Writing Hebrew


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#1 elliott44

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 05:53

I plan to buy my daughter a fountain pen for her Hebrew classes. Any suggestions as to what pen and ink would be good? $ 200- 300 range. She is right handed ( Hebrew is written from right to left) thanks

#2 Anne-Sophie

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 06:20

Any fountain pen with a round nib, the regular fine, medium and bold nibs would do.

You might want to start with a student pen, Lamy Safari, Pelikan Future come to mind, they are much cheaper than what the pens in your price range.

I speak from experience when I say that a student pen is the most appropriate when learning a new script.
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#3 SnowLeopard

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 10:30

Beg to differ...any pen with an italic nib...to get those characters looking ... well...Hebraic. My choice would be a Safari 1.1...then move to a Pel 205 i perhaps ...or not. What u spend does not equate to a better calligraphic type hand.These pens are easy to write with, and produce very nice lines with variations. No affiliations.

Edited by SnowLeopard, 02 February 2011 - 10:40.


#4 Sandy1

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 10:53

Oh, I guess it's my turn to beg to differ. :rolleyes:

Most typical 'western' Italic nibs are shaped to give a wide up-down stroke ↕, and a narrow side-stroke ↔.
Hebrew/Arabic Italic nibs are shaped to give a narrow up-down stroke ↕, and a wide side-stroke ↔.

IIRC richardspens.com site has H/A Italic nibs. Many very nice Pelikan pens are also available to use with the nib. Give them a call, and see what they can do for you - you'll be impressed and have fun too.

EDIT - to add: For ink, I'd suggest a simple Waterman Florida Blue or the Pelikan Royal Blue. Both are washable (non-staining) and can be eradicated to make corrections; and are widely available. Parker Quink Blue and the Sheaffer Skrip Blue may also suit. Those inks are pretty much trouble-free as possible.

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Edited by Sandy1, 02 February 2011 - 11:00.

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#5 OldGriz

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 11:37

I plan to buy my daughter a fountain pen for her Hebrew classes. Any suggestions as to what pen and ink would be good? $ 200- 300 range. She is right handed ( Hebrew is written from right to left) thanks


You DO NOT want a round or italic nib to write Hebrew, neither will give you the correct line variation needed for this type of script.

Contact Richard Binder at www.richardspens.com and ask him about purchasing a Pelikan 200 with his custom ground Arabic nib which is what you daughter will need to write Hebrew properly.
Don't be put off by the name of the nib.... it is meant for Arabic and Hebraic characters and mounted to a Pelikan 200 will be within your price range and you should have some money left over for ink and paper

Edited by OldGriz, 02 February 2011 - 11:38.

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#6 seymour

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 11:52

Hi all

Speaking as an Israeli, I use all my pens (and I have a variety) to write in both Hebrew and English.

However there are different scripts. The cursive script used for everyday writing makes no more demands than an English script used for handwriting. The difference is that one starts from the right and moves left. To my mind this is only problematic for somebody who holds their pen in a way that they may smudge what they have just written. The script which imitates printed text and that used for writing a Torah scroll do require varying widths within one letter, but then a calligraphic set would be more appropriate.

I would suggest thinking more in terms of pleasure given by the pen and bearing in mind the age of the owner to be the pen should be TOUGH. For example, I was pleasantly surprised by the Levenger that I bought

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#7 impossiblebird

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 13:31


Most typical 'western' Italic nibs are shaped to give a wide up-down stroke ↕, and a narrow side-stroke ↔.
Hebrew/Arabic Italic nibs are shaped to give a narrow up-down stroke ↕, and a wide side-stroke ↔.

IIRC richardspens.com site has H/A Italic nibs. Many very nice Pelikan pens are also available to use with the nib.

I see Richard Binder says on his website: "The origin of this [Arabic/Hebrew italic] nib style is not known. The only such nib I have seen, other than those that I produce, was on a pen owned by Susan Wirth, a Sheaffer Imperial from the 1960s." That begs the question, for me, what did people use (other than hand-cut quills) before Richard Binder started grinding speciality nibs for them? Not trying to be rude, I'm just curious; http://www.outlands....f_the_trade.htm and http://www.scribbler...pping_nibs.html suggest folks had to use a left oblique italic.

And would we be right to assume that a fudé nib would not be a suitable alternative? I ask, as Richard goes on to say: "This [A/HI] nib shape also works well for some Indic scripts and for calligraphy in East Asian pictographic writing styles"

I'm not suggesting eliott44's daughter be fobbed off with an inexpensive substitute (not that the fudé nib would be inexpensive, but a left oblique italic might). Whether or not I'm right in assuming she's learning Hebrew in preparation for becoming Bat Mitzvah, a special [adult] pen is obviously what's wanted here. And the Pelikan nib, if purchased with say the M200, could be swapped out into different pens, should she later wish to use something larger or more hefty.

Edited by impossiblebird, 02 February 2011 - 17:45.


#8 Chiro75

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 14:21

I wonder if an Esterbrook J/LJ/SJ would be the way to go, and pick up an assortment of nibs to try out until you find the ideal one (and then donate the rest to me lol). That way you get a nice pen for easily $30 or less and you can try out nibs for anywhere from $5-$35 each, although the more common ones are on the lower end of the scale. I wonder how a Gregg nib would work? Gregg shorthand looks a lot like Arabic letters to me, not that Arabic and Hebrew script is the same, but I wonder if the Gregg nib, used for short, quick strokes, would be a good one to try? Very easy to find as a side plus.

Edited by Chiro75, 02 February 2011 - 14:23.

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#9 Sandy1

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 16:29



Most typical 'western' Italic nibs are shaped to give a wide up-down stroke ↕, and a narrow side-stroke ↔.
Hebrew/Arabic Italic nibs are shaped to give a narrow up-down stroke ↕, and a wide side-stroke ↔.

IIRC richardspens.com site has H/A Italic nibs. Many very nice Pelikan pens are also available to use with the nib.

I see Richard Binder says on his website: "The origin of this [Arabic/Hebrew italic] nib style is not known. The only such nib I have seen, other than those that I produce, was on a pen owned by Susan Wirth, a Sheaffer Imperial from the 1960s." That begs the question, for me, what did people use (other than hand-cut quills) before Richard Binder started grinding speciality nibs for them? Not trying to be rude, I'm just curious; http://www.outlands....f_the_trade.htm and http://www.scribbler...pping_nibs.html suggest folks had to use a left oblique italic.

And would we be right to assume that a fudé nib would not be a suitable alternative? I ask, as Richard goes on to say: "This [A/HI] nib shape also works well for some Indic scripts and for calligraphy in East Asian pictographic writing styles"

I'm not suggesting eliott44's daughter be fobbed off with an inexpensive substitute (not that the fudé nib would be inexpensive, but a left oblique italic might). Whether or not I'm right in assuming she's learning Hebrew in preparation for becoming Bat Mitzvah, a special pen is obviously what's wanted here. And the Pelikan nib, if purchased with say the M200, could be swapped out into different pens, should she later wish to use something larger or more hefty.

Hello,

It appears you have made my point better than I, and for that I thank-you. :thumbup:

There are indeed other nib shapes that just might do the job, and that this may well be a special pen (possible heirloom), so should not only meet near-term requirements, but be suitable for longer term every day use.

My most important suggestion was that the OP have a natter with the nice folks at richardpens AND have fun.

As for the fude nib: I have two, and consider them more for drawing than writing. Yes indeed, they can generate the line-width variation which I described - but not in an easily repeatable fashion. (Not in my hand anyway.) Wee samples from the fude and the A/H nib were previously posted, and can be seen here, (
Post 13):
http://www.fountainp...ost__p__1698872
Similar to the Sailor Zoom nib: possible, but certainly not easy for a person who is working towards competency in a language foremost - not penmanship.

And clearly, many people do not use a special nib for daily writing in whatever language.

Cheers!
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#10 impossiblebird

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 17:42




IIRC richardspens.com site has H/A Italic nibs. Many very nice Pelikan pens are also available to use with the nib. Give them a call, and see what they can do for you - you'll be impressed and have fun too.



My most important suggestion was that the OP have a natter with the nice folks at richardpens AND have fun.



Absolutely! :thumbup:




Most typical 'western' Italic nibs are shaped to give a wide up-down stroke ↕, and a narrow side-stroke ↔.
Hebrew/Arabic Italic nibs are shaped to give a narrow up-down stroke ↕, and a wide side-stroke ↔.


And would we be right to assume that a fudé nib would not be a suitable alternative? I ask, as Richard goes on to say: "This [A/HI] nib shape also works well for some Indic scripts and for calligraphy in East Asian pictographic writing styles"

As for the fude nib: I have two, and consider them more for drawing than writing. Yes indeed, they can generate the line-width variation which I described - but not in an easily repeatable fashion. (Not in my hand anyway.) ...
Similar to the Sailor Zoom nib: possible, but certainly not easy for a person who is working towards competency in a language foremost - not penmanship.


I suspected as much; reproducibility is the key thing. Thanks!

#11 Sandy1

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 17:58



Most typical 'western' Italic nibs are shaped to give a wide up-down stroke ↕, and a narrow side-stroke ↔.
Hebrew/Arabic Italic nibs are shaped to give a narrow up-down stroke ↕, and a wide side-stroke ↔.

IIRC richardspens.com site has H/A Italic nibs. Many very nice Pelikan pens are also available to use with the nib.

I see Richard Binder says on his website: "The origin of this [Arabic/Hebrew italic] nib style is not known. The only such nib I have seen, other than those that I produce, was on a pen owned by Susan Wirth, a Sheaffer Imperial from the 1960s." That begs the question, for me, what did people use (other than hand-cut quills) before Richard Binder started grinding speciality nibs for them? Not trying to be rude, I'm just curious; http://www.outlands....f_the_trade.htm and http://www.scribbler...pping_nibs.html suggest folks had to use a left oblique italic.

And would we be right to assume that a fudé nib would not be a suitable alternative? I ask, as Richard goes on to say: "This [A/HI] nib shape also works well for some Indic scripts and for calligraphy in East Asian pictographic writing styles"

I'm not suggesting eliott44's daughter be fobbed off with an inexpensive substitute (not that the fudé nib would be inexpensive, but a left oblique italic might). Whether or not I'm right in assuming she's learning Hebrew in preparation for becoming Bat Mitzvah, a special pen is obviously what's wanted here. And the Pelikan nib, if purchased with say the M200, could be swapped out into different pens, should she later wish to use something larger or more hefty.

Hello,

It appears you have made my point better than I, and for that I thank-you. :thumbup:

There are indeed other nib shapes that just might do the job, and that this may well be a special pen (possible heirloom), so should not only meet near-term requirements, but be suitable for longer term every day use.

My most important suggestion was that the OP have a natter with the nice folks at richardpens AND have fun.

As for the fude nib: I have two, and consider them more for drawing than writing. Yes indeed, they can generate the line-width variation which I described - but not in an easily repeatable fashion. (Not in my hand anyway.) Wee samples from the fude and the A/H nib were previously posted, and can be seen here, (
Post 13):
http://www.fountainp...ost__p__1698872
Similar to the Sailor Zoom nib: possible, but certainly not easy for a person who is working towards competency in a language foremost - not penmanship.

And clearly, many people do not use a special nib for daily writing in whatever language.

Cheers!
S1

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#12 Lloyd

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 18:12

This is odd to me:

I see Richard Binder says on his website: "The origin of this [Arabic/Hebrew italic] nib style is not known. The only such nib I have seen, other than those that I produce, was on a pen owned by Susan Wirth, a Sheaffer Imperial from the 1960s."

3 years ago at the Boston Pen show, I showed Richard a little ringtop that I picked up at the Brimfield Antique show. The pen has a Warranted flex nib that, with no pressure, writes broader on horizontal strokes than on vertical strokes. (It's an incredibly fun nib to use but the pen is too small and the line is too broad for me to use regularly. I should Play It Forward someday.)
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#13 impossiblebird

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 18:24

This is odd to me:

I see Richard Binder says on his website: "The origin of this [Arabic/Hebrew italic] nib style is not known. The only such nib I have seen, other than those that I produce, was on a pen owned by Susan Wirth, a Sheaffer Imperial from the 1960s."

3 years ago at the Boston Pen show, I showed Richard a little ringtop that I picked up at the Brimfield Antique show. The pen has a Warranted flex nib that, with no pressure, writes broader on horizontal strokes than on vertical strokes. (It's an incredibly fun nib to use but the pen is too small and the line is too broad for me to use regularly. I should Play It Forward someday.)

You are Susan Wirth, and I claim my £5! (Sheaffer Imperial, stupid girl!)
Richard Binder's possibly forgotten more pens than you or I could shake a stick at.


#14 D Armstrong

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 19:02

Don't forget that Parker advertised an "Arabic" nib for the "51" back in the forties, so that may also be an option, although they are scarce.

Also, a flexible striped Duofold or Vacumatic pretty much gives line variability on demand, and both come in smaller and larger sizes (depending on the size of given daughter's hand, and her preference.)
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#15 texaspenman

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 19:47

Very interesting thread!
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#16 Lloyd

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 19:51

Also, a flexible striped Duofold or Vacumatic pretty much gives line variability on demand, and both come in smaller and larger sizes (depending on the size of given daughter's hand, and her preference.)

Flex nibs should only be used to flex in downward strokes, i.e. like a standard italic nib.
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#17 D Armstrong

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 20:34

Flex nibs should only be used to flex in downward strokes, i.e. like a standard italic nib.


Oho! But if you rotate it sideways 90 degrees, then you are only flexing it the way it was intended. Kind of like North not necessarily being "up"...
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#18 goodguy

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 22:08

Shalom my Hebrew brother

As an ex Israeli I read and speak Hebrew as a mother toungue (English is a whole different ball game :headsmack: ).
I can tell you all my pens write as good in English as they are in Hebrew.

I just took my Montblanc Dumas with me to Israel where I just wrote in Hebrew with it and it felt wonderful.
So if she likes colourful pens then I would suggest getting her a Pelikan M400 or M600.

Hope she does well in Hebrew class :thumbup:

PS- you are a good father :)
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#19 sepharad

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 21:59

Goodguy, I suspect writing cursive hebrew with a standard nib would have no issue. I believe some of these folks, myself included, would like to write STAM lettering with a fountain pen. If you look at the lettering which results from Richards nib, it is a more basic block style, but not ketubbah quality, let alone something as rigid as STAM. I examined Qalamot (Kulmus) both of reed and quill and they both had a fairly radical left slant. I would love to find something that would really work well. I am lazy and hate dip pens.

#20 Dillo

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 01:10

Hi,

Personally, I have used all sorts of pens to write Hebrew (I work in the Hebrew department in my school). I prefer normal nibs with round points. If anything, I'd stay away from italic nibs and other specialty nibs since she would most likely be writing in script and not in block letters.

I would also use something with moderate flow since if you are a right-handed writer, your hand often brushes over the ink and you can end up smudging it depending on your hand position.

Would like to wish your daughter the best success. If it is modern Hebrew she is learning, she should try working on not only writing, but some speaking as well. I see a lot of students in America who can write, but are deathly afraid of speaking.

Anyway, since this thread is about a year old, it would be nice if you could check in and let us know how your daughter is doing and what kind of pen you eventually chose. I wish her all the best in her Hebrew studies.

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#21 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 03:59

You might also check the mb146 with oblique or broad nibs
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#22 Emu

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 08:38

Surprised no one has mentioned the Dollar calligraphy pen. Dollar is a Pakistani brand, inexpensive but reliable, and they make a fountain pen for Arabic calligraphy ... which has the same requirements as Hebrew (written right to left, narrow up-down stroke, wide horizontal stroke). Someone on this site has sold them in the past ... search the site for Dollar or Pakistan.

Edited by Emu, 29 July 2012 - 08:39.