accent mark in english
Thread poster: Carlos Sorzano

Carlos Sorzano
United States
Local time: 09:15
English to Spanish
+ ...
Mar 27, 2009

Hi

I have a question regarding the use of accent marks

When translating from Spanish to English, proper names and cities that have an accent mark or tilde, Do we have to use the accent mark in the english target translation?

For example> Jiménez-Jimenez or Jiménez
Bogotá-Bogota or Bogotá

Thank you


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James McVay  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:15
Russian to English
+ ...
My opinion Mar 27, 2009

I did a quick search to see if I could find any guidelines on style that addressed this point, but nothing turned up. So I can only give you my opinion.

Spanish accents normally are optional in English for place names and personal names . However, if you're quoting one or more Spanish words that aren't proper nouns, then I would quote verbatim. Also, if ambiguity exists and it's important to be precise, then I would use diacritics. I agree with Richard (next post) on use of the tilde. It's important.

Think about languages that don't use the Roman alphabet: Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Hebrew, Arabic, etc. If we don't romanize it, most people in the target audience won't be able to read it.

[Edited at 2009-03-27 23:13 GMT]


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RichardDeegan
Local time: 08:15
Spanish to English
Can't speak for others, but Mar 27, 2009

For Spanish names, I usually eliminate straight "accent" (stress) markers. However, I do leave the tilde in things like Nuñez and El Niño to aid in pronunciation in English.
In French, on the other hand (as to the many French words and phrases used in English), I usually retain all accents, because many are clues to pronunciation of vowels, and not mere stress markers.


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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
IMO Mar 27, 2009

AFAIK there are two main ways to deal with a foreign name
1) transcription
2) transliteration

In our documentation we have to use a localized variant followed by the original in brackets. Not the worst case tho'

Cheers


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Paul Adie  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Spanish to English
+ ...
Seems to depend on translator Mar 28, 2009

I always retain accents for people's names and only eliminate accents from place names that are common in English or have a standard English version. I suppose this depends on the translator, but the most important thing is to be consistent.

Paul


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chica nueva
Local time: 01:15
Chinese to English
Chinese umlaut; Mandarin/putonghua tones; French cedilla; ProZ; teaching materials Mar 28, 2009

This is interesting.

1 Chinese umlaut: I am struggling (on ProZ) to present 'umlaut' for Chinese 'v' where it needs it eg nu, lu/nv lv. I am just not sure how to achieve the umlaut on my English keyboard. Any suggestions? (Sorry, I think I may have asked this before in the Chinese Community but I've forgotten the answer. Is it a question for DTP Forum?)

2 Tones: tonal languages (like Chinese, and Thai?): I guess we won't ever show the tones in general translation, except in teaching materials; it would be too difficult altogether, and interfere with readability. (What about on ProZ though, is it possible?)

3 @ Richard. Consonants: BTW you preserve the tilde for Spanish, just wondering, do you preserve the cedille/cedilla for French? In general, how can all these 'diacritics' be achieved on ProZ from an English keyboard? Can they be imported as symbols, like in MSWord, or is there some other mechanism? Thanks for any help.

Lesley

[Edited at 2009-03-28 00:07 GMT]


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RichardDeegan
Local time: 08:15
Spanish to English
For Lai ("foreign" letters) Mar 28, 2009

A lot of codes can be found in "Accessories"/ "System Tools" / "Character Map" menu in Windows (at least in Win98).
For example, a capital "cedilla" would be (Number lock) Alt +0199, while the small "cedilla" would be (Number lock) Alt +0231.
BTW, cedilla means literally "little Z", and I was taught in high school French that it was originally a small "c" inserted above a "z" to indicate a softer sound, rather a soft "c" than the "ts"/"dz" sound of a "z". Over time, the little "c" got bigger, while the original "z" shrank, leading to today's "c" with a squiggle underneath.


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Kathryn Litherland  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:15
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
personal names vs. place names Mar 28, 2009

Personal names should retain the accents (except in the rarer but not inconceivable situation that the person in question lives in an English-speaking country and uses an Anglicized/accentless name form).

For names of cities and so on, you can pick a reference source of choice (such as Merriam-Webster's, at www.webster.com) and use the first listed spelling: Mexico, but Mérida and Yucatán.


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:15
Dutch to English
+ ...
EU style guide Mar 28, 2009

See the following website:
http://ec.europa.eu/translation/writing/style_guides/english/style_guide_en.pdf

"FOREIGN IMPORTS
FOREIGN WORDS AND PHRASES IN ENGLISH TEXT
5.1 Foreign words and phrases used in an English text should be italicised (no
inverted commas) and should have the appropriate accents, e.g. inter alia,
raison d’être.
Exceptions: words and phrases now in common use and/or considered part of
the English language, e.g. role, ad hoc, per capita, per se, etc.
5.2 Personal names should retain their original accents, e.g. Grybauskaitė,
Potočnik, Wallström."

And regarding geographical names:
Traditional geographical names. Anglicise if the English has wide
currency, e.g. the Black Forest, the Ruhr. Otherwise retain original spelling
and accents. Regional products are a frequent example:
a Rheinhessen wine, the eastern Périgord area, the Ardèche region (NB: it is
useful to add ‘region’ or ‘area’ in such cases), Lüneburger Heide

[Edited at 2009-03-28 09:08 GMT]


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:15
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
According to the Economist Pocket Style Book ... Mar 28, 2009

Here's what The Economist's Pocket Style Book says about using accents on foreign words when writing in English:

"Accents:
On words now accepted as English, use accents only when they make a crucial difference to pronunciation: cliché, soupçon, façade, café, communiqué.
If you use one accent, use all: émigré, mêlée, protégé, résumé.
Put the accents and cedillas on French names and words and umlauts on German ones: François Mitterand, Klöckner.
Leave the accents off Spanish and other foreign names".

I'm not saying The Economist is necessarily right, just quoting what it says.
Why Spanish and other foreign names are discriminated against in this way I don't know. Personally, I include the accents on Spanish names and places unless the place is extremely well known to English speakers, e.g. Malaga, Cordoba. And I think tildes should always be included.
By the way, what about Marseilles and Lyons when writing in English? In the old days, the English name for those places was Marseille and Lyon - but these days I think English tends to adopt the French spelling (with the "s").
Best wishes,
Jenny.


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Neil Cross
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:15
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Marseilles and Lyons Mar 28, 2009

Jenny Forbes wrote:

By the way, what about Marseilles and Lyons when writing in English? In the old days, the English name for those places was Marseille and Lyon - but these days I think English tends to adopt the French spelling (with the "s").


T'other way round, isn't it, Jenny? The traditional English spelling has the "s" for both cities, but nowadays the French spelling (sans "s") is generally used.

Similarly, I'm never quite sure whether to use "Hanover" (trad English spelling) or "Hannover" (German spelling), Ghent or Gent, Hamelin or Hameln etc.

If I can get away with it, I will always go for the traditional English version, as I'm an old-fashioned kind of guy...

Neil


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:15
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
You're quite right, Neil Mar 28, 2009

Neil Cross wrote:

Jenny Forbes wrote:

By the way, what about Marseilles and Lyons when writing in English? In the old days, the English name for those places was Marseille and Lyon - but these days I think English tends to adopt the French spelling (with the "s").


T'other way round, isn't it, Jenny? The traditional English spelling has the "s" for both cities, but nowadays the French spelling (sans "s") is generally used.

Similarly, I'm never quite sure whether to use "Hanover" (trad English spelling) or "Hannover" (German spelling), Ghent or Gent, Hamelin or Hameln etc.

If I can get away with it, I will always go for the traditional English version, as I'm an old-fashioned kind of guy...

Neil


You're quite right, Neil. Silly me, I know, I just got it the wrong way round.
And what are we supposed to put for Basel, Bâle, Basle? Danzig or Gdansk? Derry or Londonderry (ooops! political) and I'm sure there are many more puzzlers.
Jenny


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