Please consider my sentence:

So, as I paid out my $4.50, I simply said to them, “Y valían cada centavo de ello”, meaning “And they were worth every penny of it.”

The Y valian… phrase is italicized because it is in Spanish, and quotes are used because I said it. But I wonder about the translated “And they…” phrase.

Should it be quoted simply because the original Spanish is quoted, quoted because it was said (although not in English), italicized because they are words being referred to by the gerund meaning, quoted and italicized, or treated in some other way for some other reason that I hope you will explain?

Please note that the sentence is a representation from a oral story in which the word meaning is used and thus required. So, dropping meaning and simply putting the English translation in parenthesis is not appropriate.

Also, I acknowledge that the topic was approached quite well in “Quotes, italics, parentheses, and/or regular for translation” in 2019. The kindness of Mr. Bamford and the completeness of Mr. Bassford are most useful, yet my mind still spins.

  • If the translation is not a quote, single quotes are enough for me. Not clear why the Spanish must be italicized. And if up to me, 'And worth every penny' is better English. Despite your admonition, parens could clean up the reading: (meaning “And they were worth every penny of it.”) Commented Jun 27, 2022 at 16:24
  • As the previous comment says, foreign words are (often) italicised if they are isolated words or short phrases in an English sentence, but there's not usually a requirement to italicise quotations or entire passages. This page lists what the various style guides say.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jun 27, 2022 at 20:48


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