¿Translation from English to Spanish... subtle details to look for?

theplatypus's picture

Is your “industrial diet” pushing you towards


When I place the copy into inDesign, the ¿'s baseline drops(like above has it). I correct whenever I encounter it for a cleaner look (has it appears in the translation), but I'm curious if there are other subtle tweaks that the English language doesn't have to worry about, but the Spanish do. Treatment of accents and such. Does anyone have typical things they correct when going through their Spanish copy?

guifa's picture

There aren't aren't a whole lot of accents, so the only one would maybe be fí. In all caps raising the ¿ can be nice but isn't obligatory. A quick look at advertisements in and around Madrid will show it's not the norm.

The m-dash comes along a bit more in Spanish and has spacing rules that can differ from English styles. It spacing usage in Spanish is equivalent to a parenthesis. That is:

Foo —bar— foo. But:
Foo —bar—, foo.

If it's done in a handwriting font, (this may or may not apply in South America), the capital i will frequently maintain its dot. And universally in the Spanish-speaking world, the tilde can transform into a macron both in handwriting and more geometric fonts.

Nick Shinn's picture

Brasíl: the accent hits the following serif in some typefaces.

guifa's picture

Nick: Brasil doesn't have an accent in Spanish, but it would hold true for í+stem (bhlk) although off the top of my head I can't think of many examples. íbamos, um, and that's it.

On second thought, a quick search through El buscón (Ricardo López Aranda) lists the following í+stem combinations:

sacrílego (+derivatives)
perdíla (modern orthography: perdila)
vendíla (m.o.: vendíla)
díle (m.o.: dile)

íbanse (+derivatives)

ÍH: none
ÍK: none

Nick Shinn's picture

Must have been thinking of Brasília...

theplatypus's picture

Hey, thanks a lot! This is good stuff. :)

best regards,

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