I’m working on an algebra book that has a Spanish-English glossary. According to “Provisional Guidance
for Transcribing Foreign Language Material in UEB,” I am transcribing the glossary using method 3
(section 13 UEB foreign language rules, uncontracted). In this glossary there are some definitions
involving probability, specifically the boxed examples at the bottom of the attached pdf page. In these
examples, the words “and” and “or” are part of the nemeth equation and should presumably be
uncontracted. However, in the Spanish portion, the equivalent words “y” and “ó” present potential
confusion because the Spanish accented letter o is the same as the nemeth plus sign.
Should I use the uncontracted method or should I go ahead and contract and use the one-word switch
so as to avoid any ambiguity, or should I be doing this in some other way entirely?
Thank you for your patience, Michael. I am not familiar with transcribing Spanish and Nemeth together. I have asked a few knowledgeable people but am awaiting responses. You might receive a more prompt response if you also post your question in the Mathematics, Science and Computer Notation forum.
I will update this post if I hear back with answers.
I did not see your question in the Math and Science forum, so I am posting the feedback I received from a knowledgeable Nemeth transcriber:
Putting aside for a moment what we should do in the braille transcription, I want to suggest a reason why the Spanish word “o” meaning “or” is carrying an accent in this glossary entry. I believe the reasoning is the same as that for using an accented o between numbers. To explain that, I will translate a quote from the Spanish language Wikipedia entry on accents in Spanish:
“La o entre números en ningún caso debe tildarse. Anteriormente se tildaba cuando estaba entre números para no confundirla con el cero, pero actualmente se considera que el riesgo de confusión es mínimo y se escribe 1 o 3, 52 o 26, por ejemplo. Recuérdese que ante un número cuyo nombre empieza por o se convierte en u, como en 79 u 80 (setenta y nueve u ochenta).”
“An o between numbers should under no circumstances be accented. In the past an accent was used when it was between numbers in order to avoid confusion with the zero, but nowadays we believe that the risk of confusion is minimal and we write 1 o 3, 52 o 26, for example. Remember that before a number whose name begins with an o we convert to a u, as in 79 u 80 (setenta y nueve u ochenta).”
Personally, I think the most reader-friendly transcription would thus be one that ignores the acute accent on the Spanish word o. I suppose a transcriber’s note should be used to explain that the printed ó has been transcribed as o in braille.
I hope that explanation is helpful to you in transcribing this glossary.