I would like to add a letter from an alphabet in another language. I'm using the package: \usepackage{wasysym}. In which I've defined my letter as follows: \DeclareUnicodeCharacter{1293}{ና}. However, when I write in my tex file, I get a runtime error.

Timed out. Sorry, your compile took too long to run and timed out. This may be due to a LaTeX error, or a large number of high-res images or complicated diagrams.

I'm assuming its an error because I implement the same thing for Ç which works perfectly fine. The letter is in Amharic and I wrote it from a Chrome keyboard extension.

  • you have defined the character to be itself so that is an infinite loop does wasysym font have this character?? if it does you need to use the command from that package, if not you need to load some other font package that does have this character. and use whatever command that defines Jan 13, 2021 at 22:50
  • I just had a look at wasysm and I do not see any connection to this character? Jan 13, 2021 at 23:12
  • you will probably find this easier if you use xelatex rather than pdflatex eg tex.stackexchange.com/q/540519/1090 Jan 13, 2021 at 23:14

1 Answer 1


You will find it easier to use such characters in xelatex or lualatex than pdflatex.

My (windows firefox) browser used a font called Ebrima to show the symbol in your question (as shown by selecting the "inspect element" menu option in the browser)

So I simply specified xelatex use the same font and the character "just worked"



abc ና xyz

enter image description here

If you do not have that font, specifying whatever font you do have on your system that has that character would work in the same way.

For the actual error in the question, the package wasysym is not involved in any way here. The line


tells LaTeX that if it sees ና to use the code ና to typeset it, this is an infinite loop and on a system such as Overleaf that has a timelimit you would get a timeout error. If you run that on a local instance of pdflatex that does not have a timeout then it loops without filling up any stack so it will run forever until you kill the job.

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