I'm currently writing an English report, and I have to include a street name in it. Unfortunately, this name includes a character that is not present in the English alphabet: an è. Every other letter is writable in English.

How should I translate this name? I know usually proper names don't have to change when translated from a language to another, but what about this special character? I wonder about it because someone who never learned French wouldn't know how to pronounce it. But if I replace it with an e, it won't sound the same.

For precision, people who will correct my work do speak French, so would be able to read it. But I ask for a potential future case of this problem.


If it is not in the dictionary (café is now just cafe in English, for example), leave in the diacritic. Non-French speakers are not going to know how to pronounce it anyway, and if a French speaker is reading it, you'll have spelled it correctly for them.

  • "café" is now "cafe"? I wouldn't think it at all odd seeing "café" myself, but maybe I'm in the minority nowadays. (: (Native American English speaker.) – SilverWolf Mar 19 '19 at 17:24

For a proper noun, one would still use the diacritical mark. However, if it is not for a proper name, and there is an Anglicized equivalent, I would use the equivalent.

The "MLA Sister Site" contains a guide for inserting diacritical marks using an English keyboard, specifically, it states the purpose of the list is to type non-English names.


Why not write it in the French way? You find a lot of words of French, Italian or German in English books.

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