I would like to add automatically the information about the translator of a(n ancient) book, if there is no translator, it should be me as translator.

How can I check whether the bibtex-entry has defined a translator or not?

My approach fails:

  author      = {Terentius Varro, Marcus},
  editor      = {William Heinemann},
  title       = {On the Latin Language},
  location    = {Cambridge and London},
  year        = {1993},
  volume      = {I--II},
  series      = {Loeb Classical Library},
  number      = {333--334},
  edition     = {3},
  origtitle   = {de lingua latina},
  translator  = {Kent, Roland G.},
  shorthand   = {Varro ling.},
  shortauthor = {Varro},
  keywords    = {ancient},
  options     = {ancient},
  origdate    = {1938},
  author      = {Terentius Varro, Marcus},
  origtitle   = {de re rustica},
  shorthand   = {Varro rust.},
  shortauthor = {Varro},
  keywords    = {ancient},
  options     = {ancient},


\ifundef{\thetranslator}{by me}{\citetranslator{#1}}}

Transl. (Varro ling): \citetranslator{Varro_ling}\par
Transl. (Varro rust): \citetranslator{Varro_rust}\par


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  • @moewe you are right, but that would involve more work since I think the users would like to define the me individually. But it is an approach! – LukasCB Aug 10 '17 at 13:24
  • 1
    Have a look at my answer. It is absolutely no problem at all to say \printtext{\me} instead of \printtext{me} and define \me later (or earlier). – moewe Aug 10 '17 at 13:26

You can use \ifnameundef from 'within' biblatex (only in a bibmacro or \DeclareCiteCommand).

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