12 Languages

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 2.5) to facilitate typesetting. Authors should consult their publisher about any font requirements specific to non-roman alphabets.

For information on foreign personal names and place names see Chapter 6.

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Preface Editorial team Proofreading marks Glossary of printing and publishing terms