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I've just updated my MikTeX installation on Windows 7 what resulted in strange problems with polyglossia. Here's the minimal example:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{polyglossia}
\setdefaultlanguage{english}

\begin{document}
    This is a test.
\end{document}

and the warning message from polyglossia/gloss-english.ldf:

No hyphenation patterns were loaded for `English'
I will use \language=\l@nohyphenation instead

It obviously works like a charm on my installation under MacOS. It also works just fine with other languages under Windows, e.g.:

\setdefaultlanguage{french}
or
\setdefaultlanguage{polish}

So, it seems like there's a problem specifically with English hyphenation.

I've checked similar questions. Usually, the solution required to update formats or to install missing language files. However, I believe, it does not solve my problems. English is the main language of the distribution I use and it is available (according to: MiKTeX Options -> Languages). Also, I did remember to both refresh file name database and update formats (MiKTeX Options -> General -> Refresh FNDB & Update Formats). It logged no errors. It also generated the required language.dat, language.dat.lua and language.def files. For English in language.dat it created the following entries:

english hyphen.tex
=usenglish
=USenglish
=american
ukenglish loadhyph-en-gb.tex
=british
UKenglish
usenglishmax loadhyph-en-us.tex

I'm not sure if it is correct but looks sensible. Additionally, according to XeTeX output:

Babel <3.9r> and hyphenation patterns for 72 language(s) loaded.

So some hyphenation patterns were loaded but apparently not for English (I do not know how to check specifically what patterns were loaded).

Do you have any suggestions? Definitely adding:

\usepackage[english]{babel}

before loading polyglossia solves the problem but I'm not sure which package is used in that case and it does not look right.

  • It works fine for me. But it looks very odd that "English" is written with an uppercase E in your log-file. Check if your gloss-english.ldf is really up-to-date -- perhaps you have an older version in your user texmf-tree. Did you run the update manager also as user? – Ulrike Fischer Dec 22 '16 at 9:58
  • I did not run the update as user. Obviously, it is logical but it did somehow skipped my mind. After running update as user everything works like a charm. (it turned out I had some obsolete Babel 3.9p files) Thank you so much for suggestions. Can you post it as an answer, pls? – Szpilona Dec 22 '16 at 14:48
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It works fine for me. But it looks very odd that "English" is written with an uppercase E in your log-file. Check if your gloss-english.ldf is really up-to-date -- perhaps you have an older version in your user texmf-tree. Run the update manager also as user.

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