Goodreads Librarians Group discussion

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Policies & Practices > Are we now using non-Latin alphabets too?

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message 1: by Ghastly (new)

Ghastly (grotto) | 10 comments I've been away for a while, so may have missed some kind of memo, but are we now using non-Latin scripts for book titles and authors' names? I was under impression the policy was still to Latinize foreign titles and names.


message 2: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 44985 comments Mod
Richard wrote: "I was under impression the policy was still to Latinize foreign titles and names."

I don't believe that was ever the policy, not for foreign titles.


message 3: by Ghastly (new)

Ghastly (grotto) | 10 comments rivka wrote: "Richard wrote: "I was under impression the policy was still to Latinize foreign titles and names."

I don't believe that was ever the policy, not for foreign titles."


That makes sense. However, what about foreign translations? Would the title appear in the actual language, or Romanized?


message 4: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 44985 comments Mod
Unfortunately, I think we have been completely inconsistent on that.


message 5: by Ghastly (new)

Ghastly (grotto) | 10 comments rivka wrote: "Unfortunately, I think we have been completely inconsistent on that."

I see. Is that something that should be added to the policies? That is, perhaps some sort of discussion should be started to discuss this and come up with a consistent policy?


message 6: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 44985 comments Mod
Probably. :)


message 7: by okyrhoe (new)

okyrhoe | 57 comments Hello,

I just got my librarian status.

Previously, I've been adding books to the catalog, including books in Greek.

Some questions...

1. Is there a discussion devoted to adding/editing non-English language books? A specific one for Greek books, maybe?

2. For the Greek books, I've been adding as "URL" the link to the book's page in the "Books in Print Database" set up by the National Book Centre of Greece. ( http://www.gbip.gr/main.asp?page=aboutus ) Is this OK?

3. I've been adding the author's name both in the Greek alphabet and in English. I believe this will help in searches to locate books by that author. My reasoning for this is based on:
a) Greeks tend use 'Greeklish' (phonetic Greek using the Latin alphabet) on the Internet more often than the Greek alphabet. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greeklish
Personally I am against the use of Greeklish, but I know the majority resort to this shortcut.
One problem with the Greek alphabet is that it employs accented vowels, and if one doesn't type in the exact accented form of an author's name or book title, entries may not show up in a search.
This has been my experience in searching for books here on GR as well as on other book sites (Bookcrossing, LibraryThing, Bookmooch, LivingSocial, anobii, etc.).
Technically, in adding the English version of the author's name, I believe I am not using Greeklish. I leave the title and all other book information in the (original) Greek language. I am only adding a 'second author' using the English spelling along with a Greek spelling of the author's name.
b) Writing the author's name in English as well as in Greek will 'link up' the Greek editions of the author's works with foreign translations.

Some examples of Greek books with author's name in both Greek and English:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/67...
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/66...
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/66...


Looking forward to your responses...

Thanks!


message 8: by okyrhoe (new)

okyrhoe | 57 comments Oh, one more thing...

4. For Greek translations of foreign books, I've done the following:
a) If the (non-Greek) author's name in the Greek edition is printed in Greek, I enter the name in the Greek alphabet, as well as the author's name in the author's native alphabet
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/66...
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/66...
b) If the author's name in the Greek edition is printed in a Latin alphabet, I enter the name in the Latin alphabet as it is on the book itself
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/66...
c) The Greek translator's name is entered only in Greek, eg.
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/66...




message 9: by vicki_girl (new)

vicki_girl | 2765 comments For your examples in 4a and 4c, I would put the non-Greek version of the author's name (i.e. the name in the author's original alphabet) in the first author slot. This will allow them to be properly combined with other editions.

I'm not sure about the URL in your item 2. Generally this slot is used for a book page from the publisher or author that gives more detail about the book. It seems that linking to another catalog may be redundant.

However, I'm no authority and others may feel differently.


message 10: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (last edited Aug 17, 2009 01:26PM) (new)

rivka | 44985 comments Mod
vicki_girl wrote: "Generally this slot is used for a book page from the publisher or author that gives more detail about the book. It seems that linking to another catalog may be redundant."

I agree.

Put the link in the librarian comments at the very bottom of the page, maybe?


message 11: by okyrhoe (new)

okyrhoe | 57 comments Thanks for the replies. I'll follow the recommendations from now on.


message 12: by okyrhoe (new)

okyrhoe | 57 comments Another foreign author question.

I've noticed one book already in the Goodreads catalog, where the foreign author's name is entered both in English and the foreign (eg. Arabic) language in *one* field, separated with a slash.
I'm wondering whether the author's name in the non-English language should be entered separately, as a *second* author (as I noted in a previous post here).

What's the right way to do it?

(BTW, I have the English edition of the book, but the author is foreign.)


message 13: by Keishua (new)

Keishua | 4 comments I don't think listing the writer as the second author is the a good formula. It may confuse people. The slash seems like a good idea but as I can understand there seems to be a lack of consistency with international writers name. I think having both names is good for access.




message 14: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments okyrhoe wrote: "I've noticed one book already in the Goodreads catalog, where the foreign author's name is entered both in English and the foreign (eg. Arabic) language in *one* field, separated with a slash."

That's definitely not the right way to do it. Unfortunately, until we get the AKA feature, it's hard to say what is the right way. Using the transliteration as a second author is one way that's been discussed, and perhaps the best one at the moment. If you use this method, each author bio should mention that it's a transliteration of the other.


message 15: by Keishua (new)

Keishua | 4 comments Some catalogs formats them(international authors) in a way that allows you to search for either name and get the "correct person". However,as I understand it the standard English name is the one that holds the most authority.
The library of congress has some interesting insight into this and maybe, there ideas will be useful to us.


message 16: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments Keishua wrote: "Some catalogs formats them(international authors) in a way that allows you to search for either name and get the "correct person"."

That's what we're hoping the AKA feature will do, but unfortunately it's not a feature that's available to us yet.


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