In a thesis, I refer to english publications and some old publications written in french or german. So in my text I have that kind of references: [Billy and John], [Pierre and Paul], [Helmut and Friedrich].

Is there a way to have a different linking word ("and") between authors according to the publication language?

What I need is [Billy and John], [Pierre et Paul], [Helmut und Friedrich].

  • 2
    What package do you use for citations (natbib, apacite, ...), hat style do you use (the .bst file, plainnat, ...)? A short MWE might help. I'm inclined to say this will be quite hard to achieve if you do not use biblatex. biblatex offers support to change the language of certain strings (for example "and") depending on the language of the publication (as given in the hyphenation field).
    – moewe
    Oct 2, 2013 at 14:34
  • I use to use apalike style, and bibtex. I didn't know about biblatex. I'll see if I can use it easily. Thanks
    – Yo B.
    Oct 3, 2013 at 9:30
  • 3
    What to do to switch to biblatex? might get you started (the documentation is quite full-on), there also is an APA style for biblatex (biblatex-apa). Note that you will have to specify the hyphenation field and use babel=other (see p. 46 of the doc), for language switching in citations see biblatex: Switching languages for citations according to the bibentry's “hyphenation” field
    – moewe
    Oct 3, 2013 at 15:09

1 Answer 1


I would recommend against using different forms of the conjunction "and" (or "et", "und", "y", "e", etc.) just to match the language of the publication. Doing so may look cute at first glance, but should cuteness be a factor in the construction of a list of references?

Anyway, I'm afraid that with the apalike bibliography style it simply isn't possible to vary the language form of the conjunction particle within one and the same bibliography. If you decide it's necessary to use a connector other than the default form (the English "and"), you could do so as follows:

  • Find the file apalike.bst in your TeX distribution, make a copy, and name the copy (say) myapalike.bst. (Never edit an original file of the TeX distribution directly.)

  • Open the file myapalike.bst in your favorite text editor and do a global search-and-replace for the string " and ". (There should be two instances of this string, one in the function format.names, the other in the function format.lab.names.) Replace these strings with " und " or whatever other form you believe to be most appropriate for your document.

  • Save the file myapalike.bst, either in the directory where your main .tex file is located or in a directory that's searched by BibTeX; if you choose the latter option, you will probably also need to update the filename database or your TeX distribution.

  • Start using the new style file via the instruction \bibliographystyle{myapalike.bst}.

  • 2
    What you can do in addition to that, once you're ready to turn your paper in, is open the resulting .bbl file and paste that into your .tex file (removing \bibliographystyle...) and make any needed changes there by hand before compiling one last time. That said I second the advice against using different conjunctions for "and"; just use the one that fits the language of your paper.
    – Ingmar
    Nov 5, 2013 at 20:36

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