I'm working in a project (Ubuntu Manual, if you're curious) which requires TeX to create a PDF document. But when we have almost all translated, I've found that there wasn't an hyphenation pattern for my language (Asturian). Actually, there isn't almost anything. :)

So, I started creating a new one, which involved some hard mining in obscure Internet dungeons to get some documentation on how to do that. ;)

My approach is creating a list of hyphenated words (etymological when I'm 100% sure, syllabic else) from our Aspell word list. When I've got a decent list, I'll use a hyphenation generator (I can't remember the actual name of the script) to have the Asturian hyphenation file, then I'll try and install under my TeX Live installation to test it, and then I'll upload it to TeX repositories.

No, OpenOffice.org hyphenation is not an option (it still doesn't exist).

My question is this: Is there anything else I'm missing to have a working hyphenation for my language? Am I fully wrong and that won't work?

Thank you in advance.

  • Hyphenation in English is a pain (and worth a PhD thesis or two) but I remember learning the Castillian hyphenation rules in school as a child, so it would seem to be much simpler (unless I'm missing something, of course). Is hyphenation in Asturian all that different from Castillian? – José Figueroa-O'Farrill Aug 11 '10 at 16:32
  • No, it's not that different, except for a couple extra letters and a missing one (J), But my question was more in the TeX side of hyphenation, not the natural language. I'm a TeX beginner :) – Xuacu Aug 11 '10 at 18:07
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    I understand -- I was simply suggesting using the Castillian hyphenation patterns which already exist. – José Figueroa-O'Farrill Aug 16 '10 at 13:19
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    Yes, that should work fine (with some "by hand" hyphenation when needed). Still, I prefer to get the real thing, even if it takes more time, because it will be available for other people to use and improve in the future. – Xuacu Aug 16 '10 at 18:53
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    @José: You must be alluding to [Frank M. Liang's PhD][1]. It specified the hyphenation algorithm of TeX 82, as well as PatGen. [1]: tug.org/docs/liang – Arthur Reutenauer Aug 19 '10 at 20:58

The standard way to generate hyphenation patterns is to use PatGen.

There is a TUGboat article about custom pattern generation: Hyphenation on Demand and there is a PatGen2 tutorial on CTAN.

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  • Thank you for the links, Martin, I'll read it carefully. PatGen2 is what I called «hyphenation generator» above :) – Xuacu Aug 11 '10 at 18:13

Once you have the pattern file (the standard way to generate it from a word list is to use PatGen, as has been said), you need to edit your distribution's language.dat file and to regenerate the formats, because hyphenation patterns are only loaded at iniTeX time (except for LuaTeX). Then you can send the file to us in order to be included in TeX Live :-)

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