# Typography of nested quotations

In the case of nested quotations, we have the following rule in French typography: if two or more closing quotation marks follow one another, we will write only one closing quotation mark.

Thus:

« Bla bla « bla bla bla « bla bla »»»

will become

« Bla bla « bla bla bla « bla bla »

But

« Bla bla « bla « bla bla » bla » bla »

stay

« Bla bla « bla « bla bla » bla » bla »

How do you do that in LaTeX?

Here's where I'm stuck: I can't implement the "quotation marks must follow each other" condition.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[french]{babel}
\usepackage{ifthen}

\makeatletter

\newcounter{nesting@depth}

\providecommand{\guillemets}[1]{%
\og%
#1%
\ifthenelse%
{\value{nesting@depth}>1}%
{}%
{\fg{}}%
}

\makeatother

\begin{document}

\guillemets{Bla bla \guillemets{ bla bla bla \guillemets{bla bla}}}

\end{document}

• I have a copy of Lexique des règles typographiques but I do not speak French. Can you please point to the section, page or paragraph where such rule is listed? – ivankokan Aug 3 at 21:07
• @ivankokan Probably Citations, in particular Citations de deuxième rang (p 51) - 'If the two quotations [one enclosed within the other] finish together, only one closing guillemet will be typeset'. – Cicada Aug 4 at 9:12
• @ivankokan Quotation marks (' ") aren't used, as far as I can tell. Only guillemets. And for quotations, guillemets are not used all the time even then: '...where there is no ambiguity, foreign language quotations are in italics without guillemets; otherwise, they are still in italics, but between guillemets. Any translation is in roman between parentheses, outside the guillemets if the quotation has guillemets. The translation will be between guillemets if the quotation does not have any.' (p 52). PS: Use @ to ping me, otherwise I won't be notified. – Cicada Aug 4 at 11:19
• @ivankokan Correction: Computer coding uses ' and " - says Wikipedia. Also, in Canadian French: « L’ouvreuse m’a dit : “Donnez-moi votre ticket.” Je le lui ai donné. » In France: « L’ouvreuse m’a dit : « Donnez-moi votre ticket. » Je le lui ai donné. » In Swiss typography: « L’ouvreuse m’a dit : ‹ Donnez-moi votre ticket. › Je le lui ai donné. » – Cicada Aug 4 at 11:42
• @Cicada I suggest you review the existing four French configurations in csquotes package: github.com/josephwright/csquotes/blob/…, although I am pretty sure they are already aligned with the Lexique. – ivankokan Aug 4 at 13:13

Use the csquotes package:

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage[french]{babel}
\usepackage[autostyle,maxlevel=3,french=guillemets]{csquotes}

\begin{document}

\enquote{Bla bla \enquote{bla bla bla \enquote{bla bla}}}

\end{document}