I use TeX Live including the Hebrew package. I've tried to produce a simple TeX file:

\usepackage [english,hebrew]{babel}

but I keep getting the infamous

Package babel Warning: No hyphenation patterns were loaded for the language `Hebrew'.

I've searched all over but can't find the solution.

  • 1
    Welcome to TeX.SX! Is Hebrew hyphenated at all?
    – egreg
    Dec 4, 2012 at 12:00
  • 1
    @egreg: it may be hyphenate-able, but not with anything obvious on ctan. (it's a bit sad, if it isn't hyphenatable, that babel doesn't "know", and throws the warning anyway.) Dec 4, 2012 at 13:47
  • @Adam, please consider accepting the answer. Alternatively, if you're getting this and then an error about missing font metrics, see these two questions.
    – einpoklum
    May 14, 2013 at 14:02

1 Answer 1


As far as my research in the net has been able to find, hyphenation in Hebrew is used mainly (or even uniquely) in newspaper typeset in narrow columns. There are no hyphenation pattern files for Hebrew that I know of; surely not on CTAN.

The message you get is a long standing misfeature of babel, which, when it doesn't find hyphenation patterns preloaded for a language, decides arbitrarily to use the patterns for English (\language0, to be precise).

You can cure the problem with a hack:


% Fool babel

\usepackage [english,hebrew]{babel}

\l@hebrew is the internal command that babel looks for. You have two advantages with this: the message will not appear and you risk no wrong application of hyphenation. In my opinion, no hyphenation is better than a wrong one based on the rules for (American) English.

If you still get the message, it means that your TeX distribution doesn't define the nohyphenation pseudolanguage. The remedy then is to say

\makeatletter\chardef\l@hebrew=255 \makeatother

which works unless your TeX distribution defines hyphenation patterns for 256 languages, and this seems unlikely.

  • MiKTeX needs definitely your second solution.
    – Speravir
    Dec 23, 2012 at 0:59

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