1. goemonburo
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    goemonburo New Member

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    Punctuation English book with spanish speakers

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by goemonburo, Jun 1, 2015.

    I am writing a book primarily in English but it's set in Mexico and often people speak Spanish. My question is when they ARE speaking Spanish, should I also be using Spanish punctuation, such as the inverted question mark and exclamation point? It seems jarring somehow.

    I am looking, ideally, for other trad published books that have done this exact same thing so I can compare. Thanks for any and all suggestions!
     
  2. Stacy C
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    Stacy C Banned

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    I would use the Spanish punctuation when the characters are speaking that language.
     
  3. goemonburo
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    goemonburo New Member

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    I guess it's two things: some are native speakers speaking, and yes, they probably should use it. But if a tourist yells, "Señor! I'd like another Tulum Sunset please, hold the ice!" is he really speaking Spanish enough to warrant the upside down exclamation point? A lot of the book is tourists sprinkling in Spanish words that they know. So currently it's been written with English punctuation.
     
  4. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't speak Spanish. If you're going to throw in Spanish in any quantity, I'm not going to read your book. If you're going to use a little Spanish to show who's a native speaking his own language, and who's a tourist reading from a phrase book, I can live with that (as long as the genuine Spanish isn't so wordy and untranslatable without context as to need a link to Google-Translate). So, if the genuine Spanish calls for genuine Spanish punctuation, OK. Just don't overdose on it, or you'll lose me.
     
  5. Stacy C
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    Stacy C Banned

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    In that example, no. I'd use English punctuation. A complete sentence in Spanish would use the Spanish punctuation, though, regardless of the speaker. Or you could have your Spanish speakers not ask any questions and not get all excited about stuff.
     

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