# Babel Error: Undefined Control Sequence

I'm running into a bizarre issue with the Babel package that I haven't seen before and would love some help figuring out a solution.

First, I'll give an example of something that does compile correctly (using pdftex) on my computer:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[hebrew, english]{babel}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\begin{document}
Document Text.
\end{document}


However, when I remove the word hebrew, it no longer compiles and gives me the following error (taken from the log file):

! Undefined control sequence.
\bbl@set@language ...ge {\languagename }}\bbl@for
\bbl@tempa \BabelContentsF...
l.6 \begin{document}

?
! Emergency stop.
\bbl@set@language ...ge {\languagename }}\bbl@for
\bbl@tempa \BabelContentsF...
l.6 \begin{document}

End of file on the terminal!


I have noticed that the same error occurs when using Arabic and English.

I just recently updated to TeX Live 2013; I also just updated all my packages. After running into this issue, I reinstalled all babel packages with the TeX Live Utility and tried to compile the document again with no luck.

I also just recently installed GNU Aspell with a bunch of dictionaries, including Arabic, Hebrew, and English. I can't imagine that would cause this issue, but I thought I'd mention it. Also, I am on a Mac.

Here is output from \listfiles for the english document:

! Undefined control sequence.
\bbl@set@language ...ge {\languagename }}\bbl@for
\bbl@tempa \BabelContentsF...
l.6 \begin{document}

? r
OK, entering \nonstopmode...
[1

{/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-var/fonts/map/pdftex/updmap/pdftex.map}]
(./FIT2.aux)

*File List*
article.cls    2007/10/19 v1.4h Standard LaTeX document class
size10.clo    2007/10/19 v1.4h Standard LaTeX file (size option)
inputenc.sty    2008/03/30 v1.1d Input encoding file
utf8.def    2008/04/05 v1.1m UTF-8 support for inputenc
t1enc.dfu    2008/04/05 v1.1m UTF-8 support for inputenc
ot1enc.dfu    2008/04/05 v1.1m UTF-8 support for inputenc
omsenc.dfu    2008/04/05 v1.1m UTF-8 support for inputenc
babel.sty    2005/11/23 v3.8h The Babel package
english.ldf    2005/03/30 v3.3o English support from the babel system
fontenc.sty
t1enc.def    2005/09/27 v1.99g Standard LaTeX file
***********

)

-
Have you tried deleting the .aux file? Changing babel languages generally requires it. –  Lev Bishop Sep 1 '13 at 2:47
Yes I have - I still get the same error message. –  dromney Sep 1 '13 at 3:42
Sounds like a job for \listfiles. Could you add that to the input and edit in the *File list* you get from the log? I guess you might need to do two runs, one with just english and one with just hebrew as the babel options. –  Joseph Wright Sep 1 '13 at 7:11
Try to press r when the terminal pauses and hit enter and do this twice. –  Sigur Sep 1 '13 at 10:27
You have a very outdated Babel subsystem somewhere; with TeX Live 2013 it should be babel.sty 2013/05/16 v3.9f. Look for babel.sty in the log file and report the path where the file is loaded from. –  egreg Sep 1 '13 at 21:40

It turns out that I had an outdated version of babel in my Library folder (/Users/username/Library/texmf/tex/latex/babel/). After deleting this outdated version, LaTeX used the correct, updated version found in the 2013 distribution (/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/generic/babel/). Documents now compile correctly!