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Apr 13, 2011 03:21 PM

How can I corrrectly spell food words/names in foreign (to me) languages?

Not sure where to post this, but when I want to type souffle in French I just type souffle--

which isn't really right--

where online should I go for puncuation from other languages?

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  1. do you have a mac or pc?

    1. I think you are asking about how to include diacritical marks in your typing, rather than about places to look up spellings in foreign languages.

      If you use a PC with Windows, you can look up character maps, or you can save this list of diacritic Alt+ shortcuts (to get the character, type Alt+ the number below on the numeric extended keypad).

      Ç 128

      ü 129

      é 130

      â 131

      ä 132

      à 133

      å 134

      ç 135

      ê 136

      ë 137

      è 138

      ï 139

      î 140

      ì 141

      Ä 142

      Å 143

      ç 144

      æ 145

      Æ 146

      ô 147

      ö 148

      ò 149

      û 150

      ù 151

      ÿ 152

      Ö 153

      Ü 154

      ¢ 155

      £ 156

      ¥ 157

      ₧ 158

      ƒ 159

      á 160

      í 161

      ó 162

      ú 163

      ñ 164

      Ñ 165

      º 167

      ¿ 168

      To write soufflé, on my Windows PC, I type soufflAlt+130, which reads soufflé.

      1. soufflé
        Hey! It works -- I struggled for a few minutes because the letter with the accent doesn't appear until you take your hand from the key, but I think I've got it!
        Thank you both for replying, I do have a pc -- have meant to ask about this forever.
        Add curaçao....bake @ 350º....shave and a haircut 25¢
        What fun!

        9 Replies
        1. re: blue room

          You might consider the negatives of doing this.

          For Chowhound, few peole are going to use the diacritical marks. That means when searching if the word is only spelled with those markst, search will not find it.

          At other times Chowhound has had problems displaying those and other odd characters, so they get converted to weird displays. That is not only true of Chowhound but other sites as well.

          My favorite, so to speak, is the Spanish language site that can't deal with English contractions. So when I key in "Me voy a casa" ... I'm going home ... the site translates it as "I'm going home".

          So that similar situation happens with English sites that can't deal with non-English characters.

          1. re: rworange

            Ah, that explains those funny little groups of characters I see --

            it's not something the writer has done wrong, as I thought before.

            I'll keep your information in mind, especially when searching.

            I also found another "SiteTalk" post this morning on the same subject


            All very helpful.

            1. re: rworange

              For Spanish at least, most search engines/site search function don't distinguish between letters with diacriticals and those without. I did a couple of searches on my local board and got the same number of hits both ways. When I used a diacritical in my search string, the search returned results with the same spelling, but without the diacritical.

              The only place that comes to mind that is picky about this is the RAE's online dictionary. And even there, if you don't use the proper diacriticals, it will still return a result- it's just that they can't resist telling you that you were wrong.

              1. re: Naco

                The problem comes and goes. It may work today and not tommorrow. I've been living in Guatemala this past year and spending a lot of time on learning Spanish and my experience has been that there are problems web wide dealing with these characters.

                Yes, big search engines and well-funded and programed sites have no problems. People can do what the want obviously. I just wanted to throw that thought out there about potential problems based on my experience.

                1. re: rworange

                  I have been speaking Spanish as long as I've been online, and it's really not a serious problem, especially now. If you're new to the language it's more likely that you're misspelling things.

                  1. re: Naco

                    Not keying a thing. Just doing a lot of reading and searching. Different people have different experiences on line. For me, I've been running across a lot of junk. However, fine your experience with these characters might be for me, I've run across a lot of bad formatting in searches of restaurants, hotels and cuisines.

                    As I mentioned, Google has no problem, but clicking on many links, various websites and blogs have some screwy screens due to the Spanish characters.

                    1. re: rworange

                      If you're doing searches, you're having to type things out, and possibly misspelling them.

                      1. re: Naco

                        Nope. I never use Spanish characters when using Google. If I type "manana" without the curly thing on top, I'll get results back. It is just that some websites display that in a screwy way.


                        Although I have foreign language sets installed on my compter ... and some don't which is another reason for the screwy display ... for me, some stuff gets badly displayed. Your expierience isn't mine. And if it is browser or software related it does't really matter. Someone may fix most of this personally, but there are a lot of people who won't.

                        This wasn't meant to be a debate about what I may or may not be doing incorrectly, just a note about my personal experience. Anyway, the OP can decide whether to consider this.

                        1. re: rworange

                          As I said, whether or not you put in all your tildes won't normally make a big difference. I'm talking about situations where you confuse asar and azar, for example. In any case, my original point was that diacriticals don't make a huge difference in search results, so the OP should not be discouraged from using them.

                          Display problems are a totally different issue, although the standard Windows fonts should all support Spanish diacriticals.