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German quotation marks / deutsche Anführungszeichen
Thread poster: mjheinrich

mjheinrich
Local time: 16:25
Spanish to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
This is not a question of quality... Nov 12, 2011

If the use of „ “ is a question of correct standard german then why most literary texts use a different style?
You say that "professional users of the German language should adhere to the exisiting rules".
But you ignore that the German rules permit the use of different quotation marks.
In fact, this is not a question of existing rules but a question of preference.
Or do you think that the editors of "Die Zeit" (who use " ") are German illiterate?
Do you really
... See more
If the use of „ “ is a question of correct standard german then why most literary texts use a different style?
You say that "professional users of the German language should adhere to the exisiting rules".
But you ignore that the German rules permit the use of different quotation marks.
In fact, this is not a question of existing rules but a question of preference.
Or do you think that the editors of "Die Zeit" (who use " ") are German illiterate?
Do you really think it is a question of quality that the editors of "Bild" use „ “?
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Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:25
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Responsibilities of a translator Nov 12, 2011

mjheinrich wrote:

If the use of „ “ is a question of correct standard german then why most literary texts use a different style? You say that "professional users of the German language should adhere to the exisiting rules".
But you ignore that the German rules permit the use of different quotation marks.


Do most literary texts use a different style? What I wanted to say is this: If guillemet style quotation marks are used at all, then mostly in literary texts. I have no figures to back this up, but I'd venture to say that in the vast majority of texts where one of the styles that are valid in German are used, it is the 99-66 style, but I may indeed be wrong. In any case, straight quotation marks are wrong in German.

mjheinrich wrote:
In fact, this is not a question of existing rules but a question of preference.
Or do you think that the editors of "Die Zeit" (who use " ") are German illiterate?
Do you really think it is a question of quality that the editors of "Bild" use „ “?


Die Zeit in its printed form in fact uses the reverse french quotation marks (which are indeed valid in German). The newspaper's website, probably for reasons of avoiding problems with the character encoding of different browsers (or even laziness or ignorance) uses straight quotation marks, which are plain incorrect (just like the ones you are proposing in your initial post in this thread).

The editors of Die Zeit are certainly not illiterate. I'm sure (or at least I hope) that they know the rules they are breaking, and why.

It's fine if the editors deviate from the rule (and all the more so, if they have good reasons). Should they need a translation, they'd have to inform the translator that instead of standard German quotation marks they want straight ones or even coloured teddy bears. The translator should of course follow that instruction, then.

But if you deliver a translation for which, without a very good reason (which personal preference isn't), you used straight quotes or the ones you proposed in your earlier post, your work is faulty.


 

hhl
Local time: 16:25
English to German
Bild is high-quality grammar Nov 12, 2011

You may not like "Bild" (neither do I), but that is not because of their language capabilities, it's because of the content. Actually, the grammar & spelling correctness of Axel Springer AG press is model.
I see no value in discussing correct quotation marks with translators who question or are ignorant about correct German spelling. Also, most of the "products" of X>DE translators I can find in the web are incredibly poor in basic grammar and expression capability, not at least because of
... See more
You may not like "Bild" (neither do I), but that is not because of their language capabilities, it's because of the content. Actually, the grammar & spelling correctness of Axel Springer AG press is model.
I see no value in discussing correct quotation marks with translators who question or are ignorant about correct German spelling. Also, most of the "products" of X>DE translators I can find in the web are incredibly poor in basic grammar and expression capability, not at least because of their usage of hyphens. I wonder how all these "translators" could make it through the school (this includes collegues from known big agencies, as well).

Anyway, automatic replacement of quotation marks by Studio (like in Word) is a critical thing, as the CAT tool cannot be intelligent enough to "understand", what you are currently writing. So it could be, that you in fact need the straight ones. E.g. when writing 3,5"-Diskette, or text that includes characters that are parsed/executed/interpreted like code etc.

For me, to produce „diesen Text“ is rather easy:
(1) I write: diesen Text
(2) I select diesen Text
(3) I press ctrl-2

There are several autotyper/macro applications (e.g. PhraseExpress) that allow you to define a lot of things being of help for a translator - and best of all: these helpers work in any software, not only in Studio. I have also defined things like CTRL-ALT-G, which changes the status of the current segment in Studio to SignedOff etc.
(something I wished was implemented in the Studio hotkey options generally)

Of course, instead of my method, you could also define „ as CTRL-2 and “ as SHIFT-CTRL-2 with such a utility.


[Edited at 2011-11-12 19:49 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-11-12 20:18 GMT]
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mjheinrich
Local time: 16:25
Spanish to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
please quote Nov 12, 2011

Do most literary texts use a different style? What I wanted to say is this: If guillemet style quotation marks are used at all, then mostly in literary texts. I have no figures to back this up, but I'd venture to say that in the vast majority of texts where one of the styles that are valid in German are used, it is the 99-66 style, but I may indeed be wrong. In any case, straight quotation marks are wrong in German.

1) Yes, MOST, literary texts do NOT use „ “; in fact, I
... See more
Do most literary texts use a different style? What I wanted to say is this: If guillemet style quotation marks are used at all, then mostly in literary texts. I have no figures to back this up, but I'd venture to say that in the vast majority of texts where one of the styles that are valid in German are used, it is the 99-66 style, but I may indeed be wrong. In any case, straight quotation marks are wrong in German.

1) Yes, MOST, literary texts do NOT use „ “; in fact, I do not know even one example that uses these so-called "German" quotation marks. Just have a look in your library (if you have any).
2) Please can you give the references that say that "straight quotation marks" are wrong in German?

Die Zeit in its printed form in fact uses the reverse french quotation marks (which are indeed valid in German). The newspaper's website, probably for reasons of avoiding problems with the character encoding of different browsers (or even laziness or ignorance) uses straight quotation marks, which are plain incorrect (just like the ones you are proposing in your initial post in this thread).

3) No, I was not proposing any kind of quotation marks in my initial post (please read the thread again).
Actually, I was asking about how to write the „ “ quotation marks in TagEditor, because I use them despite the fact I personally think they are obsolete, just in case the client is as captious as you.
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mjheinrich
Local time: 16:25
Spanish to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
mixing up Nov 12, 2011

Thank you for your information, but you are mixing up different things:

1) The quotation marks „ “ are not mandatory for correct German spelling (unlike some examples given by Susanne about genitive and apostrophe...)
2) Me remark was not about using or not using this or that kind of quotation marks in translation; actually I was asking how to write „ “ in TagEditor, and I was expressing my personal preference for a different style of quotation marks.
3) You are
... See more
Thank you for your information, but you are mixing up different things:

1) The quotation marks „ “ are not mandatory for correct German spelling (unlike some examples given by Susanne about genitive and apostrophe...)
2) Me remark was not about using or not using this or that kind of quotation marks in translation; actually I was asking how to write „ “ in TagEditor, and I was expressing my personal preference for a different style of quotation marks.
3) You are right, many translators do not deserve this name, but this is not a question of preference for this or that style of quotation marks. I don't know the quality of your work and I would not question it just because your opinion about the obsolescence or non-obsolescence of some kind of quotation marks.




hhl wrote:

You may not like "Bild" (neither do I), but that is not because of their language capabilities, it's because of the content. Actually, the grammar & spelling correctness of Axel Springer AG press is model.
I see no value in discussing correct quotation marks with translators who question or are ignorant about correct German spelling. Also, most of the "products" of X>DE translators I can find in the web are incredibly poor in basic grammar and expression capability, not at least because of their usage of hyphens. I wonder how all these "translators" could make it through the school (this includes collegues from known big agencies, as well).

Anyway, automatic replacement of quotation marks by Studio (like in Word) is a critical thing, as the CAT tool cannot be intelligent enough to "understand", what you are currently writing. So it could be, that you in fact need the straight ones. E.g. when writing 3,5"-Diskette, or text that includes characters that are rendered like code etc.

For me, to produce „diesen Text“ is rather easy:
(1) I write: diesen Text
(2) I select diesen Text
(3) I press ctrl-2

There are several autotyper/macro applications (e.g. PhraseExpress) that allow you to define a lot of things being of help for a translator - and best of all: these helpers work in any software, not only in Studio. I have also defined things like CTRL-ALT-G, which changes the status of the current segment in Studio to SignedOff etc.
(something I wished was implemented in the Studio hotkey options generally)

Of course, instead of my method, you could also define „ as CTRL-2 and “ as SHIFT-CTRL-2 with such a utility.


[Edited at 2011-11-12 19:37 GMT]
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Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:25
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Sorry Nov 12, 2011

mjheinrich wrote:

1) Yes, MOST, literary texts do NOT use „ “; in fact, I do not know even one example that uses these so-called "German" quotation marks. Just have a look in your library (if you have any).



I did just that and randomly picked five books, three of which used the reverse french quotation marks, while two used „“. None of them used straight (and/or both upper) quotations marks. Five books of course is far too small a sample, but as a first indication it seems that both our hypotheses are wrong (yours that they aren't used at all in literary texts, mine that they predominate).

mjheinrich wrote:

2) Please can you give the references that say that "straight quotation marks" are wrong in German?



No, I can't. I'll try to find some, though.

mjheinrich wrote:

3) No, I was not proposing any kind of quotation marks in my initial post (please read the thread again).
Actually, I was asking about how to write the „ “ quotation marks in TagEditor, because I use them despite the fact I personally think they are obsolete, just in case the client is as captious as you.


Indeed I have to apologize here: I mixed up esperantisto's contributions with yours. It seems we don't disagree much at all, then.

Sorry again for the confusion.

Best regards,
Erik


 

Ulrich Leininger  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:25
English to German
+ ...
Common online, but not in print Nov 13, 2011

Of course, straight quotation marks are not normally used in German print publications.

There is a tendency to use them on the web and in software documentation which, I believe, has to do with a certain preference for simplicity among programmers and web designers. This in turn probably goes back to the time when many digital texts were encoded based on 7-bit character sets without German quotation marks.

"Bild" targets an intellectually innocent audience, but is an e
... See more
Of course, straight quotation marks are not normally used in German print publications.

There is a tendency to use them on the web and in software documentation which, I believe, has to do with a certain preference for simplicity among programmers and web designers. This in turn probably goes back to the time when many digital texts were encoded based on 7-bit character sets without German quotation marks.

"Bild" targets an intellectually innocent audience, but is an extremely professional publication. I suspect that the decision to use straight quotation marks on the "Zeit" website was not made by the editors but by the web designers.

Personally, I use straight quotation marks only when they were used in legacy translations, which is very often the case in software documentation (most of the time, I would say).
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