Aleph-bet, dits-and-dahs, zeros and ones: representing Hebrew in character code

Ido Ramati*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the basic features facilitating communication on the Internet in a variety of languages is Unicode code-layout. It standardizes the representation of most of the world’s writing systems on digital media, thus enabling the process and transmission of information through such technologies. Unicode is a contemporary character code, and this paper traces its evolvement out of previous code-layouts, starting with Morse code in telegraphy. Focusing on the adaptations of character codes to Modern Hebrew, I show how representing languages in technology is intertwined with internal and transnational regional concerns, and argue that from its beginning character code has been a locus of struggle over power and sovereignty: first between colonial regimes and resistance movements, and then between global corporations and local agents.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)280-297
Number of pages18
JournalInternet Histories
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Character code
  • Hebrew
  • Latinization
  • Morse code
  • Unicode
  • code machines


Dive into the research topics of 'Aleph-bet, dits-and-dahs, zeros and ones: representing Hebrew in character code'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this