What I (hopefully) understood:

I'm getting a bit into Babel for my Lieder-Package. I want to support all 70 languages listed here.

As far as I understood I can do this (source):

\newcommand*\GFMlistOfSongs{List of Songs}
  \addto\captionsgerman{\def\GFMlistOfSongs{Liederr Verrrzaichniss}}
  \addto\captionsfoospeak{\def\GFMlistOfSongs{lista di songos}}

  \GFMlistOfSongs \\ \BoDY % BoDY = somewhere else defined.


which will create some list with the list title in the correct language.

What I don't understand:

I saw \addto\extras<lang.> several times. What is the difference between that and \addto\captions<lang.>?

I had a look into the babel docu, but haven't found anything.

  • 1
    Extras are evaluated at each language change; captions aren't within otherlanguage* and \foreignlanguage. Typically, list names go in captions. – egreg Feb 16 '17 at 11:57
  • @egreg Ok, extras at language change. Are extrasngerman evaluated when the change is from ngerman or to ngerman? What do you mean by "captions aren't used". I would suppose, that inside otherlanguage* the captions of the other language are used. i.e. language=ngerman, otherlanguage=foospeakwill result in lista di songos inside otherlanguage. Is that correct? – MaestroGlanz Feb 16 '17 at 12:05

There are basically five ways to change the current language:

  1. \selectlanguage{<language>}

  2. \begin{otherlanguage}{<language>}...\end{otherlanguage}

  3. \begin{otherlanguage*}{<language>}...\end{otherlanguage*}

  4. \foreignlanguage{<language>}{...}

  5. \begin{hyphenrules}{<language>}...\end{hyphenrules}

The difference between 1 and 2 is that in the second case you don't need to change back the language. The difference between 3 and 4 is that method 3 is better for multiparagraph text and 4 is for small phrases inside a paragraph.

With methods 1 and 2, both \captions<language> and \extras<language> are performed; with methods 3 and 4 only \extras<language> is performed. With method 5 only the hyphenation rules change, and neither \captions<language> nor \extras<language> is performed.

Indeed, tags such as \figurename are in \captions<language>, whereas language specific features are in \extras<language>.

If you add something to \extras<language>, the corresponding “reverse setting” should be added to \noextras<language>, which is performed at the next \selectlanguage command.

For instance, in Italian the apostrophe should have a nonzero \lccode in order for hyphenation to work correctly; so the setting \lccode`\'=`\' is part of \extrasitalian. Similarly, language shorthands should be in \extras<language>.

Your code for localizing lists of songs should definitely go in \captions<language>:

\newcommand*\GFMlistOfSongs{List of Songs}

  \addto\captionsgerman{\def\GFMlistOfSongs{Liederr Verrrzaichniss}}%
  \addto\captionsfoospeak{\def\GFMlistOfSongs{lista di songos}}%

  \GFMlistOfSongs \\ \BoDY % BoDY = somewhere else defined.

(don't forget the terminating % and the empty third argument to \@ifpackageloaded).

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