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Questions > Couple questions from new librarian

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message 1: by Liudvikas (last edited Aug 20, 2010 03:27AM) (new)

Liudvikas (liudvikast) | 6 comments 1. Can I enter every single detail in foreign language, or is there some exceptions? E.g., can I enter non-english description?
2. Is there a way to enter books dimensions in metric system? Converting every time manually just seems too much work.

Edit: This probably should be put somewhere else but I don't want to create a new topic for a single question:
Is there a way for my book list to show original titles and localized versions only be mentioned somewhere else? In other words I want everyone understand what I've read.

message 2: by Abi (last edited Aug 20, 2010 04:56AM) (new)

Abi | 45 comments 1. I think that everything apart from the description has to be in English. The description is allowed to be in the langauge of whichever popular edition. For example, you can't write 'taschenbuch' instead of 'paperback' or 'übersetzer' instead of 'translator', but if the book was in German you can have the description in German. Just make sure you don't set it as the default description for a book which is most popular in English.

If you select a certain edition of a book (e.g. an edition in a langauge other than English) then that's what will show up on your bookshelves. I don't think there's any way to only show original titles - the default will be the most popular edition, but you can easily change that by selecting a different edition and clicking 'switch to this edition'.

message 3: by Liudvikas (new)

Liudvikas (liudvikast) | 6 comments Well the title probably shouldn't be english, I see non-english titles everywhere.

Book shelve is nice but it would be better if 99% of worlds population wouldn't have to jump trough loops to find out the original title.

message 4: by Abi (last edited Aug 20, 2010 05:20AM) (new)

Abi | 45 comments Yeah, OK, and the title. The title of course should be the title of the edition in question.
You shouldn't have to jump through hoops if you are a librarian. Just go onto the edit page and, if the book has all the information filled in properly, then there is a field at the bottom called 'original title' - that should tell you.
Quite a lot of the time, this isn't filled in properly, though. And I don't know what non-librarians would do to get that information. It's a good point - if a book was originally written in a language other than English, it would be nice to see the original title displayed somewhere. Generally translated works credit the translator, though, and if there's a translator listed as a secondary author then you know that what you're looking at is not the original edition.

P.S. Well, '99% of the world's population' is a bit of a stretch, not too far off though - but when you consider that this is Goodreads, an English language website, I think you'll find that the majority of users are native English speakers.

message 5: by Liudvikas (new)

Liudvikas (liudvikast) | 6 comments 99% is optimistic, there are only 4 million people worldwide speaking my native language.

It would be best if the book information shown was from the original edition, and then theres mention of edition I've read.
I can of course click on the book to see it's original title, but I'd rather see them on the book list.

message 6: by Abi (new)

Abi | 45 comments I thought you meant that 99% of the world's population didn't speak English as a native language... sorry, you meant that 99% of the world's population don't speak Lithuanian? Misunderstanding.

I don't think it would be best if the book information shown automatically shown was from the original edition rather than the most popular edition. If a book which was originally written in Lithuanian was read by 3 goodreads users in the original (for example), by 25 goodreads users in the English translation, and by 30 goodreads users in the German translation then it makes sense to have the German translation showing up first.

I agree entirely that the original title would be a great thing to see in the book information, though. You should suggest it in the feedback group.

message 7: by Liudvikas (new)

Liudvikas (liudvikast) | 6 comments Ok, one last question.
How should I act if the edition I've read is divided into two books, while the original was one book?

message 8: by Sandra (new)

Sandra | 22801 comments I've often seen foreign language for all information. I don't see that as a problem. If it can be combined please do so, as that helps other librarians.

The most popular edition of any work is the one that appears as the default edition, no matter what language. There are a lot of Indonesian romance books as the primary edition although the original language was English.

If the book you've got is divided into 2 volumes (many french books are like this) you enter each book as if it is a new book and list it as "Volume 1" or "Volume 2". Adding a Librarian Note from the edit page to this effect is also recommended so that other librarians DO NOT combine the books into the full edition.

message 9: by Liudvikas (last edited Aug 20, 2010 06:24AM) (new)

Liudvikas (liudvikast) | 6 comments Well if I add some particular edition to my bookshelf then it will appear instead of most popular.

Anyway, thanks for help.

message 10: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments Entering the details in the language of the book is pretty common, actually; you'll have to write the format out by hand, since only the English names for book bindings are listed in the drop-down, and they may at some point get translated to English automatically if there's a clean-up script which runs (this was done, for example, when the format was originally shifted from an entirely free-form field to a partially drop-down field). We get a lot of data imported from Amazon with language-specific formats and author roles.

The details should be in the language(s) of the book or in English, though; if, for example, a book is in Spanish, its details shouldn't be entered in German.

(The same goes for author bios: the author's native language or English should be used.)

message 11: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41717 comments Mod
Sandra wrote: "I've often seen foreign language for all information. I don't see that as a problem."


I also agree with the entirety of Cait's post.

message 12: by MissJessie (new)

MissJessie | 874 comments Seems reasonable to me to use the author's native language; an English translation of the title certainly helps the rest of us out here!

In fact, it's a little snotty (or is arrogant more tasteful??) to assume that everything should be in English when there are so many non English speakers (or non-native English speakers) here on Good Reads.

Chorusing now: "We are the world......"

message 13: by Abi (last edited Aug 20, 2010 02:14PM) (new)

Abi | 45 comments Well, I was only going on what I'd learned in this group. I read this thread ( when it was posted, and the general conclusions drawn were:

1. Where possible, foreign language words relating to binding and author roles should be translated into English. Paperbacks should always be called paperbacks, for example, not taschenbuch, etc.

2. Descriptions should generally be in the language of the edition, or English where one cannot be found.

Those are the guidelines I've been following, and that's what I passed on here. Personally, I have absolutely no problem with words like 'translator' being translated, but I suppose to keep it all English does make for uniformity and make it easier for English speakers to understand the information about foreign editions. Rikva mentioned in that thread that she preferred all foreign language editions to have a line of English preceding the foreign language description - I haven't been doing that, but everything else (changing Übersetzer to Translator and so on) I have.
So now we're not doing that?

message 14: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41717 comments Mod
That was indeed a relevant discussion, but it was more by way of "this is what I do" "and this is what I do" than an attempt to reach consensus, I think.

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