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Re: Sending SMS in Hebrew

From: Warren Burstein
Subject: Re: Sending SMS in Hebrew
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2014 05:24:47 +0200

Sorry for the long delay, the user who wanted to send Hebrew SMS let it drop but once again requested it.

I cannot type or display Hebrew on my terminal.  I don't want to try.  I want to compose my message in hexidecimal - I can write ISO-8859-8 Hebrew in Hex.  For example, Aleph is E0, Bet is E1, and so on.  

So I tried setting LC_CTYPE=C.ISO-8859.8 and running
echo -en 'utf8 \xe0\xe1\xe2' | gnokii --config debug.rc --sendsms 0548000013 -8

I still get the characters for E0, E1 and E2 in ISO-8859-1, lowercase a's with various accents on them.  I see the E0, E1, and E2 characters in the AT+CMGS command.  I don't mind doing the character conversion myself, but when I tried piping the SMS through iconv -f iso-8859-8 -t utf-8, the only difference was that the CMGS data was [07917952140230F211000A8150840000310008AA160075007400660038002000D7009000D7009100D70092^Z] and what displayed on my phone was three pairs of x and a hollow rectangle.  I see D790 in there, which is UTF-8 for Aleph.  I think it's still displaying in ISO-8859-1, where D7 is a multiplication sign and 90 is undefined.

debug.rc at
output at

On Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 3:16 PM, Warren Burstein <address@hidden> wrote:
I've got a Nokia 3120 classic, Revision V 09.41.  Up to now I've been sending SMSs in English, but someone wanted to send a Hebrew SMS.  I tried both ISO-8859-8, which came out as lower-case latin vowels with accents (which occupy the same place in ISO-8859-1 as the Hebrew letters), and UTF-8, which printed a x and a hollow rectangle for each character.

Then I tried UCS2, which printed a rectangle and a character I couldn't identify for each letter.  My tests were sent to phones which can send and receive Hebrew SMSs to each other.

I looked at debug output, and saw that my phone's response to AT+CSCS=? is  ("UCS2","GSM","PCCP437","PCDN","IRA","8859-1","HEX") after which gnokii sends  AT+CSCS="GSM"

So it seems to me (correct me if I'm wrong) that I want to set the phone's character set to UCS2, or describe Hebrew in GSM.

The Wikipedia page on the GSM character set didn't make sense to me about Hebrew, it said there's no defined national language shift table, and then went on to seem to say that support was added but only "to identify the language of the message"

So, is there a way to describe Hebrew in GSM?  Or, if I have to use UCS2, how do I get gnokii to tell the phone to use it?  It looks to me like this depends on the value of the environment variable LOCALE (which is currently ISO-8859-1) but I didn't find in the documentation a table telling me what I should change it to. (If I haven't looked at the right page of documentation, please tell me what I should use, maybe there's a page at the gnokii wiki that tells how to send SMSs in various languages, and if there isn't, should I start one for Hebrew, and people can then add their own languages?)


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