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En dash usage in European languages &c

 
 
mats.broberg@chello.se
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      12-10-2005
Dear all,

I'm having a scientific text translated into the majority of western
and eastern European languages* and have provided a small leaflet with
typesetting rules for the translators. Some translators protest that
this or that rule is not used in their respective language.

However, I think the majority of commercial translators are good at
translating, but don't know that much about typesetting. I see this
situation in Sweden (where I come from) where writers with Swedish as
their native language make several mistakes, e.g. using the hyphen
instead of the en dash in "from-to" expressions ("10-15 m", "20-25 kg"
etc.) or using the hyphen instead of the en dash in parenthetical
constructions ("Peter - who was now in his 40's - had...").

Anyway, the en dash in these construction seem to have created the most

hot air among the translators. I plea guilty of one mistake: In
Russian, the em dash is used instead of the en dash in parenthetical
expressions. So, are there any people out there who are knowledgeable
enough in the international typesetting to be able to confirm or
decline? Or even people who have these languages as their native
language and are interested in typesetting rules?

I'm inclined to think that I am right and the translators are wrong,
but since I made a mistake about Russian, I may have made other
mistakes too.

* cs, da, de, el, en, es, fi, fr, hu, it, nl, no, pl, pt, sv, tr, ru

Many thanks in advance!

Best regards,
Mats Broberg

 
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Jukka K. Korpela
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      12-10-2005
"(E-Mail Removed)" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> I'm having a scientific text translated into the majority of western
> and eastern European languages* and have provided a small leaflet with
> typesetting rules for the translators.


Fine, but you multiposted your message to comp.text.xml and comp.text.tex.
I'll post my comments to the latter, since there's already a thread there.
Neither of the groups was correct (as so often in multiposting), since your
question was not about XML and not about TeX but orthography and typography.
Please don't multipost in future, mm'kay?

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
 
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