# What's the difference between \usepackage{ngerman} and \usepackage[ngerman]{babel}

Is there something additional that \usepackage[ngerman]{babel} does that a simple \usepackage{ngerman} won't be able to do?

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You won't be able to use two languages, for instance. –  egreg Sep 17 '12 at 13:28

Assuming you only want to use one language in your document: Contrary to babel with the ngerman option, the ngerman package will not be detected by biblatex, and the latter will therefore still use the default (english) headings for bibliographies.

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{ngerman}

\usepackage{biblatex}

\usepackage{filecontents}

\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}
@misc{A01,
author = {Author, A.},
year = {2001},
title = {Alpha},
}
\end{filecontents}

\nocite{*}

\begin{document}

\printbibliography

\end{document}


According to this thread in de.comp.text.tex, babel also activates language-specific shorthands (many of which involve ") only at the beginning of the document body, while ngerman activates them immediately. The following example (without \mdqoff/\mdqon) results in an incorrect \inch macro with ngerman:

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{ngerman}

% \mdqoff
\newcommand*{\inch}{"-Zeichen}
% \mdqon

\begin{document}

\inch

\end{document}


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