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Follow Webster's.

Foreign terms that have not become anglicized should be set in italics on first use and given proper accents if from a Latin alphabet. A word may become roman and still keep its diacritical mark: mañana. Anglicized words may be italicized on occasion to emphasize their foreign flavor: mañana, kat.

Place-names from foreign languages appear in roman; retain diacritical marks if original is from a Latin alphabet except in conventional names: Istanbul, Tehran, Tokyo. If a place-name is transliterated from a non-Latin alphabet, diacritical marks are generally not used except on atlas and supplement maps. Place-names from Arabic or Cyrillic follow the common anglicized spellings. Follow NG atlas, then the Board on Geographic Names.

Languages with Latin alphabets: Retain the original diacritical marks (accents, apostrophes, dots, cedillas, glottals, etc.) in unanglicized words in the following languages: Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hawaiian, Hungarian, Icelandic, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish. Some anglicized terms from these languages also retain their accents (follow Webster’s).

Modern style is to retain accents on French capital letters, especially in French place-names, as in Île de la Cité. The word à does not carry an accent when capitalized.

In Spanish retain accents on capital letters.

Use accents on American Indian words as well as on words of other indigenous peoples if the language is written in the Latin alphabet.

Although Vietnamese is written in the Latin alphabet, the number of accent marks can be distracting and may therefore be omitted.

Commonly used diacritics:


The diaeresis is being dropped, though classical names and a few others still retain it: Laocoön, Brontë, the opera Aïda.

Note:    Omit glottal stops on Maya words and names.
                Retain glottal stops in Hawaiian terms:

Note that the glottal stop appears as a 6, not as a 9 in many fonts.

Languages with non-Latin alphabets: Do not use diacritical marks for place-names in magazine text or on page maps even if they appear on supplement maps or in the atlas. However, place-names in the text of a supplement map itself should follow the map spelling, including the use of diacritical marks.

Non-Latin scripts do not equate letter for letter with English; different authorities use different systems of transliteration. Consult an authority. The preference of the individual should control the anglicizing of a personal name.

The following languages are among those that do not have Latin alphabets: Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Georgian, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Serbian.