Showing respect with "él" referring to "God"
Hello! I'm trying to be respectful of God in Spanish. So, I was wondering about whether the pronoun "él" should be capitalized when it refers to Dios. Also, we learned about something called "personal 'a'" in Spanish class. Do people still use that? Would it be appropriate to use personal "a" before saying "Dios"?
My Bible commonly refers to "el Señor" meaning the Lord. It doesn't normally capitalize "él" meaning he (God). I have seen "a Dios" and "a Jesús" used in the manner of the personal "a."
As you know, the Bible is a pretty good guide in matters such as that.
Notice Salmo 5:
4 Porque tú no eres un Dios que se complace en la maldad; El malo no habitará junto a ti.
And see that God is referred to with the tú form, and that it is not capitalized.
That is the 1960 Reina-Valera version, which is extremely highly regarded among Spanish-speaking Christians.
I would suggest you do a little Bible study and find out!
Most good versions of the Bible in Spanish are here:
I have some new perspective on this that I'd like to share. Above I quoted the Reina-Valera version, which I understand is more highly regarded in Spanish-speaking countries than the King James Version is in English speaking countries.
However, my Bible at home is the La Biblica de las Américas version. This morning I noticed capitalization of the "Él" in reference to Dios.
Salmo 97: 3 Fuego va delante de El, y quema a sus adversarios en derredor. (LBLA)
Checkng the same verse in the Reina-Valera, it's not capitalized:
Salmo 97: 3 Fuego irá delante de él, Y abrasará a sus enemigos alrededor. (R-V)
So I went back and checked Salmo 5:4, which I posted here yesterday from teh R-V. The LBLA says-
Salmo 5: 4Porque tú no eres un Dios que se complace en la maldad; el mal no mora contigo.
So the conclusion I reach is that the LBLA capitalizes Él in reference to Dios, but not tú. And the RV apparently doesn't capitalize either one.
The RV carries more weight as far as respect and tradition, but the LBLA is a very fine work, and I don't think it could be considered "wrong".
It seems that you could do it either way and not be incorrect.
It would definitely be proper to use a capital "E" when referring to God The capitilazation rules for using God's name in English are the same in Spanish. I am not sure about the "personal a" that you are talking about though...