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I'd like to write a book using the memoir class - is it possible to change the main language of the document to something else than English, e.g. German?

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\usepackage[german]{babel}??? – Spike Jul 29 '12 at 15:41
@Spike I wouldn't use german, which loads the old ortography, but ngerman for the new (current) one. – Juri Robl Jul 29 '12 at 17:00
up vote 9 down vote accepted

This is done in the same way as for the standard classes: Add the line


to your document preamble. Among other things, this will change the hyphenation patterns to German (new orthography) and use German labelings for the Table of Contents heading, figures, tables etc. (This assumes you're compiling your document with pdfLaTeX; for XeLaTeX, the polyglossia package would be the correct choice.)

Note that while the memoir class incorporates the functionality of many packages that would have to be loaded separately when using a standard class, memoir " does not touch upon areas like those that are covered by the babel or hyperref packages or any related to typesetting mathematics" (introduction to the manual).

Also have a look at section 2.5 "International Language Support" of the (Not So) Short Introduction to LaTeX2e.

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This doesn't seem to work with ngerman, only with german. – O. R. Mapper Mar 26 '15 at 9:09

As lockstep already answered.

Though, there may be a few names within memoir that does contain an English name by default, and are not controlled by babel. These may need to be changed by hand. E.g.


these are used by the \appendixpage macro, and are not controlled by babel.

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This is of course meant as a comment to lockstep's answer, just like this answer formatter better ;-) – daleif Jul 29 '12 at 20:41

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