Answered By: Laura Sider
Last Updated: Mar 09, 2017     Views: 163

Q: How do I search for books or articles in a foreign language that is Romanized? Why isn't it working?
Answered by: Laura Sider

For foreign languages that use the normal Roman alphabet (like French, Hmong, Norwegian, or Wolof) simply type away! Quicksearch is smart enough to not need accents or diacritics.

A few newer records in Quicksearch, WorldCat, and in some journal databases actually have original (non-Roman) Unicode script text in them -- LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS. This means that if you can type in Cyrillic (Russian)/Devanagari (Sanskrit)/etc, you may get some records that show up in Cyrillic or Devanagari. Most records do not have this information in them, though.

There are many ways that you can choose to Romanize a foreign language, such as Hebrew, Russian, Sanskrit, Thai, or Chinese. Each language has slightly different rules. When you are searching for a book or article, it is best to follow the Library of Congress guidelines:

Also, if you are looking for a proper name (such as a person or a place), you should also check the Library of Congress Authority Files to see which way they Romanize that name:

However, do also try spelling variants. Romanization standards have changed over the years.

Comments (1)

  1. The Latin orthography for Wolof includes a character from the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), 'ŋ'. Newer records for titles in many African languages may include the literal IPA characters as used in the orthography of each language.

    Additionally, Ethiopic script searching is available for a subset of the materials that are in Amharic, Ge'ez, Tigre, and Tigrinya.
    by Charles Riley on Jul 30, 2012.

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