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I want to write words in Greek that have circumflexes, like 'νοῦς'. Is there any way to add the circumflex on top of the letters?

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Maybe the best way is to use Xe/LuaLaTeX + fontspec and directly type the circumflex in your source code — many modern system fonts like DejaVu Sans or Segoe UI or Courier New have polytonic Greek characters and all you need is to install the Greek polytonic driver. – Bernard Apr 28 '14 at 23:29
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I have no problem with this code:


This is English, but this \textgreek{νοῦς} isn't.

If you want to use the “old method”, that is the transliteration of Greek with Latin characters, then \textgreek is not sufficient:

This is English, but this \foreignlanguage{greek}{no~us} isn't.

will do the same.

enter image description here

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This is what Wikipedia Says – Shevliaskovic Apr 28 '14 at 22:40
Thanks. That's what OED says, too. – cfr Apr 28 '14 at 22:54

EDIT: Correct ignorance concerning the varieties of circumflexes in the world.

That is a circumflex but not the one I'm familiar with. According to OED, 'circumflex' refers to a family of 'bent round' accents: ˆ, ◠, and ˜. I was only familiar with the first which is the to bach ('little roof'). I'm not sure the third would work well as a roof, so perhaps there's another term than to bach for it (?).

In any case, you can use either kind of circumflex or, indeed, other accents as required:




ô% circumflex


Greek with accents

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I'm not sure this is what it is called in English. That what google translate gave me. – Shevliaskovic Apr 28 '14 at 22:36
That accent is the circumflex in Greek. – egreg Apr 28 '14 at 22:36
In Greek it's called περισπωμένη, but it's commonly translated into circumflex. – egreg Apr 28 '14 at 22:43
@Shevliaskovic My apologies. It turns out three different accents are all called 'circumflex' in English which I was not aware of until I looked it up. (This is very confusing in my view, but English likes to be confusing, I think.) – cfr Apr 28 '14 at 22:47
@egreg Not just this one either. OED says there are 3 different accents called 'circumflex' in English. Now I wonder if 'circumflex' is not a very precise translation of 'to bach' either. My familiarity with 'circumflex' is as the English translation for 'to bach' which refers to the 'little roof' you can get on vowels in Welsh (â ê î ô û ŵ ŷ). – cfr Apr 28 '14 at 22:50

Well, whatever will mean circumflex (we could have a historical conversation here), the sign you mentioned is also called, in actual typography, tilde. You can add a tilde on Greek symbols declaring Greek, or for old Greek polutonikogreek in the babel preamble declaration. Don't even know if you have to declare it, I think basic Greek is included in babels beta version. Anyway, I have \usepackage[polutonikogreek,ngerman,spanish]{betababel} in the preamble.

In the text, you can write \textgreek{}, inserting symbols in Greek itself, or writing in Latin characters and use diverse accents, like told on http://tug.ctan.org/language/greek/doc/usage.pdf. I had some problems to put a ~ on a w, but writing \~w finally worked.

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