# Trouble with \usepackage [german] {babel}

All I wanted was to use an umlaut here and there in my paper, so I loaded the above package. I still did not get a decent umlaut. Since I saw that german was popping up in places where it shouldn't have (such as Beweis instead of Proof), I deleted the include line of the package in the .tex file. But now I have an even bigger problem:

Package babel Error: Unknown language german'. Either you have (babel) misspelled its name, it has not been installed, (babel) or you requested it in a previous run. Fix its name, (babel) install it or just rerun the file, respectively.

Now I don´t even care about the umlauts, I just want everything to go back to normal. I do not understand what I am supposed to do. I certainly do not want to reload the package.

• Welcome to TeX.SX! Is your input encoding correct? – user31729 Nov 4 '14 at 11:39
• Simply ignore the babel error and continue the compilation. Next time it will be gone. (babel has nothing to do with umlauts, you need the correct inputenc option for this). – Ulrike Fischer Nov 4 '14 at 11:43
• \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} should do the job – user31729 Nov 4 '14 at 11:57
• "Beweis" is because you've set German as your default language. Try \usepackage[german, english]{babel} (or whatever the correct name of the German-language option in babel is); the last listed language will be the document default, so strings like "Proof" will be in it. Of course, if all you want are a few umlauts, babel is probably overkill; just do \"u (or the appropriate letter) when you need one. – dgoodmaniii Nov 4 '14 at 14:01

What do you mean with "I deleted the package"? Did you remove the \usepackage{babel} line, or did you remove the package files from your hard disk?

By the way, in order to get an umlaut without loading a package you can use e.g. \"u and \"a for ü and ä, respectively.

Maybe you have a left-over .aux file. If so, try to remove it and rerun LaTeX again.

• OK, does the problem persist after removing any remaining .aux files and rerunning LaTeX? – ph0t0nix Nov 4 '14 at 12:22
• The problem went away, but for some reason \''u does not work. So, I had to use $\ddot{u}$ in the middle of someone's name. – Andrew Chiriac Nov 5 '14 at 12:35
• It looks like you used two single quotes after the slash: \ ' ', but it should be a double quote: \ " (without the extra spaces, of course, I just added those for clarity). – ph0t0nix Nov 5 '14 at 12:37
• You are right. It works now. I guess two single quotes do not equal one double quote. – Andrew Chiriac Nov 5 '14 at 15:02

This error occurs somethimes, if the used encoding of the editor and the used encoding in the LaTeX file are not the same.

With the following MWE

\documentclass[11pt,english,german]{article}  % ngerman
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}                   % latin9 utf8
\usepackage[german]{babel}                    % german, ngerman, english
\usepackage{blindtext}        % prints dummy text in different languages

\begin{document}

\Blinddocument               % create dummy document here

\end{document}


the editor TeXnicCenter shows the following screen:

In the right corner below you can see the encoding (UTF-8) the editor is using. If the encoding in the tex file (command \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}) is the same the error vanished (see log part in screenshot).

Just a remark: german uses the old german writing rules, if you want the newer one please use ngerman`.

Hope this helps you for a better understanding of the encoding problem ...

• The funny thing is that I'm not even using an editor. But anyways, the problem somehow went away on its own. – Andrew Chiriac Nov 5 '14 at 12:33
• I guess I do not know exactly what an editor is. I just downloaded MikTeX2.9 and I type all my equations by hand. – Andrew Chiriac Nov 5 '14 at 15:09