[pdftex] Numeric values for \language and \setlanguage

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Sun Sep 3 02:18:35 CEST 2006

>>>>> "John" == John R Culleton <john at wexfordpress.com> writes:

  > I want to identify the numeric code for a specific language. I
  > know USenglish is 0. How do I find the rest of the numbers?

They are assigned in the order they appear in the config file.  This
means that it is unsafe to select a language by its number.  It is
very likely that numbers will change in the future.  The most obvious
reason is that new pattern files will be added.

Select a language and try \showthe\language.  You'll get the number of
the current language.

  > I have multiple language.def and language.dat files. Which one
  > does pdftex (not pdflatex) use?

Plain [pdf]tex doesn't use babel by default in order to be compatible
with Knuth's tex.

With other words: A tex system which reads a config file instead of
Knuth's hyphen.tex should not be called tex (at least not in a tex
distribution, nobody cares what you are doing at home).

However, you can add language support to plain tex.
Run "fmtutil -e" or "fmtutil-sys -e" and read the comments at the top
of the file.  In particular line 44.

Run "texconfig[-sys] hyphen <format>" in order to customize
hyphenation config files.

  > This is a texlive 2005 installation on Linux.

Good to know.  TeXLive and teTeX are identical in this respect.
MikTeX probably behaves similar but I don't know.  As I said to Ken
recently, it's a great advantage if different tex distributions behave


Reinhard Kotucha			              Phone: +49-511-4592165
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D-30167 Hannover	                      mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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