German quotes, basics

My client wants to use German quotes but apparently has a keyboard that doesn’t support those. So basically he wants to have quotedblbase as the opening quote. What would be the smart thing to do here, should I make a localisation substitution to force quotedblbase? How are German quotes accessed on the keyboard (and in layout apps) in general?

Also, what would be the correct term to call “German quotes”?

That is the wrong approach. Better to tell him how to type the quotes he wants. Or to modify the keyboard layout.

In the English-speaking world German quotation marks are called guillemets.

Wikipedia has an entry about German keyboard layouts. If your client is a Mac user they can be accessed with opt + |, opt + shift + |, opt + shift + 3, and opt + shift + 4. It might require the ABC extended keyboard layout which you can add in System Preferences > Keyboard > Input Sources.

I don’t believe it is guillemets that are being referred to here; instead it would be the curly quotes that open at the baseline and close at ascender height (always facing away from the quoted material). They are listed in this Wikipedia entry.

Do you know what keyboard your client has?

FWIW I call „these“ Gänsefüßchen (goose feet), and »these« Guillemets. The latter can be both »inward« and «outward» pointed for German typography. All of these are set without additional spaces (contrary to what is common in « French » typography).

Hmm… Guillemets is a French word, and the French never use them pointed inward, so I disagree.
Call them verdeutscht Franzoesich :slight_smile:

Do nothing, just use smart software to type text.
When I type in English in my favorite text editor, I get double curly English quotes, when I switch to German language, I get proper double curly German quotes, when I switch to Dutch, I get single curly quotes, amazing, all by using just the (straight) quotesingle key. For French I need to press Shift + single quote key, (making it effectively a double straight quote) then I get the proper French double guillemots, with extra spaces inserted, wow! I am amazed myself, hardly ever type French.

You might be asking trebe to do the impossible. Most computers on this planet have no way of directly typing all kinds of quotes. Unless you want to torture someone to memorize Alt+0132

Ha! It is verdeutscht already because the word is capitalised!

That is the first thing I disable on a new installation because it always gets the wrong replacement for situations like ’t is ’n lief hondje and similar situations in other languages. TBH quite often in German or if you try to actually get the straight quotes because it is a coding sample, etc. I therefore prefer to type my quotes myself.

Yes, same here. Typing quotes is really quite a breeze on the Macbook: alt (+ shift for double ) + v/b/n/m/,

That is with my Norwegian layout, of course; is it similar in layouts for other languages?

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My favorite text editor always gets it right with ’t is ’n lief hondje.
And of course I use a different editor when I want naked text, which does nothing automatically.

To all users here that live in a MacBook bubble: clients normally do NOT have your keyboard.
Your shortcuts do NOT work for the client. On a PC shortcuts work differently. Norwegian Mac shortcuts only work on Macs with a Norwegian keyboard layout. On my MacBook with international keyboard, they result in completely different glyphs. Greetings from a PC :smile:

Thanks for the help! This is very helpful already. I’m still waiting for details about the software and keyboard in question. My understanding so far is that they are not using software that allows language formatting.