12.1 General principles
This chapter provides guidelines on the editing and presentation of material in foreign languages and Old and Middle English. Languages are listed alphabetically, either separately or, for clarity and convenience, with related languages: for instance, there is one section for Slavonic languages rather than separate sections for Belarusian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, etc.
The sections stress common pitfalls and conundrums in spelling, punctuation, accents, syntax, and typography, and are intended to offer guidance to users across a broad spectrum of familiarity with the languages. A full account of each language is not the aim; rather, it seeks to aid authors and editors who are dealing with foreign-language material within English-language contexts. Overall, those languages most often met with in English-language publishing are covered in greatest depth, though not all languages of equal frequency are—or can usefully be—addressed equally: with editorial concerns foremost, distinctions between related languages have been highlighted. Help is given on setting non-Roman alphabets in English-language texts, as well as on transliteration and romanization.
Typescripts containing extensive non-roman characters should be created with a Unicode-compliant font (see
For information on foreign personal names and place names see
New Hart's Rules is available as part of an Oxford Dictionaries Gold subscription
Subscribe to Oxford Dictionaries today to view this page, and much more:
- Get the full benefit of Oxford's world-renowned language expertise when you access our range of professional resources
- Reinvigorate your writing by drawing on our vast bank of 1.9 million real English sentences
- Browse the Oxford Dictionaries site without advertising