Bibliography
Thread poster: PamelaTh

PamelaTh
Local time: 21:44
English to Italian
+ ...
Sep 9, 2015

Hello all,

This is the first time that I find myself translating a book and I was wondering what the rules are when it comes to bibliography. Not so much the one at the end of the book but the books and articles indicated in the footnotes. Specifically, I'm translating from Italian to English. Can I just leave the whole reference the way it is in the Italian or do I have to adjust it to English guidelines?

For example: S. Lupo, Storia della mafia-La criminalità organizzata in Sicilia dalle origini ai giorni nostri, Donzelli Editore, Roma 1996, pp.224-5.

Can it stay like this or does it have to be translated, changing the order of things, Surname before initial and city before publisher? So ti would look like this:

Lupo S. Storia della Mafia-La criminalità organizzata in Sicilia dalle origini ai giorni nostri. Rome, Donzelli Editore, 1996, p.224-5.

Thanks


 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 03:44
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
My cases Sep 9, 2015

PamelaTh wrote:

Can I just leave the whole reference the way it is in the Italian or do I have to adjust it to English guidelines?

For example: S. Lupo, Storia della mafia-La criminalità organizzata in Sicilia dalle origini ai giorni nostri, Donzelli Editore, Roma 1996, pp.224-5.

Thanks


I have a personal rule as well as professional standard rules to translate references e.g. for academic publication, for general use, for specific clients.
In my last JP>TH translation about Bangkok flood disaster in 2011, the client instructed me after my delivery to mend the reference translation into non-standard styles. That is, names of reference books were told to localized totally. It was silly but I did as being told to enjoy the client.

In Pamela's case, you hand better discuss in advance about how to translate references since revising later is generally quite tedious.

Soonthon L.icon_biggrin.gif


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 21:44
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Are you working for a publisher? Sep 9, 2015

Most publishers have their own style guide and you have to stick to that...

 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:44
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Problem Sep 9, 2015

PamelaTh wrote:

Hello all,

This is the first time that I find myself translating a book and I was wondering what the rules are when it comes to bibliography. Not so much the one at the end of the book but the books and articles indicated in the footnotes. Specifically, I'm translating from Italian to English. Can I just leave the whole reference the way it is in the Italian or do I have to adjust it to English guidelines?

For example: S. Lupo, Storia della mafia-La criminalità organizzata in Sicilia dalle origini ai giorni nostri, Donzelli Editore, Roma 1996, pp.224-5.

Can it stay like this or does it have to be translated, changing the order of things, Surname before initial and city before publisher? So ti would look like this:

Lupo S. Storia della Mafia-La criminalità organizzata in Sicilia dalle origini ai giorni nostri. Rome, Donzelli Editore, 1996, p.224-5.

Thanks


This is always a big problem for me, especially when there are long lists of references. Even more so when there are citations from translations of texts that were originally published in English (and for which the anglophone reader might expect a reference not to the Italian translation/page reference, but the original).

Converting a long list of Italian references to e.g. the Harvard system would involve the translator in an extenuated amount of work that strictly speaking is not translation at all and would be very onerous.

So far I have not found a satisfactory way of addressing this. Some Prozian colleagues have mentioned that there is software that will do it for you, but I can't believe there's software that will take an Italian bibliography and automatically convert/translate it into a correctly formatted English bibliography....I wish....

[Edited at 2015-09-09 11:54 GMT]


 

Meta Arkadia
Local time: 03:44
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Zotero Sep 9, 2015

A free tool to

... create a bibliography or a citations list in Zotero, highlight one or more references and then right-click (or control-click on Macs) to select “Create Bibliography from Selected Item(s)…”. Then select a citation style for your citation/bibliography format and choose either to create a list of Citations/Notes or a Bibliography. Then choose one of the following four ways to create your citation/bibliography

Zotero ships with several popular citation styles for creating citations and bibliographies, and over 6750 additional styles can be found in the Zotero Style Repository.


Stand-alone and as a MS Word plug-in. And more.

More here.

Cheers,

Hans


 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:44
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
LaTeX Sep 9, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

So far I have not found a satisfactory way of addressing this. Some Prozian colleagues have mentioned that there is software that will do it for you, but I can't believe there's software that will take an Italian bibliography and automatically convert/translate it into a correctly formatted English bibliography....I wish....

[Edited at 2015-09-09 11:54 GMT]


That software would be LaTeX (or rather its BibTex component). Of course, this will only work if the source text already was written in LaTeX (which is a rare case, but less so in an academic context, where large bibliographies are most likely to appear) and if the translator is working on the LaTeX file (in which case there will be no work at all for the translator except for choosing or defining the citation style once) instead of a Word document or, even worse, a PDF.


[Bearbeitet am 2015-09-09 13:59 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:44
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Alas Sep 9, 2015

Alas, Erik, all of the Italian academic texts I translate are in MSWord and their bibliographies often include erratic formatting, misspelled Authors' names, etc.: things that no software could detect (even if it worked).

It would be interesting to hear how others deal with this problem.

[Edited at 2015-09-09 14:10 GMT]


 

Meta Arkadia
Local time: 03:44
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Tex-Edit Plus Sep 9, 2015

Erik Freitag wrote:
Of course, this will only work if the source text already was written in LaTeX


Or if you open the bibliography in Tex-Edit Plus (shareware), and convert it to LaTex using an AppleScript (free, needs to be downloaded), after which you can open it in BibTex.

Mac2LaTex.png

This sounds like a lot of work, but it isn't. It's worth the trouble, even for a small bibliography.

Cheers,

Hans


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 04:44
Chinese to English
Must ask publisher Sep 9, 2015

There is no point at all in even touching it until you have word from the publisher. The problems are endless: do you translate book names, which style do you use, how do you deal with direct quotes...

One of my clients asked me to convert to a recognisable format, but where information was missing (as it sometimes is), it was not my responsibility to hunt it down. I found that acceptable - I don't mind doing a bit of formatting, but we can't be held responsible for the accuracy or completeness of the references.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:44
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Agree Sep 9, 2015

Phil Hand wrote:

There is no point at all in even touching it until you have word from the publisher. The problems are endless: do you translate book names, which style do you use, how do you deal with direct quotes...

One of my clients asked me to convert to a recognisable format, but where information was missing (as it sometimes is), it was not my responsibility to hunt it down. I found that acceptable - I don't mind doing a bit of formatting, but we can't be held responsible for the accuracy or completeness of the references.


I completely agree.


 

Victoria Britten  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:44
Member (2012)
French to English
+ ...
As Tom says, it's not exactly translation Sep 9, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

Converting a long list of Italian references to e.g. the Harvard system would involve the translator in an extenuated amount of work that strictly speaking is not translation at all and would be very onerous.



I have come up against this twice; both times I charged for the time spent (at an hourly rate), after having explained why a per-word charge was inappropriate for that part of the job. The first time the client herself had stipulated in her offer that the bibliography was to follow the Chicago Manual style guide; the other time, I was the one who raised the question and the client decided to go with my suggested style. The time I invoiced for included chasing up original English titles and publication dates where necessary as well as the change in presentation - and filling in a couple of bits of missing information, which I didn't mind doing since I was being paid for my time. Everyone was happy!


 

PamelaTh
Local time: 21:44
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Sep 10, 2015

Thank you so much for all your suggestions.

I had made previous contact with the client re Bibliography but they seem to be as clueless as me about it so I guess I just have to make an executive decision here. Fortunately, only the introduction has footnotes as the rest of the book is just the reproduction of a police report so probably no need to use any software. Just have to make up my mind on whether to just use the Italian or the English format. I think I will go with the latter.

Thanks again


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:44
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
aim for the target Sep 10, 2015

If you're hesitating between styles, I would go for the target style. The publishers are going to have to tie up any loose ends you might have left and they will be native speakers of the target language, so it's best for the footnotes to be in a format they are used to.

I usually look to see whether there is a version of the book cited in English and if so I put the English title, but if not I just leave it in French, and specify that it's only in French so that readers don't go hunting needlessly. When page numbers are specified I put a translator's note to the publisher to say that I don't have a copy of the book to check which page it's on. (except once when I actually did have the book - Nelson Mandela's autobiography - and was able to look it up. That went down very well with the client!)


 

philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
. Sep 10, 2015

I would leave the reference you cited completely unchanged except for "Roma".

 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:44
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Yes but Sep 11, 2015

Texte Style wrote:

If you're hesitating between styles, I would go for the target style. The publishers are going to have to tie up any loose ends you might have left and they will be native speakers of the target language, so it's best for the footnotes to be in a format they are used to.

I usually look to see whether there is a version of the book cited in English and if so I put the English title, but if not I just leave it in French, and specify that it's only in French so that readers don't go hunting needlessly. When page numbers are specified I put a translator's note to the publisher to say that I don't have a copy of the book to check which page it's on. (except once when I actually did have the book - Nelson Mandela's autobiography - and was able to look it up. That went down very well with the client!)


I've done that too, in the past. When there were citations in the text from translations of books originally written in English I've even gone so far as to purchase the book so that the citation is exact!

But nobody has ever thanked me for doing this. They don't know, you see, that I've done it (a good translator should be like a good waiter: invisible).

But now I do try to avoid embarking on seeking out the originals of publications cited and re-setting the bibliography to make it comply with international standards. I often get bibliographies that are pages long and that even contain errors.I just haven't got the extra HOURS and HOURS of time to do this, particularly since 90% of this type of activity has got absolutely nothing do to with my trade: t r a n s l a t i n g !!!


 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Bibliography

Advanced search







WordFinder Unlimited
For clarity and excellence

WordFinder is the leading dictionary service that gives you the words you want anywhere, anytime. Access 260+ dictionaries from the world's leading dictionary publishers in virtually any device. Find the right word anywhere, anytime - online or offline.

More info »
Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search