Punctuation

Q. Dear CMOS, I am working on a book for children that uses both Spanish and English. CMOS 7.50 notes that translations appear in quotation marks or parentheses, and examples show commas inside the quotation marks. However, I have a sentence that ends with a translated word and an exclamation point. Would the exclamation point (and in other cases, the question mark) come before or after the last quotation mark? The exclamation point must be included. The sentence currently reads: The Spanish word for puzzle means “head breaker!”

A. In quotations, question marks and exclamation marks are not treated like other punctuation; they must stay with the part of the sentence they belong to (CMOS 6.10).

The sign said “Stop!”
The sign said “Stop”!

In the first case, the exclamation point appeared on the sign; in the second case it didn’t, but the writer is very excited for some reason. Since the Spanish translation of puzzle does not include an exclamation mark, put it outside the quotation marks: The Spanish word for puzzle means “head breaker”!