You should not be applying the capitalize text-transform on international sites, because that’s wrong “culturally inappropriate” for those languages. This is because you have a bug in the last line here from your secondary-unified.css file:

#side-menu ul ul li>a {
    width: 100%;
    padding: 8px 0;
    color: #848d95;
    display: block;
    font-size: 13px;
    line-height: 1;
    text-transform: capitalize;

The bug is that it is cul­tur­al­ly in­ap­pro­pri­ate to ap­ply that par­tic­u­lar trans­form to non-English sites in this way. In par­tic­u­lar, it pro­duces in­cor­rect cap­i­tal­iza­tion min­i­mal­ly on the Span­ish and the Por­tuguese Stack Over­flow sites, and quite pos­si­bly oth­ers.

For example:

Example of es.stackoverflow.com edit-profile page errors

That’s wrong be­cause in those two lan­guages, you are not sup­posed to cap­i­tal­ize the first let­ter of each word the way we do in English ti­tles un­der so-called “ti­tle cas­ing”. Rather, you must cap­i­tal­ize on­ly the first let­ter in the en­tire ti­tle and leave the rest low­er­case, us­ing what is some­times called “sen­tence cas­ing”.

So where it reads like this:

  • Edi­tar Con­fig­u­ra­ciones De Correo Elec­tróni­co
  • Mon­i­toreo E Ig­no­ra­do De Eti­que­tas

It needs to in­stead read like this:

  • Edi­tar con­fig­u­ra­ciones de correo elec­tróni­co
  • Mon­i­toreo e ig­no­ra­do de eti­que­tas

You will no­tice that in the rest of the in­ter­face, places that are in ti­tle case in English are in sen­tence case in Span­ish. Here are a few places show­ing where this is done cor­rect­ly:

  1. Top Questions becomes Preguntas principales.

  2. Ask Question becomes Formular una pregunta

  3. Hot Network Questions becomes Preguntas populares en la red

But your side menu CSS is wrong be­cause it ham­mers a cul­tur­al­ly in­ap­pro­pri­ate text trans­form that looks wrong be­cause it sim­ply not what they do in those lan­guages. English rules do not ap­ply to non-English, and it is a bug or a cul­tur­al un­kind­ness to pre­sume that they do.

Th­ese same er­rors ex­ist on the Por­tuguese Stack Over­flow site as well, be­cause they de­rive from the in­cor­rect shared def­i­ni­tion of the #side-menu list items.

Follow­up to balpha’s Ac­cept­ed an­swer

(This grew too big for com­ments.)

Although ac­tu­al book ti­tles in Por­tu­guese* do fol­low the same some­what pe­cu­liar cap­i­tal­iza­tion tra­di­tion that those in English do (first and last word, ev­ery­thing but ar­ti­cles or short prepo­si­tions), head­lines and sub­heads found in Por­tuguese-lan­guage news­pa­pers and schol­ar­ly ar­ti­cles alike in­vari­ably use sen­tence-cas­ing just as Span­ish and French ones do (ex­am­ples in links be­low).

However, the casing of UI elements is somewhat less consistent in PT (or EN*!) than it is in ES or FR, so you do run into broad variation in “automatic majusculation” (auto-capitalization) of Portuguese UI elements across different publications. For example: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 vs FR, ES, and EN 1, 2.

I have nev­er my­self been able to as­cer­tain whether this ob­served vari­a­tion re­flects stan­dard­ized or just ad-hoc dif­fer­ences in reg­is­ter, cu­ra­tor­ship, house style, or even in which side of the At­lantic the pub­li­ca­tion ap­pears on (i.e., lo­cales pt_PT vs pt_BR). Fur­ther com­pli­cat­ing this some­what is the spe­cial his­to­ry of the var­i­ous Ortho­graph­ic Ac­cords* (agreements) signed by the world’s Lusophone regions.

Be­cause this is ac­tu­al­ly an in­ter­est­ing ques­tion in and of it­self with no clear an­swer, I’ll raise it on the Por­tuguese Lan­guage Stack Ex­change site.

The na­tive-lan­guage UI on the Por­tuguese Stack Over­flow site is a bit less de­vel­oped than on the the Span­ish Stack Over­low site. You see both the sen­tence-cased Per­fil da rede and Edite o seu per­fil, but you al­so have Edi­tar Con­fi­gu­ra­ções De E-Mail which looks fun­ny be­cause De is a small prepo­si­tion that should not nor­mal­ly be cap­i­tal­ized even un­der ti­tle cas­ing but the CSS text trans­former is too stupid un­so­phis­ti­cat­ed to do that sort of thing prop­er­ly. And there are still a lot of un­trans­lat­ed things on the pt.so site com­pared with on the es.so site; no idea why.


For Spanish (and Russian), this is fixed now.

We actually have the type of capitalization as a configurable option, but we missed to convert that option to a unified theming setting, and thus once the unified theme was enabled on the non-English sites, the capitalization fell back to the incorrect default value of every-word instead of first-word. I have now made it a unified option that is set to the correct value for Spanish and Russian sites.

As for Portuguese, as I said in my answer here,

I Have Left It As Is, Because A Trustworthy Person Has Assured Me That Speaking Like This Is A Thing In Portuguese.

It's interesting that you disagree with that – I'll ping Gabe about it so the two of you can discuss it :)

Thanks for the bug report!

| improve this answer | |
  • Boy that was fast service, thanks! Because my comments here grew too long to fit in the big white margins :), I’ve answered you inline up above at the bottom of my original post. I’ll followup on Portuguese Language by and by. – tchrist Nov 1 '18 at 17:33
  • 2
    @tchrist While I agree that the capitalize setting is fine for Portuguese, you have a good point about the capitalization of words like "de", "da", "do", etc. Given that, I'm not sure which option I'd choose because, personally, both look weird. To your last comment, all international sites are translated by the communities themselves, using projects on Transifex: transifex.com/stack-exchange/public. I'm sure pt.so would love your help! – Gabe Nov 2 '18 at 17:45

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