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The multilingual framework for localizing LaTeX, LuaLaTeX, XeLaTeX

What’s new in babel 3.75


Ensuring locale info

As the LaTeX kernel extends its capabilities related to localization (like upper and lower casing), BCP 47 tags are becoming essential. The required data are stored in the ini locale files, which were loaded only in some cases, except if explicitly requested with \EnsureBabelInfo. Now it’s loaded always. This means there will be a (minimal) overhead. This should work for most languages, but see the following section.

Because of the way this feature works, problems are very unlikely, but there is switch as a package option to turn the new behavior off (ensureinfo=off).

Language naming with babel and the Unicode CLDR

In the coming few weeks (or months), babel will attempt to align the language names with those in the CLDR, although well established babel names that don’t conflict with the latter will be retained (like british, norsk or austrian). There have already been some moves in this direction in recent years (for example, portuguese instead of portuges, indonesian instead of bahasai, malay instead of bahasam, french instead of frenchb), but the goal is to recognize correctly any CLDR-based name.

The number of languages with conflicting names is actually very reduced: (n)german, swissgerman and serbian are among them. How to deal with these cases without breaking old documents is under study.

See also Locale naming.


Sometimes, it comes in handy to be able to use \localeinfo in an expandable way even if something went wrong (for example, the locale currently active is undefined). For these cases, localeinfo* just returns an empty string instead of raising an error. Bear in mind that babel, following the CLDR, may leave the region unset, which means \getlanguageproperty* (see the manual) is the preferred command, so that the existence of a field can be checked before. This also means building a string with the language and the region with \localeinfo*{}-\localeinfo*{} is not usually a good idea (because of the hyphen).


Script ranges

The Unicode character ranges were hard-coded in the babel kernel, but now they can be set or modified in the ini file with the key ranges in the characters section (as well as in \babelprovide). A few Southeast Asian languages defined this key for the line breaking algorithm, but this new feature can be useful with onchar and with locales declared from scratch.

Note you cannot define different blocks for different languages sharing the script. If there are multiple declarations, the last one wins.