I write in greek (having before load all the necessary packages and own commands - babel etc). In order to change the language and write a word in english I type \gre and the letters appear with english characters (that is correct!). The problem is that whenever I want to come back and write greek again I use the command \eng and typeset the desired word ...but the first letter of it is in english! My own commands are:

\newcommand{\eng}[1]{\latintext#1\greektext} % Change language
\newcommand{\gre}[1]{\greektext\latintext#1} % Change language
  • 1
    Welcome to TeX.SX. A tip: If you indent lines by 4 spaces, then they're marked as a code sample. You can also highlight the code and click the "code" button ({}) or hit Ctrl+K. Jan 28, 2014 at 11:08
  • Which of the options described here are you using? Your commands look as if they’re intended to be used like this: ελληνικά \eng{English} ελληνικά (single English word amidst Greek text) or English \gre{ελληνικά} English (vice versa). In this case the definition of the latter is wrong and should read \newcommand{\gre}[1]{\greektext#1\latintext}.
    – Crissov
    Jan 28, 2014 at 11:18
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    The predefined commands \greektext and \latintext work as switches like font size commands (e.g. \large), but due to [1] in \newcommand your commands expect a single parameter which is used where #1 appears. When used without curly braces, i.e. \eng English instead of \eng{English}, they will consume the first non-whitespace character (here: ’E‘).
    – Crissov
    Jan 28, 2014 at 11:28

1 Answer 1


Your definitions are wrong. Besides, having \latintext doesn't guarantee correct hyphenation of English words. Here's a better way (the Greek sentence has been obtained from Google translation, I don't know if it's good Greek).



Αυτό το κείμενο είναι στα Ελληνικά \foreignlanguage{english}{not English}

This is a longer text in English, so
we use an environment for it.

Αυτό το κείμενο είναι στα Ελληνικά


Of course you might prefer defining a personal command, such as


so you can simply type \eng{English word} in your document instead of the complicated \foreignlanguage{english}{English word}.

enter image description here

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