Foreign Words/Names/Terms: Accents and Plural Punctuation

I am working on a transcript that references numerous Yugoslavian words.

First, I have no idea where to find the accents for these words. Take Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić.

Look at that "z" and "c." I can't find those symbols. I did a copy-and-paste on the above-referenced names, just so y'all could see the symbols.

Second, the speaker refers to "the Karadzics and the Mladics of the criminal system," meaning plural, but they sound like KAR-a-diches and Ma-LA-diches. Is the singular "s" okay, do you think? Somehow I feel like putting an apostrophe-s, but that looks wrong.

I sometimes don't bother with the accent marks in some transcripts, but this client is picky, picky, picky, and I aim to please.

TIA to any and all responders.

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Yikes. Sounds like you ended up with a fun one. I would not put an apostrophe on those words. I know in my software, Eclipse, has those symbols that you can use. I don't know if you use software or just manually type the document in like a Word file.

That is the difficult part of your job. I can always ask for spellings on a break. You have to figure it out for yourself. Are you able to ask your client spellings or to direct you in the right direction to find these words? After all, it is their job; you would think they would know a little bit about what you are transcribing. Just my two cents.
Is your client a reporter? If the reporter sends her file in to the agency to produce, then she's sending an ASCII file, and all those extraneous symbols get stripped out. ASCII doesn't handle special formatting or special symbols very well.
Great post. I never knew that. I love learning from the elite.
Great post. I never knew that. I love learning from the elite.
Thank you for the great information and advice, Kyung!

In the case of this transcript, it will be me sending a Word-formatted document to my client, and so I have to figure out how to get those symbols in.

I am glad to learn about ASCII, though, that the symbols won't show up. I think I remember that from a long time ago when I used to make condensed transcripts in DOS. Thanks for the reminder. I need to defrag my brain! :-)
There you go. For that reason alone, it's not worth the time/effort to put those pesky foreign accented letters into the transcript.
Kelli, I am going to follow your lead and not use the apostrophe, now that I know how you would handle it. Thanks for the advice!

This job I'm on now is a brutal one, riddled with foreign names, terminology, and oddball words.

Some of the speakers do have accents in this conference, but at least they're not mushmouths. In fact, some of them speak nice and slow.

If you are transcribing in Word, you will find, for instance, ž or ć under 'Insert, symbol.'

Hope this helps.

Thanks so much. I am not transcribing in Word; however, I do convert all my documents into Word. So that little INSERT SYMBOL nugget is a godsend!

I can easily do a global and fix all of those accented words after I convert it to Word.

My transcript is going to be so accurate and pretty. I love that feature. :-) has a translator feature on their site. It does not list Yugoslavian; however, it does list Czech and Slovak.

Good luck.
Thanks for the tip, Kathy. I can never have too many reference links. Very much appreciated!
I don't think the ASCII strips it out anymore. I know it used to but I have started adding in accent marks, and when I check my ASCII before emailing it (just to see if those things are there), they are still there.


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