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Language & Translation Issues > Different Chinese translations of the same author's name

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message 1: by P (last edited Aug 07, 2020 07:21AM) (new)

P | 6 comments In Chinese for example, there is often no standard translation of a foreign author's name. On book covers, the author's name may be translated in full or shortened, and the same syllable may be translated as different characters.

According to GR policy, translated works will list translated author names too (not as primary author), but it's a mess. If I go by the name on the cover, there might be tens or even hundreds versions of the same author (as is the situation now). But if I try to merge those, which translation should be kept as 'standard'? It's all very subjective and not sustainable at all because future editions might be added under a different name.


message 2: by lethe (last edited Aug 07, 2020 07:02AM) (new)

lethe | 13814 comments All names that appear on covers should be kept, but if a name on one cover is a shortened version of the name on another, the shortened version may be merged.

The idea is that a user should be able to find a book/author by using the particular name on the cover.

The 'standard' should be the name that is most widely used.


message 3: by P (last edited Aug 07, 2020 07:10AM) (new)

P | 6 comments Oh and, further complicating the issue, where Roman languages use a space in between the family name and given name, Chinese uses a dot... And... Oh man, some use · (either with spaces on both sides or no spaces), some use • (same situation as the previous one), and more sophisticated people will find a way to type ・, which is a full-width character itself and does not need spaces at its sides. That's not all, some people will use a space like in Roman languages, whereas some people omit any such symbols, thus producing hundreds of versions of the same name (not exaggerating!)


message 4: by P (new)

P | 6 comments lethe wrote: "All names that appear on covers should be kept, but if a name on one cover is a shortened version of the name on another, the shortened version may be merged.

The idea is that a user should be abl..."

Thanks, I will at least try to merge the shorter names (e.g. the Chinese version of Conan Doyle to that of Arthur Conan Doyle)!


message 5: by lethe (last edited Aug 07, 2020 08:01AM) (new)

lethe | 13814 comments P wrote: "Oh and, further complicating the issue, where Roman languages use a space in between the family name and given name, Chinese uses a dot... And... Oh man, some use · (either with spaces on both side..."

Those "duplicates" may of course all be merged. :)

It seems to be quite a project. Hopefully some other Chinese(-speaking) librarians can help you.

ETA Maybe you can include 'Chinese' to 'translations' in the topic title, so Chinese librarians will be alerted to it?


message 6: by P (new)

P | 6 comments lethe wrote: "ETA Maybe you can include 'Chinese' to 'translations' in the topic title, so Chinese librarians will be alerted to it"
(Apologies for belated reply) Ah okay!
For now, I've settled on using · without spaces for the dot problem because it might be the most prevalent, as it is the easiest to type on a computer keyboard. Since it's impossible to correct *all*, I'm not attacking it systematially. I just merge when I stumble on them, and hopefully others can join in :)


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