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Is it possible to get BibTeX to ignore certain optional arguments? For example, if the .bib file has many entries with language = {English}, and you wish for a certain file's bibliography to not say (English) after its entries, how would you do this?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

One possibility is to use biblatex. Quoting from p. 43-44 of its documentation:

If [the option "clearlang"] is enabled, biblatex will automatically clear the language field of all entries whose language matches the babel language of the document (or the language specified explicitly with the language option) in order to omit redundant language specifications.

Note that the "clearlang" option is enabled by default. Minimal example:

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage[english]{babel}

% Alternative A: Default behaviour ("language" field cleared)
\usepackage{biblatex}

% Alternative B: Clearing of "language" field disabled
% \usepackage[clearlang=false]{biblatex}

\usepackage{filecontents}

\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}
@misc{Aut10a,
  author = {Author, A.},
  year = {2010},
  title = {Alpha},
  language = {english},
}
\end{filecontents}

\addbibresource{\jobname.bib}

\nocite{*}

\begin{document}

\printbibliography

\end{document}

(The filecontents environment is only used to include some external files directly into the example, so that it compiles. It is not necessary for the solution.)

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