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Punctuation Rules in Belgian French
Thread poster: Marie-France Arnou

Marie-France Arnou
France
Local time: 18:21
English to French
Jan 12, 2005

A Belgian client requested that I do not put a space before colons, semicolons, question marks and exclamation marks.



I always put an unbreakable space before each of these punctuation marks in French. (I am from France.) MS Word actually does it automatically if you select the "straight quotes with smart quotes" option in the "Replace as you type" area.



I am wondering if not putting a space before these punctuation marks is a regional punctuation rule for Belgian French. Are there Belgian French translators on this forum who could enlighten me?


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 19:21
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
The space is a French rule Jan 12, 2005

In all other languages it is not allowed, though one sees them very often nowadays. I only today informed one customer that the spaces in front of exclamation marks are not allowed except in French.
I started once this thread:

http://www.proz.com/topic/22741

Regards
Heinrich


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Marie-France Arnou
France
Local time: 18:21
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Punctuation Rules in Belgian French Jan 12, 2005

Thank you, Heinrich, for pointing to your previous thread.


It is generally agreed that the rule in FR-FR is to put an unbreakable space before a colon, a semicolon, a question mark, or an exclamation mark, and that this rule does not apply to other languages such as English.


But what about FR-BE? It is French, but maybe it got influenced by the other three official languages in Belgium, and has its own regional rule. I would be interested in hearing what Belgian French speakers (or rather writers) think about this issue.


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 14:21
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Hi Marie-France Jan 12, 2005

Why don't you ask this in French in the French forum?

You're likely to receive more Belgian answers.


Claudia


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Marie-France Arnou
France
Local time: 18:21
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Punctuation Rules in Belgian French Jan 12, 2005

Claudia,

Thank you for your suggestion. I didn't post in the French forum at first because I am not very familiar with the ProZ forums, and I didn't take enough time to explore. My mistake. This forum can now go on among French speakers on:

http://www.proz.com/topic/28311


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