Status: this is a controversial proposal born out of http://musicbrainz.org/show/edit/?editid=9920518, do not use it until the discussion has settled!
This page outlines the capitalization rules for the Vietnamese language. It forms part of the MusicBrainz CapitalizationStandard.
Bằng tiếng Việt
Xin bạn viết bài này bằng tiếng Việt.
These rules apply to album and track titles:
- Do not capitalize any word except for:
- the first letter of the text
- the first letter of a sentence after . ! ? / :
- the first letter of proper and geographical names (persons, cities, nations, etc.)
Punctuation (no space)
Like English, Vietnamese does not use any space before punctuation, including but not limited to ? ! ; : . , ...
Punctuation (with space)
In Vietnamese there is a no-break space (" " U+00A0) — preferably narrow no-break space (" " U+202F) — before the following punctuation:
- The exclamation mark ("!" U+0021)
- The colon (":" U+003A)
- The semicolon (";" U+003B)
- The question mark ("?" U+003F)
In Musicbrainz, as there are few chances to have word-warp problems with song and album titles, the narrow no-break space as well as the no-break space could seem overkill. Thus the use of the standard space character.
There is, however, no space before:
- The comma ("," U+002C)
- The dot ("." U+002E)
- The ellipsis ("…" U+2026 or 3×dot "..." 3×U+002E)
Examples (no space)
- Em còn nhớ hay em đã quên?
- Nhớ về Hà Nội
- Hà Nội café ơi!
- Liên khúc: Đêm cuối / Giận hờn
Examples (with space)
- Em còn nhớ hay em đã quên ?
- Nhớ về Hà Nội
- Hà Nội café ơi !
- Liên khúc : Đêm cuối / Giận hờn
Reference (with space)
Vietnamese language teaching book for 7 year old pupils
Bộ giáo dục và đào tạo — Lớp một (1), Tiếng Việt, Tập một : Chữ cái và vần
Ministry of education and training — First class (1), Vietnamese language, first volume : Letters and syllabs
[[[Image:img0780qp9.jpg]] (A http://img261.imageshack.us/img261/1830/img0780qp9.th.jpg](A]) [[[Image:img0782yw7.jpg]] (B http://img444.imageshack.us/img444/6795/img0782yw7.th.jpg](B]) [[[Image:img0783gx1.jpg]] (C http://img509.imageshack.us/img509/9884/img0783gx1.th.jpg](C]) [[[Image:img0784nc9.jpg]] (D http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/9907/img0784nc9.th.jpg](D]) [[[Image:img0785ol4.jpg]] (E http://img264.imageshack.us/img264/5439/img0785ol4.th.jpg](E])
- A: This is the cover. Bộ giáo dục và đào tạo stands for Ministry of education and training
- B: Nhớ lời Bác dạy : Chăm học, chăm làm ; Bố mẹ đều khen ; Thầy cô vui vẻ. (Remember uncle Hồ Chí Minh's words: Serious in studies and work ; Parents will praise ; Teachers will rejoice. (^_^)
- C: Bay đi đâu cả tối ngày sếu ơi ?
- D: Em đi máy bay !
- E: Here you can see the other books for the same class (math, nature, etc.). I have number 1. and 2. This is number 1. You also can see some info like printed in 150000 copies in 1999, etc.
- Yes, there is a half-space here. This shows that this style is not completely foreign in Vietnamese. --foolip
Here you can see the use of narrow no-break space.
- Sorry, but to me this looks like no space at all, I take this as support for the "no space" style. "Looks" like Unicode Character 'ZERO WIDTH NO-BREAK SPACE' (U+FEFF) ;-) --foolip
- You must be joking, the space is 3 times bigger than the no space of the dot. Look at the lower right corner. TỨC QUÁ ! shows the same spacing between words than between words and exclamation mark. -- jesus2099 07:06, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Translated literature book
Trang Tử (莊子) : Nam Hoa kinh (南華經)
[[[Image:img0793qw5.jpg]] (A http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/4679/img0793qw5.th.jpg](A]) [[[Image:img0794fe9.jpg]] (B http://img165.imageshack.us/img165/3053/img0794fe9.th.jpg](B]) [[[Image:img0798ih2.jpg]] (C http://img201.imageshack.us/img201/6903/img0798ih2.th.jpg](C])
- A: Cover. Vietnamese adaptation / translation by Nguyễn Hiến Lê. Nhà xuất bản Văn hóa stands for ~ published by (Vh) Văn hóa (=culture).
- B: Here you can see the use of no-break space before exclamation mark, semicolon and question mark
- C: Here you can see the use of no-break space before exclamation mark, colon, semicolon and question mark
Reference (no space)
Quoting Một số quy tắc soạn thảo văn bản cơ bản:
- Các dấu ngắt câu như chấm (.), phẩy (,), hai chấm (:), chấm phảy (;), chấm than , hỏi chấm (?) phải được gõ sát vào từ đứng trước nó, tiếp theo là một dấu trắng nếu sau đó vẫn còn nội dung.
In brief, this says that punctuation .,:;!? should be written togther with the preceding word (i.e. no space).
Searching for the above text reveals that it is replicated on many educational websites and the like.
In the top million site rankings (fetched 2009-02-09) there are 208 websites under the .vn domain, which should be a good sample of how Vietnamese is typically written in digital form. Using a python script I downloaded the front page from all of those 208 sites, extracted the text (not including HTML markup, scripts or style sheets) and counted the occurences where exclamation and question mark was preceded by whitespace or not. I have gone over the results to see that the matches are for actual text so the results are not skewed by misencoding errors, etc. Sites which were either unavailable or did not contain any such punctuation are not included.
|Total||578 (86%)||96 (14%)|
Edit conflict - other version:
Apart from the simple comparison by percentage, it is worth noting that there are only 4 sites which consistenly use the "with space" style, but 3 of those have only a single instance of "!" or "?" and the 4th has just 2. Conversely, there are 81 sites which consistently use the "no space" style, with up to as many 16 occurences of that punctuation style and an average of 4.63. An in-depth analysis of these sites would probably reveal that almost all use both punctuation styles on some page, but it's difficult to not see "with space" as the odd duckling here, a typo in many cases. nld.com.vn seems to be semi-consistent in using the "with space" style, while teen.vn is just a case study in horrible punctuation...
Edit conflict - your version:
Apart from the simple comparison by percentage, it is worth noting that there are only 4 sites which consistenly use the "with space" style, but 3 of those have only a single instance of "!" or "?" and the 4th has just 2. Conversely, there are 81 sites which consistently use the "no space" style, with up to as many 16 occurences of that punctuation style and an average of 4.63. An in-depth analysis of these sites would probably reveal that almost all use both punctuation styles on some page, but it's difficult to not see "with space" as the odd duckling here, a typo in many cases. nld.com.vn seems to be semi-consistent in using the "with space" style, while teen.vn is just a case study in horrible punctuation (not because it doesn't support my case, go see for yourself what I'm talking about).
End of edit conflict
Verdict: When Vietnamese is written in digital form, the convention is to not include a space before punctuation. Note that this is different from French where the "with space" style can be readily found, so it's not just a simply case of "digital laziness".
Hi Foolip, I took the liberty of changing your draft to conform with my official children school book that comes from the ministry of education and training of Việt Nam.
Actually I browsed 4 random books of my library to find out that there were inconsistencies between publishers. Even if that may not be statistically correct, out of 4 random books, I got 3 books to support the space-before-punctuation style versus 1 book supporting no-space-before-punctuation. The 3 books include a (actually because it is vol.1 + vol.2 but hey) very official book because it is the vietnamese teaching book for first class of first school (7 years old, lớp một của trường tiểu học / cấp một).
In Reference, you can find those quick pictures I took yesterday evening.
- I think you were a bit too liberal in your changes, putting both versions in for comparison. --foolip