Created By: StarSwordJune 27, 2013 Last Edited By: StarSwordJuly 15, 2013
Troped

Translation Punctuation

Use of nonstandard punctuation and/or formatting to indicate Translation Convention.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Took it to Lost And Found and checked Painting The Medium. This is mentioned under Translation Convention but doesn't appear to have its own trope yet.

Image and quote will be right-aligned on launch.

Rolling Updates

Above: Asurian. Below: English. Notice a difference?

In textual or partly textual works where characters speak other languages, the author may render them in the work's language so that the reader can understand them. However, when multiple languages are spoken thus, how do you tell which is which?

Some authors address this by using punctuation other than quote marks to indicate that characters are speaking a different language that is being dubbed as English. The various type of brackets are a frequent choice here (angle brackets < > are particularly common). Other options include using unusual formatting or All Lowercase Letters.

A word of caution to editors of this page: Be careful with your own formatting as some forms may be interpreted by TV Tropes as wiki markup rather than text. To be on the safe side, you may want to wrap quotations in the [= =] markup to prevent this.

A form of Painting The Medium.

Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
  • The Funny Animals in the Curtis/Husted Katmandu world use no marks when speaking in their native tongue. Square brackets indicate Plains, a lingua franca common to many Indian tribes. Angle brackets denote Trade, which is usually reserved for conversing with non-Indian settlers.
  • Angle brackets were used in some of the later Elf Quest comics to indicate the use of a language other than elvish. Earlier comics used different shaped word balloons instead.
  • Averted for one word in an issue of The Incredible Hulk which is focusing on the villains of the story, who are all Soviet agents. The standard < > is in use except for one Establishing Shot of the capital city, which is captioned "Moscova" along with a Note From Ed saying (paraphrased) "I know we're doing the Translation Convention thing, but it's their capital."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]] [[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]] [[/folder]]

[[Folder: Visual Novels]]
  • Umineko When They Cry: Depending on the language. The characters' native language is Japanese, and when a character is speaking in English or another language the dialogue will be written inside square brackets or angle brackets. This is used more in the author-endorsed fan patch by Witch Hunt than the original Japanese to avoid confusion about the dialogue.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]] [[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
  • Languages that use clicks (most famously seen in the Bushmen of The Gods Must Be Crazy fame) usually represent them with a "!".
[[/folder]]

Indexes: Language Tropes, Painting The Medium, Sublime Rhyme, Text Tropes

Community Feedback Replies: 20
  • June 27, 2013
    Chabal2
    Languages that use clicks (most famously seen in the Bushmen of The Gods Must Be Crazy) usually represent them with a "!".
  • June 27, 2013
    StarSword
    Sorry, should I put that as a Real Life example or as Film?
  • June 27, 2013
    Chabal2
  • June 27, 2013
    StarSword
    Thx.
  • June 28, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    Removed the redundant square brackets in the caption markup and added the Megatokyo example.

    Something else that comes to mind but I'm not 100% clear on the details is the auto-translator in Final Fantasy XI. Auto-translated phrases appear surrounded in colored symbols (when first typed into chat they're curly braces, and when sent they look like either semicircles or triangles, as if they're filled-in parentheses or angle brackets).
  • June 28, 2013
    StarSword
    ^Thanks for the brackets fix. Dunno what happened; looked to me like I had the ones I needed.
  • June 28, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Web Comics

    EDIT: Another Web Comics example:
  • June 28, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Comic Books
    • The Funny Animals in the Curtis/Husted Katmandu world use no marks when speaking in their native tongue. Square brackets indicate Plains, a lingua franca common to many Indian tribes. Angle brackets denote Trade, which is usually reserved for conversing with non-Indian settlers.
  • June 30, 2013
    StarSword
    Bump.
  • July 1, 2013
    Melkior
    Angle brackets were used in some of the later ElfQuest comics to indicate the use of a language other than elvish. Earlier comics used different shaped word balloons instead.
  • July 1, 2013
    StarSword
    Decided to expand this to include Unconventional Formatting as a translation indicator.
  • July 1, 2013
    xanderiskander
    [[Folder: Visual Novels]]
    • Umineko When They Cry: Depending on the language. When a character is speaking in english or another language the dialogue will be written inside brackets or the "greater than" and "less than" symbols. The native language for the characters is Japanese. This is used moreso in the author-endorsed Fan patch by witch hunt than the original japanese to avoid confusion about the dialogue.
  • July 1, 2013
    StarSword
    ^Edited a bit and added.
  • July 5, 2013
    StarSword
    Name thoughts? (Considering possibly renaming Translation Indication since I've expanded the definition.) Hats? Examples?
  • July 6, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    To be honest, this looks pretty good already. (I find it weird that I'm still the only one, who has given this a hat).

    By the way, the Real Life section is usually located at the very bottom of the page.
  • July 6, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Averted for one word in an issue of The Incredible Hulk which is focusing on the villains of the story, who are all Soviet agents. The standard < > is in use except for one Establishing Shot of the capital city, which is captioned "Moscova" along with a Note From Ed saying (paraphrased) "I know we're doing the Translation Convention thing, but it's their capitol."
  • July 6, 2013
    StarSword
    ^^That varies by page for some reason.
  • July 10, 2013
    StarSword
    Ok, so I checked on the forums and according to Madrugada the policy is to put it at the bottom of the page.
  • July 15, 2013
    StarSword
    Anybody got anything to add, or objections to me going ahead and launching? (I'd like to have all five hats but four is acceptable.)
  • July 15, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Nervermind. It was already launched.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable