# To write Latvian in Babel

I know this thread about Changing language in babel, but I do not see any aux file generated in my case. So cannot delete them.

My file

\documentclass{letter}
\usepackage{hyperref}
\usepackage[latvian]{babel}

\signature{Masi}
\begin{document}
\begin{letter}{Skolotājs}

\opening{Dear Ms,}
...
\closing{Ar cieņu,}

\end{letter}
\end{document}


I get

l.298 \ProcessOptions*

/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/generic/babel/babel.sty:331: Package bab
el Error: You haven't specified a language option.

See the babel package documentation for explanation.
Type  H <return>  for immediate help.


How can you have Latvian language in Babel?

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There's no latvian option for babel; perhaps the module has another name or perhaps there's no support for it? –  Gonzalo Medina Apr 17 at 18:54
Probably, it does not exist. I do not know. Does anyone know if the support for Latvian exist in Babel? –  Masi Apr 17 at 18:56
I just checked and there's no support for latvian in babel. –  Gonzalo Medina Apr 17 at 18:58

You can download it on http://home.lu.lv/~drikis/TeX. Just tried the first example and it works, except the encoding should be L7x and not LV. The second (multilingual) example doesn't. I can try contacting the authors, but if I can't reach them, I could rework and extend it, and upload it to CTAN.

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Thank you for your fast answer! This is the maintainer of Babel who did an attempt to get things forward. So I accepted this answer. Please, inform us when the work is done so we all can enjoy Babel more. –  Masi Apr 19 at 18:25

This is the list of currently babel supported languages:

afrikaans.sty
albanian.sty
american.sty
austrian.sty
bahasam.sty
bahasa.sty
basque.sty
breton.sty
british.sty
bulgarian.sty
catalan.sty
croatian.sty
czech.sty
danish.sty
dutch.sty
english.sty
esperanto.sty
estonian.sty
finnish.sty
francais.sty
galician.sty
germanb.sty
greek.sty
hebrew.sty
icelandic.sty
interlingua.sty
irish.sty
italian.sty
latin.sty
lsorbian.sty
magyar.sty
naustrian.sty
ngermanb.sty
norsk.sty
polish.sty
portuges.sty
romanian.sty
russianb.sty
samin.sty
scottish.sty
serbian.sty
slovak.sty
slovene.sty
spanish.sty
swedish.sty
turkish.sty
UKenglish.sty
ukraineb.sty
USenglish.sty
usorbian.sty
welsh.sty


As you can see, Latvian is not included, so currently there's no support for it. I am not familiar with Latvian, but maybe it is similar to one of the languages currently supported, so you can use that module instead?

I found an old 2008 thread in tug.org, regarding Latvian and babel: Adding latvian language (hyphenation and babel)

You can contact Javier Bezos, the current maintainer for babel, and ask him about the status for Latvian. Perhaps there's an on-going project; if not, you can always volunteer to do the job.

There's a fixlatvian package by An­drey Vihrov for use with xelatex; here's the README file:

The FixLatvian package is an attempt to improve Latvian language support in
LaTeX, most prominently in standard document classes. It extends the
functionality of the polyglossia package and as such requires XeTeX to work.
The new features are implemented either directly or through use of other
packages. Notable improvements are listed below:
* Latvian ordinal number format in headings, contents and labels;
* Latvian word order in part, chapter, float, theorem and other headings;
* additional translations, alphabetic numbering using the Latvian alphabet;
* per-page footnote numbers;
* comma decimal separator;
* support for a few other LaTeX packages.

See the documentation (in Latvian) for detailed description and the source
code. See http://code.google.com/p/fixlatvian/ for new releases, future plans
and bug reports.

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I contacted him through his website. He seems to have some problem in maintaining his website, since I got warnings from Google about exploits in his website. –  Masi Apr 17 at 20:02
The site is ok. Long ago there were problems, but I fixed them quickly, and now Google says it's ok in a search and both in Chrome and IE things are fine-- but Firefox shwos the message, so I wonder the latter is using old data. :-( –  Javier Bezos Apr 19 at 13:11
@Javier I got the message yesterday in Google Chrome of the newest OSX. It was tested 14.4.2014 by Google and said that there were some malicious sources in your site. Probably, some threats exist still. –  Masi Apr 19 at 18:31

If using LuaLaTeX or XeLaTeX instead of pdfLaTeX is an option for you, do consider using the polyglossia package instead of babel. With polyglossia package loaded and the instruction \setmainlanguage{latvian} provided in the preamble, today's date (17 Apr 2014) will be rendered automatically as 2014. gada 17. aprīlī.

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Excellent answer! This seems to work as the substitute so long as no support in Babel. –  Masi Apr 18 at 6:42