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I am preparing a paper. Some of the documents are written in Portuguese. My supervised suggested me to include in the bibliography the title translated to English and the title in Portuguese as well, and mention at the end the native language of the document. Is there a good way to do this, using biblatex or bibtex? A general entry for biblatex is below.

@misc{author1:year,
author={Author 1 and Author 2},
title={Title in english, Title in Portuguese},
howpublished={Institution},
month=dec,
year=2010,
url={some_place_internet.pdf},
urldate={2013-05},
note={Document in Portuguese},
}
6
  • 5
    I don't think that translating a title is good academic practice.
    – egreg
    May 3 '13 at 14:32
  • 1
    Neither do I. The excuse for that is: for non-native reviews/readers know the title of the work, and infer about its contents.
    – cacamailg
    May 3 '13 at 14:39
  • One of the valid options in a bibtex entry is language = {thenameofthelanguage} May 3 '13 at 14:41
  • 4
    Just to note that we are working on a multi-lingual major update to biblatex/biber which will allow you to specify multiple language/script variants of fields in the same entry. This is a lot of work but is progressing quite well so far.
    – PLK
    May 3 '13 at 19:11
  • @PLK good news.
    – cacamailg
    May 4 '13 at 14:30
5

Based on the answer above and comments, what I used was this:

@misc{author1:year,
author={Author 1 and Author 2},
title={Title in Portuguese [Title in english]},
howpublished={Institution},
month={December},
year={2010},
url={some_place_internet.pdf},
urldate={2013-05},
note={Original document in Portuguese},
}
1
  • Unfortunately, with this solution, the translation is not italicized properly in, e.g., the APA style. Jul 2 at 18:05
4

Well, starting from the fact that I don't think you should translate a title, you can always use its second language name in parenthesis and lets say, italicized.

Also, one of the valid options in a bibtex entry is language = {thenameofthelanguage}. Therefore, you could try something like this:

@misc{author1:year,
author={Author 1 and Author 2},
title={Title in english (\textit{Title in Portuguese})},
howpublished={Institution},
month={December},
year={2010},
url={some_place_internet.pdf},
urldate={2013-05},
language={portuguese},
note={Original document in Portuguese},
}

Now, depending on your \bibliographystyle{} you'll get the language printed or not. You have to check this and decide whether or not you want to customize your bibliography style.

4
  • To make myself clear: I also don't think a title shall be translated. Your approach is a valid solution.
    – cacamailg
    May 3 '13 at 15:29
  • 7
    @cacamailg -- I have sometimes seen this in 'comparative' historical works where the expectation is that many/some potential readers won't know, say, Japanese. In these cases, the original Japanese title is printed, with an English translation in square brackets rather than parentheses: [<translated Japanese title>]. See, e.g., § 10.107 of the Chicago Manual of Style (15th ed.)
    – jon
    May 3 '13 at 17:13
  • Thanks @jon, my answer was missing this literature support :) May 3 '13 at 17:28
  • 2
    If I can chip in with a comment almost 10 years after, I think it's academic malpractice not to translate the title of a reference if the reference language is not the language the text that includes that reference is written in. In the field of linguistics, it is common to give the original title and the translated title.
    – Stefano
    Aug 3 at 17:30

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