# [XeTeX] Greek Hyphenation

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Fri Jan 6 23:33:09 CET 2006

```On 6 Jan 2006, at 3:54 pm, Malte Rosenau wrote:

> This is probably a very stupid question, but I'm stuck here. What
> do I have to do to get hyphenation for classical greek? Do I have
> to write hyphenation patterns from scratch in Unicode and create a
> new format? The FAQ leaves me stupefied. When I turn on Babel's
> 'polutoniko'-option, my greek text turns into garbage. Without
> Babel everything's fine, except that there's no hyphenation...

Well, it's not a stupid question..... I'm sure others would wonder
the same thing, if trying to use Greek. The XeTeX/Unicode world is
different from the 8-bit legacy-encoded TeX world you're used to.

If you're working with Unicode Greek text, then yes, you do need
"new" Greek hyphenation patterns that are expressed in terms of the
Unicode Greek characters. Existing patterns such as grhyph.tex relate
to ASCII character codes that are assumed to represent Greek letters,
but that's not appropriate in a Unicode world. (I assume the Babel
option causes some kind of remapping of the ASCII characters, which
isn't at all what you want.)

So you could write new Unicode Greek patterns from scratch; but it
might also be possible to start from existing patterns designed for
an 8-bit Greek encoding (like grhyph.tex) and define the ASCII
characters used there as \active chars, expanding to their proper