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Use of uppercase accentuated characters
Thread poster: JCEC

JCEC  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:08
Member
English to French
Nov 22, 2002

There is an interesting discussion on accentuation rules on the French forum. It centers around the fact that uppercase characters should normally be accentuated but are not necessarily so in practice.



I would be curious to know if there is a similar problem in other languages which use accentuated characters.



Thank you for your input.



John


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Atenea Acevedo  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:08
English to Spanish
+ ...
In Spanish, yes, no doubt Nov 22, 2002

Spanish uppercase characters should follow accent rules, ALWAYS.



Cheers,

Atenea


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Félix Saiz  Identity Verified
Spain
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
Spanish: always Nov 22, 2002

The Real Academia de la Lengua Española (RAE), in its \"Ortografía de la Lengua Española\" (1999), states:



\"4.10. Acentuación de las letras mayúsculas



Las mayúsculas llevan tilde si les corresponde según las reglas dadas. Ejemplos: África, PERÚ, Órgiva, BOGOTÁ. La Academia nunca ha establecido una norma en sentido contrario.\"



If you cannot read Spanish, this basically means \"Yes, uppercase characters are accentuated\". However, in Spain it is very common to see not accentuated uppercase characters, and many people think it is correct. Well, it is not (al least if we follow RAE rules)...



Best regards

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-11-22 19:30 ]


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María Alejandra Funes
Local time: 08:08
English to Spanish
+ ...
Spanish Nov 22, 2002

I think this was a problem with Spanish too. But I believe that this was mainly because of the use of typewriters. Personally I always accentuate uppercases.



Alejandra


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:08
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Spanish similar to French Nov 22, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-11-22 19:27, Traductor wrote:

However, in Spain it is very common to see not accentuated uppercase characters, and many people think it is correct. Well, it is not (al least if we follow RAE rules)...





Not only in Spain; this can be seen in Mexico, too, and probably in a lot of other Spanish-speaking countries. While correct usage is to accent upper-case just like lower-case, custom is that accents can be left off in upper-case.



In fact, it\'s quite common for some kinds of correspondence and other texts to be written IN ALL UPPER CASE WITHOUT ANY ACCENTS WHATSOEVER.

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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:08
Member
English to Hungarian
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Hungarian: accents cannot be omitted on capitals Nov 22, 2002

Although omitting them used to be standard practice for Í in the era of typewriters, with the advent of computer typesetting this trend disappeared.

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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:08
Dutch to English
+ ...
Accentuated upper case in Spanish Nov 22, 2002

The reason why it is so commonplace in Spanish to see upper case letters that should be accentuated without the accent is because previously the printing industry (newspapers) could not physically do it. Now that we are in the digital age, this physical inability is no longer relevant. However, because newspapers did not carry accentuated upper case letters, people started to think this was correct.



At least this is what a Spanish friend told me who is a reporter.



What Félix says is correct, and the RAE frowns on not using accents on upper case letters when they should have them!



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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:08
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Easier without accents, too Nov 22, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-11-22 20:31, Marijke wrote:

The reason why it is so commonplace in Spanish to see upper case letters that should be accentuated without the accent is because previously the printing industry (newspapers) could not physically do it. Now that we are in the digital age, this physical inability is no longer relevant.




I hypothesize that though inability is not relevant, ease still is, and a lot of people just type messages in all-caps without accents because then they don\'t have to bother thinking about whether the words are accented. Especially the general public (i.e. non-writers) whose spelling (ortografía) skills are often shaky.


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Klaus Herrmann  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:08
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
In German, they have to be used Nov 22, 2002

If you consider the dieresis as an accent, by all means. This rule also applies to words of foreign origin which have entered the German language, e.g. Café in caps is CAFÉ.



With regard to the leading you mentioned in the French forum (accents requiring extra head room), this used to be solved in German by moving down the dieresis. So, an Ü would have the dieresis IN the U, an Ä would have a dot at the left and right of tip, and an Ö would have the dieresis inside the O.



Just wondering - if the accents can be omitted on upper case characters, what good are they, anyways?


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:08
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
What good are they anyway? Nov 22, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-11-22 22:09, Klaus Herrmann wrote:

Just wondering - if the accents can be omitted on upper case characters, what good are they, anyways?





Here\'s my answer: If you can understand an incorrectly spelled text, then what does correct spelling matter anyway? I think it\'s a matter of standards and values in language use. Custom and culture attach a certain significance to correct spelling and grammar, and their lack might denote an attitude of carelessness, insufficient education, etc.

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Zuzana Suchá  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:08
Member (2004)
English to Czech
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Czech: Yes, they have to be used Nov 23, 2002

In fact I have never heard anyone raising this question. I wish we had the French freedom of thought.



Cheers


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Nathalie M. Girard, ALHC  Identity Verified
English to French
+ ...
To Susan... Nov 23, 2002

Unfortunately, the *French* freedom of thought is causing havoc at the moment.



Because many translators (amongst other people) do not apply this specific rule, it confuses clients, agencies, readers etc... It renders some text more difficult to read.



I\'m glad that John brought the topic out here as it helps us understand what is happening elsewhere in the world with these accents!



It seems to me, from the replies that we have received so far on this thread, that people of other languages respect this rule a lot more closely than French people



I always use accents whether I write in French or Spanish - I follow the rules, they were established for clarity and ease of reading



Night!

Nathalie





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JCEC  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:08
Member
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
More input please ? Nov 23, 2002

We now have replies for Czech, German, Hungarian and Spanish. The situation with Spanish seems to be very similar to that of French.



For those of you who don\'t speak French, I will shortly be posting an English summary of the discussion on the French forum.



A good weekend to all,



John


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Marnen Laibow-Koser
United States
Local time: 06:08
German to English
+ ...
German issues Nov 23, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-11-22 22:09, Klaus Herrmann wrote:

If you consider the dieresis as an accent, by all means.





Small nitpick: the english term for umlaut is umlaut. While a dieresis looks identical, the term in English is reserved (except by typographers) for the use of the mark to break what would otherwise be a diphthong.



Quote:


...With regard to the leading you mentioned in the French forum (accents requiring extra head room), this used to be solved in German by moving down the dieresis. So, an Ü would have the dieresis IN the U, an Ä would have a dot at the left and right of tip, and an Ö would have the dieresis inside the O.





Correct me if I\'m wrong, but I was under the impression that this (at least in the case of Ö) was never done for ordinary texts (books etc.) -- I\'ve only seen it in display type on shop signs and other places where a rather \"arty\" look was desired. In the same places, BTW, I\'ve also seen the umlaut reduced to a single dot on O and U.



Just my 2 groschen,

Marnen

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Marnen Laibow-Koser
United States
Local time: 06:08
German to English
+ ...
Javanese Nov 23, 2002

I don\'t speak Javanese, but I play Javanese gamelan music, and so I sometimes see stuff printed in Javanese. In a few cases, it\'s been obvious that accents have been left off capital letters (I remember looking at notation for a piece of music whose title was given as \"Erang-èrang\").

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