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    #1

    Capitalization

    Is it ever correct for the first word of a sentence not to be capitalized?

    I'm translating a contract in German that governs the services of a company (let's call it "wordatwork"), and its author does not capitalize the company's name, even if it's the first word of a sentence. I'm wondering if I should capitalize it.

    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: Capitalization

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    Is it ever correct for the first word of a sentence not to be capitalized?

    I'm translating a contract in German that governs the services of a company (let's call it "wordatwork"), and its author does not capitalize the company's name, even if it's the first word of a sentence. I'm wondering if I should capitalize it.

    Thanks.
    Well, maybe he does not capitalize it in German because he wants to emphasize it, as a brand name or something like that. As a marketing strategy, let us say. But you would have to confirm it by obtaining other documents relating to that company, written by other different authors as well.

    If that is the case, at first, I would not capitalize it in the translated version, trying to be as close as possible to the original spirit of the text.

    However, if your translation is a technical one, for juridical purposes, I would stick with the traditional English grammar rules and do capitalize it in the translation.

    It is a difficult matter, I hope you can read and consider other opinions as well, reflect about it, and make up your mind. After that, do not forget to tell us your final decision.

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    #3

    Re: Capitalization

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    Is it ever correct for the first word of a sentence not to be capitalized?

    I'm translating a contract in German that governs the services of a company (let's call it "wordatwork"), and its author does not capitalize the company's name, even if it's the first word of a sentence. I'm wondering if I should capitalize it.

    Thanks.
    It's traditional to capitalise names such as de Gaulle, van Lier, etc. at the start of a sentence. "De Gaulle was a French president".
    ABC Sport - De Villiers cleared of misconduct for example.

    The Australian Government Style Manual recommends this also when starting a sentence with other names, such as amazons.com or eBook, where there is no ambiguity, or by rearranging the sentence so the name does not start the sentence.

    "Amazon.com is a website. I buy my books from amazon.com."

    ymnisky [sic] makes a good point though. If people want to start their name with a small letter, I prefer not to capitalise it, the same way as I expect my name to be capitalised.

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