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Language & Translation Issues > Ab 10 J in German

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message 1: by Sherry (last edited Aug 02, 2009 04:26AM) (new)

Sherry (ssaccoliti) | 553 comments Many of the German Titles contain something like Ab. 10 J. or Ab 12 J. within parentheses.
Tom Sawyers neue Abenteuer. Reise im Ballon / Tom Sawyer als Detektiv. ( Ab 12 J.)

Do we leave that in? I am assuming the phrase has to do with the age of the reader, but on the covers, this phrase is NOT part of the title.

In or out?

message 2: by Sherry (new)

Sherry (ssaccoliti) | 553 comments Aldawen wrote: "You're right, these are recommendations on the age. I usually take them off the title when I see them because they don't belong there. But it might be interesting information nevertheless because i..."


message 3: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 44590 comments Mod
Yeah, definitely move to the description section. I wondered what those were.

message 4: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (grapefruit) | 7 comments Actually this age mention does not indicate any "shortened" edition at all. It just has become common for German publishers to put an age mention on the binding to guide people in the children's departement. Amazon apparently takes it as part of the title.
Anyway, it belongs to the description or can be completely removed, there is no effect on the content of the book.

message 5: by Sara ♥ (last edited Aug 03, 2009 07:28PM) (new)

Sara ♥ (saranicole) | 318 comments I was doing some serious editing last week, and I came across that... I was wondering what it meant! I believe mine was "Ab 12 J". The books were probably NOT abridged, as they were YA to begin with. I feel much better about taking that part out of the title now... ;)

Related Question: I've noticed a lot of German titles have periods in them, as though the title is a complete sentence. Is that standard practice in Germany? Do we need to keep this formatting?

message 6: by Sara ♥ (new)

Sara ♥ (saranicole) | 318 comments Do we switch that middle period to a colon then?

message 7: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca | 593 comments Aldawen wrote: "Sara wrote: "Do we switch that middle period to a colon then?"

I would change such colons in a German book title to periods if I see them ;)

Isn't that introducing inconsistency into the system? I thought the main Librarian goal was to standardize.

message 8: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca | 593 comments I had a long response, but it got eaten by the site downtime.

Long story short, I don't think making the "title: subtitle" standard is any different from making the "(series title, #1)" standard. Both are promoting consistency. Both are also making it easier if Goodreads decides to split fields off. Regular expressions are based on using consistent parsing symbols.

Additionally, as we add items to the Librarian manual, I don't think it's a good precedent to say "do it this way in all cases except".

Unless and until Goodreads decides to up its level of internationalization, I'd rather see one consistent database rather than pockets of consistency.

message 9: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca | 593 comments And if tomorrow Goodreads decided to parse titles and subtitles into separate fields, all the German books with subtitles would be incorrectly handled.

Consistency is important from the data handling/ programming side of things. It's like forms that ask you to enter a phone number or a credit card number in a given format. They aren't asking arbitrarily. They are making their database more accurate and internally consistent. They're trying to simplify code and avoid errors.

message 10: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments I doubt that we're going to be splitting titles and subtitles into separate fields any time soon, especially given how often those get swapped around or mangled; it's not like series where having a separate object is quite useful. Also, the standard for English-language books is not to have the "." character in a title at all (unless used in an ellipsis), so it would be easy enough to split on it should the need arise someday.

If a book is in a particular language, I would definitely standardize to that language's format.

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