The English language, or rather, English speakers love their uppercase letters. Usage of capital letters is evolving rapidly, and differs from one region to another, but from a general point of view, it The alphabet in lower case and upper caseis fair to say that uppercase letters are proliferating in English texts. Does that necessarily mean that you should keep them in your translation?

The mere fact that I am asking the question probably gives the answer away… The use you make of uppercase letters in your translations should be guided by the way they are used in the target language only. For example, some language commissions or national printing offices have issued specific typographical rules that anyone wishing to publish a text should follow. You can also do a search in Google – for example, the search ‘uppercase letters + rules’ returned this page which gives a set of guidelines on using capital letters in English. Another solution is to look at what a leading and respected newspaper published in the target language does, and follow its lead. If you wanted to find out about the way capital letters are used in Spain, you could have a look at El País for instance; for Argentina, La Nación or Clarín could be useful resources.

The crux of the matter is that you should assess the need for uppercase letters in your translations critically. Don’t simply reproduce them because they are in the original!

Leave a comment to ask us questions if anything is unclear, or to share your tips and tricks with other TTS translators.

Stefan