For some languages, babel would automatically interpret the inverted commas and convert it to the proper form of the selected language. For example, with Hungarian, when one begins a quotation and writes ``, babel would automatically convert it to ,, (which is the proper opening of a quotation in Hungarian). However, when I set the language option to British, babel won't do the same kind of conversion (AFAIK British typesetting uses single inverted commas for quotations, so I would expect babel to convert automatically the `` to ` when starting a quotation). Is there a reason why this automatic conversion doesn't work? Or is there a package option that would enable this conversion?

  • csquotes may come close to what you want, by giving you commands that are, amongst other things, language-sensitive, but I don't think they'll trigger on the customary double-backtick. – Ulrich Schwarz Jul 6 '13 at 17:45

The way that babel pulls off this 'trick' in Hungarian is by making ` an 'active' character, which converts the input into the appropriate macro. In principal one could do this in UK English, but it's not quite as clear-cut (the use of single versus double quote marks is a common but not universal difference between US and UK typography). Moreover, a more robust and clearer approach is offered by csquotes, which avoids the use of active characters (which can be tricky to handle correctly) and makes the fact that a quote is exactly that much clearer

\enquote{text} % Language-sensitive appearance

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.