# wrong letter transcription with babel greek

I am writing a thesis with single ancient Greek words. I am using babel and greek.polutoniko for ancient Greek. It seems to make a slight spelling mistake at some point. How can I get a correct output?

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[greek.polutoniko,german]{babel}
\usepackage[LGR, T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage{lmodern}

\begin{document}

\textgreek{άληθεσία}

\end{document}


As one can see, the word "άληθεσία" is written with an theta (θ). But the LaTeX output writes it with a vartheta (see in example).

• Does your word have two accents, or an accent and a smooth breathing mark? – Bernard Feb 12 '17 at 21:21
• There is no “vartheta”: the author of the fonts decided to use that form for the letter, which is not “cast in stone”. Different fonts can use different shapes. If you look at this page using a font by Garamond, you find the “open shape”; conversely, the phi is closed. – egreg Feb 12 '17 at 22:28
• There is a glyph called vartheta which is a varied theta in fact. The letter theta remains the same: link. Your example is gorgeous btw. I found the vartheta variation also in my Ilias, but not in other ancient Greek texts where they use the normal theta. – user125216 Feb 12 '17 at 23:39

I think that this is a matter of aesthetics and taste rather a spelling mistake or the wrong interpretation of a θ character. The letter shapes you see are the default font used with the LGR encoding. But you can easily choose a more "traditional" shape. Personally I prefer the old fashioned Porson font, because that's what I'm used to reading. Here's your MWE, with a longer test text, showing Porson beneath the default font.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[greek.polutoniko,german]{babel}
\usepackage[LGR, T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage{lmodern}
\usepackage{gfsporson}
\begin{document}

\noindent
\textgreek{ἀλλ᾽ ὅ γ᾽ ἀναΐξας ζήτει βόας Ἀπόλλωνος\\
οὐδὸν ὑπερβαίνων ὑψηρεφέος ἄντροιο.\\
ἔνθα χέλυν εὑρὼν ἐκτήσατο μυρίον ὄλβο:}

\bigskip
\noindent
\textporson{ἀλλ᾽ ὅ γ᾽ ἀναΐξας ζήτει βόας Ἀπόλλωνος\\
οὐδὸν ὑπερβαίνων ὑψηρεφέος ἄντροιο.\\
ἔνθα χέλυν εὑρὼν ἐκτήσατο μυρίον ὄλβο:}

\end{document}


If you prefer Porson, you can either write \textporson{...} as I show above, or you can simply put

\let\textgreek\textporson


If you don't like Porson, the Greek Font Society provide several other options. They are listed here on CTAN.

PS. The Greek pangram was from this extensive list of pangrams.

• This is exactly what I need. Thank you Thruston! I am still insecure about the theta but don't need to worry anymore. Also the selection is great! – user125216 Feb 12 '17 at 21:13
• To complement this good answer, I suggest having a look at the substitutefont package. – egreg Feb 12 '17 at 22:29

There is no right or wrong choice. The glyph for theta has, historically, two variants, like phi and epsilon. Font designers can decide what shape they like best or what fits better with the intended applications for the font.

Here's a thorough choice of Greek fonts freely available with TeX Live, thanks to Claudio Beccari (for the default family) and the Greek Font Society.

\documentclass[twocolumn]{article}
\usepackage[a4paper,margin=1cm]{geometry}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[greek.polutoniko,english]{babel}
\usepackage[tiny]{titlesec}

\newcommand{\paterhemon}[1]{%
\section{\texttt{#1}}
\begin{verse}
\fontfamily{#1}\greektext
Πάτερ ἡμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς·\\
ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου·\\
ἐλθέτω ἡ βασιλεία σου·\\
γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου,\\
ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς·\\
τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον δὸς ἡμῖν σήμερον·\\
καὶ ἄφες ἡμῖν τὰ ὀφειλήματα ἡμῶν,\\
ὡς καὶ ἡμεῖς ἀφίεμεν τοῖς ὀφειλέταις ἡμῶν·\\
καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν,\\
ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ.
\end{verse}
}

\begin{document}
\paterhemon{cmr}
\paterhemon{artemisia}
\paterhemon{artemisiaeuler}
\paterhemon{bodoni}
\paterhemon{complutum}
\paterhemon{udidot}
\paterhemon{neohellenic}
\paterhemon{porson}
\paterhemon{solomos}
\end{document}


You can see that even Greek people can choose the open variant for theta. Some of the fonts alternate the open variant in initial position with the closed form in inner position.

When you have decided what font you prefer for Greek, say porson, you can just use substitutefont. The family name to use in the third argument to \substitutefont is the one in the section title in the above examples.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[greek.polutoniko,english]{babel}
\usepackage{substitutefont}

\substitutefont{LGR}{\rmdefault}{porson}

\begin{document}

This is some English text with some Greek text
inside the quotes \textgreek{Πάτερ ἡμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς}''
with again English text.

\end{document}