[tex-live] Fwd: [OS X TeX] Strange behaviour of Babel package re. hyphenation

Gerben Wierda Sherlock at rna.nl
Sun Jul 13 13:20:59 CEST 2003

I found this question on the Mac OS X TeX list interesting. What is the  


Begin forwarded message:

> From: "Bruno Voisin" <Bruno.Voisin at hmg.inpg.fr>
> Date: Sun Jul 13, 2003  12:05:31 Europe/Amsterdam
> To: <MacOSX-TeX at email.esm.psu.edu>
> Subject: [OS X TeX] Strange behaviour of Babel package re. hyphenation
> Reply-To: "TeX on Mac OS X Mailing List" <MacOSX-TeX at email.esm.psu.edu>
> Hello,
> I have just noticed something strange with the Babel package. I am
> finalizing a text mostly written in British English, with short  
> passages
> (paper titles) in German and French. For correct hyphenation whatever  
> the
> language I used the Babel package, putting in the LaTeX preamble:
> \usepackage[german,french,english]{babel}
> and then including the non-English passages in this form:
> \foreignlanguage{german}{"Uber eine Schwingungserscheinung in  
> Fl"ussigkeiten
>   mit stabiler Dichteschichtung}
> \foreignlanguage{french}{Th\'eorie des Distributions}
> But as a check now I stopped using the Babel package, and to my great
> surprise noticed that the hyphenations are changed in the English text  
> as
> well: for example, without Babel the word "mechanism" is hyphenated as
> mecha-nism, and with Babel as mechan-ism, and the same happen with many
> other words.
> I noticed that the console output for the LaTeX runs, with or without  
> the
> Babel package, always begins with:
> This is pdfeTeX, Version 3.14159-1.10b-2.1 (Web2C 7.4.5)
>  \write18 enabled.
> entering extended mode
> (./art3v3p1.tex{/usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf.local/pdftex/config/ 
> pdftex.cfg}
> LaTeX2e <2001/06/01>
> Babel <v3.7h> and hyphenation patterns for american, british, french,
> german, ngerman, nohyphenation, loaded.
> Does this mean that in teTeX several hyphenation patterns (those  
> selected
> by the user during installation of Gerben's TeX Programs i-Package) are
> loaded together, so that:
> - if the Babel package is not used, all patterns are used  
> simultaneously,
> yielding unpredictible output;
> - if the Babel package is used, it selects the one hyphenation pattern  
> used.
> In other words, with Gerben's teTeX, is use of the Babel package
> mandatory? I hope not, and the reason for English hyphenation to be
> different with or without Babel comes from elsewhere (different  
> tolerance
> parameters, etc.). Otherwise that would break compatibiliity.

For "Gerben's TeX" read TeX Live / teTeX because I use the standard  
languages.dat mechanism.

"To be or not to be, that is the question" -- Parmenides

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