See UT English Style guide

Foreign Words in English Text

Foreign words and phrases used in an English text should be italicised (no quotation marks or inverted commas) and should have the appropriate accents:

  • EXAMPLE: acquis, carte blanche, raison d’être, gezellig,  hygge
  • AVOID: 'hygge' (inverted commas)

Not all foreign words are italicised, however; a number have been assimilated into current English and are written in roman:

  • EXAMPLE: alias, detour, ad hoc, per capita, per se, vis-à-vis, etc.

Italics should not be used for proper names, names of persons, institutions, places, etc.

  • EXAMPLE:  Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, University of Barcelona (Universitat de Barcelona) 

Personal names should retain their original accents 

  • EXAMPLE: Cañete, Malmström, Šefčovič.

When you need to quote foreign words or phrases verbatim

Place verbatim quotations in foreign languages in single quotation marks without italicising the text.

  • EXAMPLE: 'Ich bin ein Berliner' is a quotation from President John F. Kennedy.

Latin abbreviations and phrases

Latin should be used sparingly as even common phrases are often misused or misunderstood. 
Write all Latin abbreviations in roman (with a full stop to show when abbreviations are used):

  • EXAMPLE: eg., et al., ibid., ie., NB, cit.

Latin words that are not considered common should usually be written in italics

  • EXAMPLE: ex ante, cum laude, summa cum laude

Common Latin phrases need not be italicised

  • EXAMPLE: ad hoc, ad infinitum, per capita, status quo

Latin phrases are not hyphenated when used as adjectives

  • EXAMPLE: an ad hoc meeting

Many Latin phrases have English equivalents and these should be preferred.

  • EXAMPLE: ‘a year’ or ‘/year’ rather than ‘per annum’.

Foreign spellings

Just use ‘e’ spellings, not ae or æ, when the words are in common British usage.

  • EXAMPLE: encyclopedia     medieval

Technical words retain the ligature

  • EXAMPLE: archæology     hæmatology     orthopædics

Reference List

European Commission English Style Guide - A handbook for authors and translators in the European Commission Eighth edition: January 2016 Last updated: May 2018 "[PDF File]" Retrieved from

University of Oxford Style Guide. "[PDF File]" Retrieved from