[tex-live] Multilingual LaTeX: Greek, English, and UTF-8

Michel Bovani michel.bovani at numericable.fr
Mon Sep 12 14:49:21 CEST 2005

Le 12/09/2005 13:34, W. Borgert a dit :
> Hi,
> I am working on a small documentation project, which is already
> in a good shape for about twenty languages (mostly Western
> European, but also Russian and Ukranian), but I have problems
> with some other languages.  I use the texlive distribution for
> Debian GNU/Linux.  My first question is about Greek.  The text
> I prepare contains both Greek and Latin text in UTF-8 encoding.
> Why is LaTeX confused about the attached input?
> Many thanks in advance for any help!

utf8 is a (huge) *input* encoding.

the greek babel language uses its own *output* greek encoding (LGR) 
which is a 8 bit encoding (latex doen't support more anyway).

in the LGR encoding, there are no latin chars at all. In the place of 
the standard a ("61) there is an alpha (etc.)

So as long as you are in the greek language, the "a" input will give you 
an alpha.

utf8/ucs allow you to type directly  <alpha> in your input file, that's 
all : this alpha is mapped to the command \textalpha which is defined by 
\DeclareTextSymbol{\textalpha}{LGR}{"61} in ucsencs.def.

But in order to get latin chars you have to go back to the T1 encoding 
(that's what do \textlatin)

Michel Bovani

More information about the tex-live mailing list