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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Citing Sources in the Performing Arts

Additional Formatting Tips for APA Style

Below, you will see examples of how to format citations that use languages other than English. For more information on how to read these examples, see the Getting Started page of this LibGuide (see the tabs to the left.)

Examples of Non-English Text

When citing non-English works, provide the citation in the original language as well as a translation of the title in square brackets (after the title and before the period). If the work is part of a greater whole, you only need to translate the part you are citing (i.e., only the chapter you are referring to, not the whole book). Always use special characters when the original language uses them; if the character is not available in your word processing program, present it as an image instead.


  • McRae, J., Ngata, A. (2011). Ngā mōteatea: he kupu arataki [Ngā mōteatea: An Introduction]. Auckland University Press.
  • Séité, Yannick. (2010). Portrait de l'écrivain en jazzman [Portrait of the Writer as a Jazzman]. In Y. Séité, Le jazz, à la lettre: la littérature et le jazz (1st ed., pp. 31-74). Presses Universitaires de France.

If the other languages do not use the Roman alphabet, use a transliteration of the title and provide a translation as before: in square brackets after the transliterated title and before the period.


  • Wong, Ignatius (2007). Huang Yunzhao huai jiu zhong wen ge qu gang qin ji [The Ignatius Wong collection of nostalgic Chinese songs] [Piano score]. Chartwell Ltd.

When citing translated works, provide the citation in the language the translation was published in (i.e., if the work was translated to English, cite it in English). Make sure to credit the translator in your reference and to include the year in which the original-language work was published as well.


  • Schoenberg, Arnold (1948). Theory of Harmony (R. Adams, Trans.). Philosophical Library. (Original work published 1911)

The in-text citations for translated works contain both the publication year of the original work and the publication year of the translation. These are contained within parentheses and separated with a slash, with the earlier year first.


  • (Schoenberg, 1911/1948)

When referenced in the paper for the first time, make sure to italicize words, phrases, or abbreviations from other languages when readers may not be familiar with them. The exception to this rule: if the term appears in an English dictionary, do not use italics.


  • Be sure to play the ausdrucksvoll as it is notated in the piece.
  • In this passage, the composer uses Sprechstimme for the first time.

See Also: APA Handbook 2.20 - Special Characters
APA Handbook 6.22 - Use of Italics
APA Handbook 8.15 - Translated, Reprinted, Republished, and Reissued Dates
APA Handbook 9.38 - Works in Another Language
APA Handbook 9.39 - Translated Works

Always write author names exactly as they appear in the work you are citing, including all hyphens, capitalization conventions, name ordering conventions, and special characters. If the character is not available in your word processing program, present it as an image instead.


  • Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1844)
  • Yannick Séité (2010).

In cases where the author only has one name, cite their entire name and do not abbreviate it. In the reference list, include a period after the name.


  • Reference list: Beyoncé (2016). Lemonade [Album]. Parkwood Entertainment.
  • Parenthetical in-text citation: (Beyoncé 2016)

If you are not sure about the proper format for someone's name, check other places that cite them (i.e., bibliographic database records, the author's website, etc.) to confirm the correct format.

See Also: APA Handbook 2.20 - Special Characters
APA Handbook 9.8 - Format of the Author Element
APA Handbook 9.9 - Spelling and Capitalization of Author Names
APA Handbook 9.45 - Order of Surname and Given Name