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Thread: Simple Chinese punctuation introduction

 
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    Forum User iyuanobi's Avatar
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    Default Simple Chinese punctuation introduction

    Hi all! Surfing the internet I found an easy to follow article that points out the main characters of Chinese punctuation so would like to share it with you
    -------------

    ORIENTATION OF PUNCTUATION
    Since Chinese text can be written vertically (column written top to down, columns written right to left) or horizontally, some punctuations adapt to these changes. Each Chinese character occupies a square space, and so each punctuation mark does the same. As such, Chinese punctuation marks are called full-width, as opposed to English half-width punctuation, because of the space they take up.
    Certain punctuation marks rotate 90 degrees when the text is written in a vertical form. Square quotation marks, parenthesis, and book title marks are a few of the symbols that follow this rule.

    MARKS SIMILAR TO WESTERN PUNCTUATION
    These symbols directly translate over from Western to Eastern languages, including their meaning, appearance, and usage.
    !(惊叹号/jīng tn ho) is an exclamation mark
    ?(问号/wn ho) is a question mark
    ;(分号/fēn ho) is a semicolon
    :(冒号/mo ho) is a colon
    ( ) (括号/guā ho or ku ho ) are parentheses
    ,(逗号/Du ho) is a comma. However, it cannot be used to separate different parts of the whole list; there is a separate comma for that use.

    MARKS DISTINCT TO THE CHINESE LANGUAGE

    While some punctuation marks are similar or exactly the same as their Western counterparts, there also exists punctuation that are exclusive to Chinese text.
    。(句号/j ho) is a full stop, equivalent to a period in Western punctuation.
    、(顿号/dn ho) is an enumerated comma, used when listing things in sentences. For example, I like red, blue and purple. would be written as 我喜欢红色、蓝色和紫色。
    《... 》(书名号/shū mng ho) are used to signify book titles, song titles, movie titles, etc. In vertical text it would rotate, appearing as ︽︾.
    「...」/ ... (引号/yǐn ho) are both used for quotation marks. In Traditional Chinese, whether the text is oriented vertically or horizontally, square quotation marks are used. If the text is horizontal, 「...」would be used, where the ellipses would be replaced with text. If the text is vertical, the quotation marks rotate 90 degrees, so it becomes ﹁...﹂. In English when text is quoted within a quote it would be represented as . In Chinese, however, the double brackets lay within single brackets, so it would appear as 「...『...』...」. Simplified Chinese adheres to other sets of rules; it uses Western style quotation marks for horizontal text and corner bracket quotation marks for vertical text.

    Source> How To Use: Chinese Punctuation

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    Moderator eidjit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Simple Chinese punctuation introduction

    That's very interesting!
    I'm having some trouble fully understanding though.
    Could you provide us with some day-to-day examples? (alongside their translation in English and/or Spanish)
    _Eidji

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    Default Re: Simple Chinese punctuation introduction

    Thanks Iyuanobi!!!

    Your post is like the Holy Grail for DTPers. I've been fighting with Chinese and Japanese files for years and your introduction helps me a lot!

    You rule buddy

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    Default Re: Simple Chinese punctuation introduction

    That's me again Iyuanobi.
    Just to ask you...

    What are the rules for Bold and Italic usage? I guess you don't technically use them but now in the age of globalization is not that bad to add bolds and italics in chinese characters.

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    Default Re: Simple Chinese punctuation introduction

    It's worth noting that the comma is the same as the English comma, except it takes the space of one full character and is positioned in the middle of the line.

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    Forum User iyuanobi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Simple Chinese punctuation introduction

    Quote Originally Posted by eidjit View Post
    That's very interesting!
    I'm having some trouble fully understanding though.
    Could you provide us with some day-to-day examples? (alongside their translation in English and/or Spanish)
    Hi Eidji, I think you are saying that just because I said that the article is easy to follow haha.
    Well in simple words, Chinese has a particularity that is the word orientation. This is because traditionally the words are written vertically from top to bottom and right to left. However, due to the i18n and adaptation of western language rules, nowadays it is acceptable also the horizontal orientation.
    For example: Tom said: "I am the winner!"
    Horizontal orientation: 汤姆说:「我是贏家!」
    Vertical orientation would be:
    Last edited by iyuanobi; 3 Weeks Ago at 12:48 PM.

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    Forum User iyuanobi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Simple Chinese punctuation introduction

    Quote Originally Posted by santiagop View Post
    That's me again Iyuanobi.
    Just to ask you...

    What are the rules for Bold and Italic usage? I guess you don't technically use them but now in the age of globalization is not that bad to add bolds and italics in chinese characters.
    Hi santi, far as I know, traditionally there are no bold and italic settings in Chinese as they are concepts dirived from western languages, even thougth they are broadly accepted nowadays. However, there is one issue that you have to take into account when doing the DTP tasks.
    When the font used is not designed with bold option, by using the "B" (bold option in Office Word) what you do is to force the program to do it artificially with the setting and it ruins the character itself.
    See exmples:


    Also, in the case of italics, Chinese does not really have italics and this is because of the structure of the character itself. That is to say, when you write the characters in italics, they are no longer the original ones as you broke the structure for wich they were created. So, even though documents with characters in italics are common today, specially for translated documents, we should avoid it when possible. In fact, there is practically no text in Chiense (source) that uses italics.

    Source: 大眾*型* (4): 理想的排版強調法 , justfont blog
    Last edited by iyuanobi; 4 Weeks Ago at 10:53 AM.

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    Default Re: Simple Chinese punctuation introduction

    Quote Originally Posted by Maximiliano View Post
    It's worth noting that the comma is the same as the English comma, except it takes the space of one full character and is positioned in the middle of the line.
    The one that is positioned in the middle of the line is the comma for traditional Chinese. For simplified Chinese the comma is also positioned at the bottom line. The only difference is the space behind it.
    See example below.

    So they both occupies the space of a character but one is suspended in middle of line and one is placed at the left bottom similar to the western ones.
    Last edited by iyuanobi; 4 Weeks Ago at 10:54 AM.

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    Default Re: Simple Chinese punctuation introduction

    Thanks Iyuanobi, your posts are really helpful!
    So, when you want to emphasize some words you put them between brackets (just as we use italics) or you make them bold?

    Sometimes I've also seen Chinese characteres with an extra dot at the bottom. Do you know what does it mean?

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    Forum User iyuanobi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Simple Chinese punctuation introduction

    Quote Originally Posted by santiagop View Post
    Thanks Iyuanobi, your posts are really helpful!
    So, when you want to emphasize some words you put them between brackets (just as we use italics) or you make them bold?

    Sometimes I've also seen Chinese characteres with an extra dot at the bottom. Do you know what does it mean?
    Yes, you make them bold to emphasize them. We should avoid the Chinese characters in italics when possible.
    The blackets you are seeing in the example is showing that its the words of the author. It says: (There are no italics in Chinese)
    About the dots below the characters, they are a very traditional way of emphazising words in the text. Nowadays, these dots are less used, but still exist, as they are mostly replaced by the boldface.
    Last edited by iyuanobi; 3 Weeks Ago at 12:52 PM.

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