Today, I have been doing an 'as-it-is' translation of a non-English text. I have asked the same question before but I think that then I was unable to provide a context for my question to the answerers. Actually, some doctrinal quotations are given there and the original writer or researcher, before quoting them, has written many times sentences like "If said in the words of ..." or "If quoted the words of ..."

It was suggested to me here that, as such sentences may show that something was already said and I'm going to quote them, I am better to use sentences like "In the words of ..." or "... says" etc. One of my friends, not here, suggested to me "According to the words of ..." or "As per the quoted words of ..." I got confused with "As per the quoted words of ..." As it is an as-it-is translation, I might have chosen to do it my own way, but I want to consider this seriously. I am still wondering whether "If quoted the words of ..." will be considered wrong. And I think "quoted words" means "the original writer has quoted it from somewhere else." In short, I've been looking for a lot of alternates for "If quoted the words of ..."

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    "If said in the words of ..." and "If quoted the words of ..." sound unnatural. "To use the words of ...", or more idiomatically 'As ... says, ...', are fine. A quote of a quote is often put: "Smith, quoting Einstein, says '...'." Dec 14, 2015 at 8:01
  • How about "If used the words of ..."? It seems that I need to start the sentence with 'if'.
    – Gopal
    Dec 14, 2015 at 8:17
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    Why? I'm beginning to think that by 'as-it-is' you mean 'word-for-word'. Given the extreme polysemy of English words (and doubtless those of other languages), I'd refuse to perform such a task (without copious explanatory notes) as misunderstanding is guaranteed. 'If' may have a pragmatic usage in other languages that doesn't come across in English, where it introduces too much of a conditional sense. I'd avoid it. As others have advised you to. Dec 14, 2015 at 8:36

1 Answer 1


It is indeed much more natural to just say

In the words of X, "..."

You could also use the more direct

To quote X, "..."


To quote X: "..."


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