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4.3 When to CAPITALIZE

The English language has some rules for capitalization of titles, chapters, acronym expansions and the like. These rules are neither strict nor uniform, although the gnu.org website strives to apply them consistently. They do not make sense for many other languages, but unfortunately, many translators erroneously duplicate the capitalization in their translation.

Examples for common (and correct) English capitalization is the title of the article “Why Software Should Be Free” or “Free Software Foundation” (FSF). However, in languages that do not have such grammar rules it is wrong to write “Dlaczego Oprogramowanie Powinno Być Wolne” (Polish) or “Fondation Pour Le Logiciel Libre” (French).

Another prominent and widely spread mistake is to write your own language with a capital letter in the list of translations when languages are written beginning with a small letter according to your own rules6. In other words, it is right to write ‘English’ or ‘Deutsch’ (because in English and German languages are capitalized), but not ‘Français’ or ‘Português’—write them as ‘français’ or ‘português’, respectively.


Footnotes

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The lists of translations are generated automatically. The names of the languages are defined in a specific file, languages.txt (see languages.txt in The GNUnited Nations Manual).