Basque: A Case Study in Generalizing LaTeX Language Support

  • Jagoba Arias Pérez
  • Jesús Lázaro
  • Juan M. Aguirregabiria
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3130)


The multilingual support of LaTeX presents many weak points, especially when a language does not present the same overall syntactic scheme as English. Basque is one of the official languages in the Basque Country, being spoken by almost 650,000 speakers (it is also spoken in Navarre and the south of France). The origins of the Basque language are unknown. It is not related to any neighboring language, nor to other Indo-European languages (such as Latin or German). Thus, dates, references and numbering do not follow the typical English pattern. For example, the numbering of figure prefixes does not correspond to the \figurename\thefigure structure, but is exactly the other way round. To make matters worse, the presence of declension can turn this usually simple task into a nightmare. This article proposes an alternative structure for the basic classes, in order to support multilingual documents in a natural way, even in those cases where the languages do not follow the typical English-like overall structure.


Word Order Basic Class Document Format Basque Country Document Class 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. 1.
    Aguirregabiria, J.M.: Basque language definition file (2001),
  2. 2.
    Braams, J.: Babel, a multilingual package for use with LATEX’s standard document classes (2001), CTAN://macros/latex/required/babel/Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Euskaltzaindia. Data nola adierazi (1995),

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jagoba Arias Pérez
    • 1
  • Jesús Lázaro
    • 1
  • Juan M. Aguirregabiria
    • 2
  1. 1.Alameda Urquijo s/nBilbaoSpain
  2. 2.Bo Sarriena s/nLeioaSpain

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