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English possessive and plurals of foreign words

P: n/a
If I have a foreign word, name or phrase in one of my pages, I use the lang
attribute to specify the relevant language, e.g., <span lang="de">Manfred
von Richthofen</span>. But what if I want to say something like
"Richthofen's Circus"? I don't have a screen reader installed, but I try to
make my site as accessible as possible. I also try to use as much structural
markup as possible. I don't know how a screen reader would voice <span
lang="de">Richthofen</span>'s

Maybe it would say "Richthofen" in German and then just read the letter "s"
separately. I don't know. It wouldn't sound right for the name to be
pronounced properly when not in the possessive, and then differently if I
remove the <spantags with lang attribute for the possessive or other
compound forms of the name. I have a similar problem with PLURAL forms of
foreign words. In English, we use the English rules even for the plurals of
foreign words, but those aren't always the same as those of the original
language from which the word came. Again, what do I do?

I believe I may be asking questions that do not have "official" answers, so
basically I'm asking what do you think the best policy is regarding
possessive and plurals of foreign words in an English context?

Should this thread be forwarded to those who make the rules at w3?
Aug 4 '07 #1
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7 Replies


P: n/a
The Bicycling Guitarist wrote:
If I have a foreign word, name or phrase in one of my pages, I use the lang
attribute to specify the relevant language, e.g., <span lang="de">Manfred
von Richthofen</span>.
I'm a little surprised that you do this. I wouldn't have thought of it.
Do you have some source or authority that recommends this? Or just your
common sense?
But what if I want to say something like
"Richthofen's Circus"? I don't have a screen reader installed, but I try to
make my site as accessible as possible. I also try to use as much structural
markup as possible. I don't know how a screen reader would voice <span
lang="de">Richthofen</span>'s
For the work you're doing, you probably ought to get a screen reader
installed. I had IBM Home Page Reader for a while (past tense), and it
was instructive.
>
Maybe it would say "Richthofen" in German and then just read the letter "s"
separately. I don't know.
Exactly. That's why I wouldn't have gone to the trouble to mark up names
with a lang. I guess I'm assuming the name would come out alright in the
contextual language. I hear Roger Federer's name mangled all the time by
English-speaking humans, so I don't expect better from a WWW screen-reader.
I have a similar problem with PLURAL forms of
foreign words. In English, we use the English rules even for the plurals of
foreign words, but those aren't always the same as those of the original
language from which the word came.
Can you give some examples of the problem here? When would we use the
English plural for foreign words?

If it's /Waffe/ (sing.) and /Waffen/ (plur.) in German, you can use
/Waffe/ and /Waffen/ in your English text. Or do you have some other,
more troublesome examples?
>
Should this thread be forwarded to those who make the rules at w3?
If you can figure out a way to forward a Usenet thread, you're ahead of
me. ;-)
--
John
Pondering the value of the UIP: http://blinkynet.net/comp/uip5.html
Aug 4 '07 #2

P: n/a
"The Bicycling Guitarist" <Ch***@TheBicyclingGuitarist.netwrites:
If I have a foreign word, name or phrase in one of my pages, I use the lang
attribute to specify the relevant language, e.g., <span lang="de">Manfred
von Richthofen</span>.
I would not be inclined to do that, but I can see there is a point to
debate here. My feeling is that the name is "in English" (well, the
language of the enclosing text) even though it is obviously not an
English name. How far would you take this: Mozart, Jesus, Julius
Caesar?

What about my name, Bacarisse? It is French but I was born in the UK.
My grandfather, a composer, was born in Spain (and is thought of as a
Spanish composer) and *his* father was French. How would you mark up
this text?

My name is Benjamin Bacarisse. I am the grandson on the composer
Salvador Bacarisse whose life was saved by the fact that his father,
Sauver Bacarisse, had the foresight to register his birth with the
French Consulate in Madrid, thus enabling him to be French when he
had to free Spain after the Civil war.

--
Ben.
Aug 4 '07 #3

P: n/a
On 8/4/2007 3:58 AM, The Bicycling Guitarist wrote [in part]:
If I have a foreign word, name or phrase in one of my pages, I use the lang
attribute to specify the relevant language, e.g., <span lang="de">Manfred
von Richthofen</span>.
Proper nouns -- especially persons' names -- are rendered in English as
if they were indeed English.

In printed English text, a foreign term is generally rendered in
Italics. That is not done for names.

--

David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/>.

Anyone who thinks government owns a monopoly on inefficient, obstructive
bureaucracy has obviously never worked for a large corporation. 1997
Aug 4 '07 #4

P: n/a

"The Bicycling Guitarist" <Ch***@TheBicyclingGuitarist.netwrote in message
news:lZ*************@newsfe04.lga...
If I have a foreign word, name or phrase in one of my pages, I use the
lang
http://www.TheBicyclingGuitarist.net/studies/eagles.htm has many, many, MANY
instances of using span tags to indicate language (it is about a World War I
aviation novel concerning a German pilot and a French pilot).

Should I remove all or most of these span tags, or are they being used
correctly? Do they add to the structural or semantic markup of the site?
Thanks.
Aug 4 '07 #5

P: n/a
On 2007-08-04, Ben Bacarisse wrote:
My grandfather, a composer, was born in Spain (and is thought of as a
Spanish composer) and *his* father was French.
I am currenty listening to the guitar concerto in A minor, Op.72
(Narciso Yepes).

--
Chris F.A. Johnson <http://cfaj.freeshell.org>
================================================== =================
Author:
Shell Scripting Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach (2005, Apress)
Aug 5 '07 #6

P: n/a
Well bust mah britches and call me cheeky, on Sun, 05 Aug 2007 22:11:49 GMT
Chris F.A. Johnson scribed:
On 2007-08-04, Ben Bacarisse wrote:
>My grandfather, a composer, was born in Spain (and is thought of as a
Spanish composer) and *his* father was French.

I am currenty listening to the guitar concerto in A minor, Op.72
(Narciso Yepes).
Such a pity. I'm currently being enlightened by the dulcet tones of "All
Along The Watchtower" by Jimmy Hendrix...

--
Neredbojias
Half lies are worth twice as much as whole lies.
Aug 5 '07 #7

P: n/a
On 2007-08-05, Neredbojias wrote:
Well bust mah britches and call me cheeky, on Sun, 05 Aug 2007 22:11:49 GMT
Chris F.A. Johnson scribed:
>On 2007-08-04, Ben Bacarisse wrote:
>>My grandfather, a composer, was born in Spain (and is thought of as a
Spanish composer) and *his* father was French.

I am currenty listening to the guitar concerto in A minor, Op.72
(Narciso Yepes).

Such a pity. I'm currently being enlightened by the dulcet tones of "All
Along The Watchtower" by Jimmy Hendrix...
Sung by, but not written by JH. I have that here, too.

Right now, I'm listening to Glenn Gould's 1955 recording of the
Goldberg Variations.
--
Chris F.A. Johnson <http://cfaj.freeshell.org>
================================================== =================
Author:
Shell Scripting Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach (2005, Apress)
Aug 6 '07 #8

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