In russian babel, it's possible to write << to get a russian opening quote character. However, some fonts that have such character (like the one provided by anttor package) don't use that and end up with ugly output like << this is my quote>>. I tried making < active and saying something like

%\def << {\guillemotleft}%

but making < active messes the occasions where it is used not as a part of <<. I tried to search where << is defined in babel, but couldn't find it. So, is there an elegant way to make a sequence if characters active, s that one can \def them? Or, perhaps, there is a much more elegant solution to my problem of which I don't know...


I suspect that << is defined as a ligature in those fonts, similarly as fi (to produce one glyph) or dashes -- and ---.

% store `<` with the original catcode
% make `<` active
% test for 2nd `<` and if present, print quotation marks and gobble the 2nd `<`

This is 100% surely breaking in beamer and probably corrupting the < and > table column specifications.

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