Polyglossia is a replacement for {babel} for use with XeLaTeX and LuaLaTeX. It provides multilingual support for most languages and handles automatic script changing using the {fontspec} package.

If you are using XeLaTeX or LuaLaTeX, you can load instead of . The package does the following automatically:

  • Loading the appropriate hyphenation patterns.
  • Setting the script and language tags of the current font (if possible and available), via the package fontspec.
  • Switching to a font assigned by the user to a particular script or language. - Adjusting some typographical conventions according to the current language (such as afterindent, frenchindent, spaces before or after punctuation marks, etc.).
  • Redefining all document strings (like “chapter”, “figure”, “bibliography”). - Adapting the formatting of dates (for non-Gregorian calendars via external packages bundled with polyglossia: currently the Hebrew, Islamic and Farsi calendars are supported).
  • For languages that have their own numbering system, modifying the formatting of numbers appropriately (this also includes redefining the alphabetic sequence for non-Latin alphabets).
  • Ensuring proper directionality if the document contains languages that are written from right to left (via the package bidi, available separately).

(Polyglossia documentation, p.2)

Don't be alarmed if your log file mentions babel hyphenation patterns when you are using polyglossia. This is normal, and is due to how hyphenation patterns are loaded; it does not mean that the babel package has been loaded.

The homepage of polyglossia is at github.