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Post-editing: changing quotation marks from " " to « »
Thread poster: transwebtrans

transwebtrans  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:36
Italian to English
+ ...
May 30, 2012

Dear folks,
I hope you can help me solve an irritating problem (involving an irritating customer).
I have just completed the translation of a 100-page children's story and the author has asked me (through the agency for whom I work) to change the quotation marks from standard " " to the arguably more unusual «». I've tried Find-Replace and this does not work. I have also gone into Options and tried to solve the problem that way, but the only option seems to be to change straight to curved quotation marks.
By the way, I have Word 2007.
I would be very grateful for any suggestions. Please let me know as soon as possible!
Yours in despair,
William

[Edited at 2012-05-30 20:12 GMT]


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:36
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
:) May 30, 2012

You might try "Replace All".

If that doesn't work, either, then you can only change the quotation marks manually.

Good luck!


 

Marie Wagner (X)  Identity Verified
Malta
Local time: 00:36
English to French
+ ...
" " to be replaced by the French ones May 30, 2012

I guess it is only in a French translation. Then you have to select all, choose the language and in the French version, you will have to do it manually. If it is not in a French version, then they are the usual ones.

The answer is then just to inform the difficult client because some of them just like to pretend they know something....

I hope this has been of some help to you.

Good luck.
Marie


 

XXXphxxx (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:36
Portuguese to English
+ ...
What language? May 30, 2012

Is this a translation into English? If so then " " is correct and shouldn't be changed.

Edited for punctuation mark.

[Edited at 2012-05-30 15:08 GMT]


 

Barbara Carrara  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:36
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
Oxford Guide to Style May 30, 2012

I partly agree with Lisa, in that the quotation marks should be kept as inverted commas, but rather than the double ones, 'British practice is normally to enclose quoted matter between single quotation marks, and to use double quotation marks for a quotation within a quotation.' (Oxford Guide to Style, hard copy)

Here's a link to the online version, http://www.eng-lang.co.uk/ogs.htm (see 5.13).

In Italian, it is very much the publisher's choice. For instance, Mondadori, Guanda and Einaudi use French quotation marks (what in Italy we call 'a caporale'), whereas Feltrinelli opts for double inverted commas.



If instead you need to replace them for other purposes than dialogues, and you are working on a .doc file, you can proceed as follows,
a) select the find/replace option from the menu bar
b) type in [space]" in the find line and [space]« and click Replace all
c) type in "[space] in the find line and »[space] and click Replace all

This should do the trick, if not for all the instances, for most of them, hopefully.


[Edited at 2012-05-30 16:14 GMT]


 

Marta Nazare  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 23:36
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Is it in English? If so, don't change them. May 30, 2012

I have to say I had the same problem with quotation marks while I was working at a Portuguese publisher. When I was asked to change the "" to «», I never did find out how could I do it in Word with a quick search/replacement. I would really like to know!

And I agree with Lisa Simpson, if it’s in English, you shouldn’t change them.


 

XXXphxxx (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:36
Portuguese to English
+ ...
@ Barbara May 30, 2012

Barbara Carrara wrote:

I partly agree with Lisa, in that the quotation marks should be kept as inverted commas, but rather than the double ones, 'British practice is normally to enclose quoted matter between single quotation marks, and to use double quotation marks for a quotation within a quotation.' (Oxford Guide to Style, hard copy)



I agree Barbara, that would be ideal. However, I was just trying to save the OP the trouble since " " would work perfectly fine and is becoming increasingly used in Britain, in fact, almost more often than not.


 

Barbara Carrara  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:36
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
Lisa May 30, 2012

Seems that the Times They Are A-changin' also style-wise, then.
Ah, well, the pleasures of globalisation...
As for me, the OGS rules for UK-EN. For US-EN I would turn to the MLA style or the Chicago manual of style as good choices.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:36
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Just in case it is useful May 30, 2012

Although in Spanish, here I explain the method we use in our office for the Latin quotes you need in Spanish and French:
http://www.proz.com/forum/spanish/136919-comillas_españolas:_¡una_solución_sencilla_y_con_libertad.html

If I can be of any help setting this up in your computer, feel free to email me directly.

PS: This is a solution for Windows-based computers.


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 06:36
Chinese to English
What was the problem May 30, 2012

william wooderson wrote:

I've tried Find-Replace and this does not work.


This is mystifying me. Why wouldn't it work? Change your quotes to curly quotes, then change open quote to « and close quote to ».


 

Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:36
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Straight quotation marks are ugly May 30, 2012

Straight quotation marks are ugly and only exist because of computers.

Set the language code to English.
Enable the AutoCorrect option Replace as you type: Straight quotes with smart quotes.
Find and replace all apostrophes ' with apostrophes ' and higlight. Check the results.
Undo the higlights.
Find and replace all quotes '' with quotes '' and higlight. Check the results.
Undo the higlights.
Now you should have apostrophes and quotation marks fit for publishing. Save this version for yourself.
In a copy, change the language code into French.
Find and replace all quotes '' with quotes '' and higlight. Check the results: the English smart quotes should have turned into French smart quotes. Use find and replace to add or remove nonbreaking spaces, depending on the authors wishes.
Undo the higlights.
Set the language code to English.

Good luck,
Gerard


 

transwebtrans  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:36
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The translation was Italian to English. Solutions so far not worked! May 30, 2012

Dear everyone,
Thank you for taking the time to reply, much appreciated.
I've written to the agency saying what you generally seem to agree on, that it is unusual to use «» in English, though I think Barbara has hit on the reason - that the customer has approached an Italian publisher, like Mondadori, for the English version of her book (which, incidentally, is going to be an e-book), and who favours use of French quotation marks.
I've tried the suggestions you've made (e.g. find/replace with space, changing the language) but sadly nothing works...
Tomás, I didn't try your solution; would your method work in my English translation do you think? If so, would you mind sending me an English translation? Thank you in advance.
Thanks again to everyone,
William


 

Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:36
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
At which step things go wrong? May 30, 2012

Sorry William,

But 'nothing worked' isn't good enough. Did you follow all steps I suggested? And when did it go wrong?

Cheers,
Gerard


 

Helena Chavarria  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:36
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
UK English vs. other Englishes May 30, 2012

Barbara Carrara wrote:

I partly agree with Lisa, in that the quotation marks should be kept as inverted commas, but rather than the double ones, 'British practice is normally to enclose quoted matter between single quotation marks, and to use double quotation marks for a quotation within a quotation.' (Oxford Guide to Style, hard copy)

Here's a link to the online version, http://www.eng-lang.co.uk/ogs.htm (see 5.13).


I had practically reached the end of a 488-page book and I decided to check on the rules for direct speech. I ended up changing the double inverted commas for single ones - manually!


 

LuciaC
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:36
English to Italian
+ ...
It takes a second May 30, 2012

I do this change all the time for some of my clients.

Start with

Find "
Replace «

and change all the opening marks.

Then go back and change the remaining marks, which will be the closing ones.

Find "
Replace »

This will change the remaining marks, which will be the closing ones.

[Edited at 2012-05-30 21:24 GMT]


 
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