How to Write Dialogues

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Why Write Dialogues

In order to provide context, sometimes single sentences are not enough.

Dialogues can also be used to show how non-sentences can be used as responses.

Formatting Standards

English. Put each speaker's statements with a pair of (double) quotes. We use "straight" quotes and not "curly" quotes on No dashes are used to show alternation between speakers.

  • "I caught a bad cold. Now I feel terrible." "That's too bad."

German. Use the following format:

  • „Ich bin ganz stark erkältet.“ – „Das ist aber ärgerlich!“

The dash must be a dash (Alt + 0150), not a hyphen. It should ideally be preceded by a non-breaking space (Alt + 255). Alt codes for the opening and closing typographical quotation marks used in German are Alt + 0132 and Alt + 0147.

Esperanto. You should use:

  • „Mi ege malvarmumas.” – „Tio ja estas bedaŭrinda.”

French. You should use:

  • « Sentence 1. » « Sentence 2. »

On Windows, one can insert « with Alt + 174 and » with Alt + 175. A space should be inserted after and before the guillemets, ideally a non-breaking space (Alt + 255). There is no need to add a hyphen or a dash at the beginning of the sentences.

Japanese - Put each sentence in quotes 「 」without 。 There is no additional space between these quotes 」「.

  • 「悪い風邪を引きました」「それはいけませんね」

Portuguese. You should use "SENTENCE 1" "SENTENCE 2" (Same as English)

Spanish. You should use "SENTENCE 1" "SENTENCE 2" (Same as English)

Swedish. Use the following format:

  • ”Jag har dragit på mig en rejäl förkylning.” ”Men vad synd!” *

Other Languages.

Most languages that use the quote character ("), are using the same standard in the Tatoeba Corpus as English does.



This might be a good guide. However, the Tatoeba Corpus has adopted "straight" quotes as the standard rather than "curly" quotes.


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