I am working on a project in faroese, where I need to use the localization features offered by babel. I cannot find a faroese babel package, and when searching for it, there seems to be some confusion, where faroese and icelandic are mixed together.

I want to create a faroese babel package, but I need some guidance doing this. First of all, I do not event know where to find an example on how to implement at language package.

I tried searching my computer (MacTeX distro), and I found babel files in /usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/source/generic/babel-danish/danish, and tried to create similar babel-faroese directories and files, but it did not seem the work. (Likely I need to update some references or something).

Is there a guide on how to create babel language packs? I think I can rewrite the .ins and .dtx files in that folder to match the faroese language, but I have absolutely no idea on how it should be packaged and committed to the repositories, or even how to get my own TeX distribution to use the files...


1 Answer 1


You should never create new files within the actual directories of your distribution. Instead you should use the proper local texmf directories.

You can create a faroese.ldf file modeled on the /usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/generic/babel-danish/danish.ldf file, and install it in your local texmf folder. On a Mac, this is ~/Library/texmf, and it's sensible to make a tex/generic/babel folder for the file. See the following for how to set up such a local folder.

This way you don't need to update any of the system databases etc.

The main babel package is actively maintained by Javier Bezos but new language definitions are now maintained independently. See the following link for information on putting a new language definition file on CTAN:

  • 2
    Thanks a lot! I was not aware of a local texmf folder, but editing files belonging to root:wheel felt wrong and almost like a criminal act to be editing these files. :-) I have copied the danish.ldf file to my local directory, renamed it to faroese, and it works. Now I will spend some time to adjust it to faroese, and send it to the maintainer, when it is ready.
    – Ragnar123
    Oct 23, 2013 at 12:25

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