Hyphens (-) or en dashes (–) for number ranges
Thread poster: Biscaygo
Biscaygo  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 04:32
Member (2011)
Dec 14, 2016

Which one is the correct symbol for number ranges (e.g., "from 27 to 389", "from 1999 to 2016")?

In English, it may be the en dash.

http://www.thepunctuationguide.com/en-dash.html

The en dash (–) is slightly wider than the hyphen (-) but narrower than the em dash (—).

In Spanish, it looks like the hyphen.

http://www.fundeu.es/recomendacion/guion-claves-para-usar-este-signo-1250/
Entre cifras, indica un intervalo: las páginas 23-45; durante los siglos X-XII o períodos (1998-1999; curso académico 71-72).


In French, in the wikipedia, it looks like the en dash (tiret) instead of the hyphen (trait d’union).


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Elif Baykara  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 22:32
Member (2015)
German to Turkish
+ ...
Which language? Dec 14, 2016

Are you referring to a specific language?

It depends on the language. You have already given some examples.


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Biscaygo  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 04:32
Member (2011)
TOPIC STARTER
How about Turkish? Dec 14, 2016

Turkish too will come handy, thanks.

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Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:32
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Purpose? Dec 14, 2016

Which language will you apply it to or is it a (language) research based?

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Biscaygo  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 04:32
Member (2011)
TOPIC STARTER
I am specially interested in DE, EL, ES, FR, IT, KO, PL, PT, RU, SL, TK, ZH Dec 14, 2016

I am in charge of localizing projects into multiple languages.

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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:32
Member
French to English
+ ...
International typography Dec 14, 2016

I think you'll find that it is pretty much a universal typographic rule that it should be an EN-dash – with no spaces either side.

However, some countries are still more or less stuck in the era of typewriters, where there was no choice in the matter. Those are the countries where a hyphen - is still commonly used, and may be found with or without surrounding spaces.

So I think it's not so much a question of differing rules in different countries, as the speed with which modern resources have enabled 'traditional' typography to be implemented once more.

BTW, in FR, it is comparatively rare to use a dash of any kind for a range of figures; in the documents I receive to translate FR > EN, the vast majority spell it out in words, either 'de X à Y' or sometimes 'entre X et Y' (for example). I have even had customers query it when I have translated this verbal form into the more usual 'X–Y' format in EN, worried that it made it look too much like a subtraction!

[Modifié le 2016-12-14 21:27 GMT]


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Laura Kingdon  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:32
Member (2015)
French to English
+ ...
Korean Dec 14, 2016

Biscaygo wrote:

I am in charge of localizing projects into multiple languages.


In Korean, you're almost always going to see ~, as in 1999~2016.


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:32
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
agree with Tony [see bold] Dec 15, 2016

Tony M wrote:

I think you'll find that it is pretty much a universal typographic rule that it should be an EN-dash – with no spaces either side.

However, some countries are still more or less stuck in the era of typewriters, where there was no choice in the matter. Those are the countries where a hyphen - is still commonly used, and may be found with or without surrounding spaces.

So I think it's not so much a question of differing rules in different countries, as the speed with which modern resources have enabled 'traditional' typography to be implemented once more.

BTW, in FR, it is comparatively rare to use a dash of any kind for a range of figures; in the documents I receive to translate FR > EN, the vast majority spell it out in words, either 'de X à Y' or sometimes 'entre X et Y' (for example). I have even had customers query it when I have translated this verbal form into the more usual 'X–Y' format in EN, worried that it made it look too much like a subtraction!

[Modifié le 2016-12-14 21:27 GMT]


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Cilian O'Tuama  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:32
German to English
+ ...
I doubt there's an international standard Dec 15, 2016

I suspect you won't find a universal standard for all of these languages.
You may wish to post a monolingual Kudoz Q in each, though that'll take time.
Even in English you will not find concensus on this issue - many houses have their own "style".


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Biscaygo  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 04:32
Member (2011)
TOPIC STARTER
No en dashes in French? Dec 15, 2016

Will you really spell it out in French, as in 'de X à Y' or sometimes 'entre X et Y' (for example) in lists of specifications as the one below?

Dimensions des soupapes
Largeur de contact du siège de soupape (admission) 0,90–1,10 mm (0,0354–0,0433 in)
Limite 1,6 mm (0,06 in)
Largeur de contact du siège de soupape (échappement) 0,90–1,10 mm (0,0354–0,0433 in)
Limite 1,6 mm (0,06 in)
Diamètre de queue de soupape (admission) 4,975–4,990 mm (0,1959–0,1965 in)

[Edited at 2016-12-15 01:03 GMT]


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Jan Truper
Germany
Local time: 20:32
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
en dash for German Dec 15, 2016

Biscaygo wrote:

Which one is the correct symbol for number ranges (e.g., "from 27 to 389", "from 1999 to 2016")?



27–389
1999–2016

In German, this symbol is called "Halbgeviertstrich" or "Bis-Strich". When it gets used, the "from" needs to be omitted.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:32
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Common sense and engineering Dec 15, 2016

Laura Kingdon wrote:

In Korean, you're almost always going to see ~, as in 1999~2016.


Though this is good, it's unnecessary here, as the 1999-2016 period is pretty obvious.

What we often see is computers (and countless other things) having:
desktops:110/220 V = there is a switch in the power supply to select either one
laptops: 90~230 V = any voltage in this range will do, the unit will self-adjust

Moving from electronics to mechanics:

If a pin, shaft, whatever is specified as "50 ±2 mm dia." it means that its diameter must be between 48 and 52 mm. If the distance between two surfaces is specified as "50 +2 mm" it means that something that is roughly 50 mm thick must be able to slide in there without using force.

Taking this principle, as we move to finance, and see that an account must have $50-$70 at some point in time, it is fair to let our mind do the math, and accept that it COULD be negative, have $20 (= 50 - 70).

Preposterous? Think of a statement like "The account had $50 when $70 were charged to it."

As translators, with all due respect to each one's target language speakers, our output should be a no-brainer. IOW it should NOT invite any reader's brain to "do the math".

As we finish moving away from the typewriter, I'd favor the use of the tilde for a continuous range.
Typewriters used the tilde at the top, for ã-Ã-õ-Õ (can everybody see these?) in Portuguese. I don't know of any other language using it. A typewriter would place a lonely, letter-less tilde above the superscripts, e.g. ¹²³ if it had them, for uppercase letters to fit underneath.
However the computer is smarter, moving the tilde ~ to halfway height when there is no letter underneath, so we can use 90~230V and make sense.

I'd favor using the tilde to imply a continuous range in ANY language.

Yet this would NOT apply to dates, which are DISCRETE (as opposed to continuous) measurements.
While we can have 117.5 volts in the 90~230V range, there is NO date like year 2004.7. So time intervals remain like 1999-2016, Monday-Friday, etc., where the length of the dash makes no difference other than aesthetic.

My 2¢.


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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 20:32
English to Russian
+ ...
Ellipsis Dec 15, 2016

I am surprised no one has mentioned an ellipsis as a sign for number range. I may be biased because I only speak a limited number of languages, but I have a feeling it's much more popular for this purpose than a tilde. Furthermore, it's just about the only sign that looks good next to a negative number, such as –50...–10°C

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 21:32
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Agree Dec 15, 2016

Anton Konashenok wrote:

I am surprised no one has mentioned an ellipsis as a sign for number range. I may be biased because I only speak a limited number of languages, but I have a feeling it's much more popular for this purpose than a tilde. Furthermore, it's just about the only sign that looks good next to a negative number, such as –50...–10°C


I use this most of the time. But in German source documents I see a huge variety for this case.


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Vanda Nissen  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 05:32
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
Russian Dec 15, 2016

En dash without spaces.
2000–2016


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