Forwarded by Peter Constable on 2002-07-26:
> I started to collect the quote usage of various languages for a friend
> in need. I started with the description in the Unicode standard
> (marked 1) but later found other, contradicting sources as well
> (marked 2). So, I would like to ask you to correct this list with
> whatever language you have completely reliable information about.

...

> German 1: low-9 high-6 (also >> <<)
> German 2: low-99 high-66

The official German orthographic rules can be found in
<http://www.ids-mannheim.de/grammis/reform/download.html>
and <http://www.ids-mannheim.de/grammis/reform/>.
The quote symbols are covered in § 89 through § 95.

Note that only the RTF version has the typographically correct
quote symbols, whilst the PDF, Word, RTF, and HTML versions
have US-American quote symbols -- probably an artefact of the
conversion software, unnoticed by the editor. (RS: Hint, hint!)


The correct quote symbols, according to the German typographic
tradition, are
- either low-99 high-66 (basic level) + low-9 high-6 (nested level)
- or     »      «       (basic level) + ›     ‹      (nested level)

E. g.
   „Das war ein Satz aus Bölls ‚Wo warst du, Adam?‘, den viele nicht 
kennen“, sagte er.
or
   »Das war ein Satz aus Bölls ›Wo warst du, Adam?‹, den viele nicht 
kennen«, sagte er.

In HTML, I would write:
   &#8222;Das war ein Satz aus Bölls &#8218;Wo warst du, Adam?&#8216;,
   den viele nicht kennen&#8220;, sagte er.
or, respectively,
   &raquo;Das war ein Satz aus Bölls &#8250;Wo warst du, Adam?&#8249;,
   den viele nicht kennen&#laquo;, sagte er.

Note that the US opening (left) quotes are the German closing (right) ones.
This is probably the reason why some popular Microsoft fonts do get the
high-66, and high-6, quotes entirely wrong, viz.
- Tahoma
- Verdana
- Courier New
(while some other do it right, e. g. Andale Mono, Trebuchet MS, Georgia,
Arial Black, Impact, Arial, Times New Roman.)

Best wishes,
   Otto Stolz






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