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LCC International University > News and Events > “Quotation marks”

“Quotation marks”


Title: “Quotation marks”

Joe said, “I love writing classes.”

Joe said ,,I love writing classes.”

Joe said, <<I love writing classes.>>

Quotation marks are not standard across languages. I should have known this. But I am always surprised when my students use quotation marks that look like commas or pointed arrows. They often are transferring the style of quotation marks from their first language to their English texts. Once I realized this, it seemed perfectly understandable.

Languages (and punctuation) are living; they adapt, and they are transformed over time. Languages are influenced by neighboring languages. Languages don’t have borders.

Check out this good web page showing me a “map of quotation marks in different European languages.

It seems that French quotation marks << hello >> are also used in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine in the east, Spain and Portugal in the west, and Greece in southern Europe.

The British, Americans, and Irish use the elevated, double quotation marks “hello.” However, the single quotation marks are becoming more popular.

The German style of quotation marks ,,hello“ seem to be widely accepted in most of central Europe. But be careful because Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro accept the marks facing the same direction; while Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, and Slovakia accept the marks facing different directions.

I thought quotation marks were simple and standard across languages. I was wrong! It is way more complicated. But for language nerds, this is super fun to learn.

I post an inspirational quotation at the beginning of each of my lessons. I will leave you with a few of my favorite quotations. You can decide how you want to put the quotation marks.

Never tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon. (Anonymous)

For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who's going to stop me. (Ayn Rand)

Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you. (Oscar Wilde)

If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place. (Nora Roberts)

Author: Robin Gingerich, Ph.D., MA TESOL Program Director at LCC International University.

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