Skip to main content

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Cataloging Services

Acquisitions & Cataloging Services

Foreign Language Cataloging Resources

For a list of language expertise among Technical Services Division staff, see the Language Expertise list. Questions about foreign language cataloging should be directed to Nicole Ream-Sotomayor.

Online Dictionaries & Translation Tools

  • Google Translate - particuarly useful for translating non-Roman languages, with the ability to either type or draw characters
  • Oxford Language Dictionaries Online (UIUC only) - includes Chinese/English, French/English, German/English, Italian/English, Russian/English, and Spanish/English dictionaries
  • Lexilogos Online Dictionaries - a directory of various online language dictionaries, continually updated with new content

Non-Latin Script in Records

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library prefers use of records that include non-Latin script when appropriate. When non-Latin script is present in a bibliographic record, it should be accompanied by a parallel field with Romanized data (see Linking Fields, below). Romanization should adhere to the ALA-LC Romanization Tables.

The OCLC Connexion client currently supports the following non-Latin scripts:

  • Arabic
  • Armenian*
  • Bengali*
  • Chinese
  • Cyrillic
  • Devanagari*
  • Ethiopic*
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Syriac*
  • Tamil*
  • Thai*

*Languages above marked with an asterisk (*) are not supported in the MARC-8 character set. This means that they will not validate in our local Voyager ILS. When working with records with any of these scripts, temporarily disable Voyager's MARC-8 character validation:

  1. In Voyager, go to Options > Preferences
  2. Click the Validation tab
  3. Check the box for Bypass MARC21 Character set validation

After saving the record to Voyager, repeat steps 1-2 above, then uncheck the box for Bypass MARC21 Character set validation.

Additional instructions for using the above scripts is available in the OCLC Connexion International Cataloging Guide.

Linking Fields

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign follows the PCC Guidelines for Creating Bibliographic Records in Multiple Character Sets. In accordance with these guidelines, non-Latin data in a bibliographic record should be accompanied by a parallel field with Romanized data. In OCLC Connexion, these appear as linked fields with the same tag.

To create linked fields in the OCLC Connexion Client:

  1. Enter non-Latin data in the appropriate field (e.g., non-Latin title information in field 245)
  2. Create a new field with the same tag (e.g., Romanized title information in a 2nd field 245)
  3. In either field, right click and select Link Fields

In the Voyager ILS, non-Latin data will appear in 880 fields.

Transliteration Macros

Macros that aid in transliteration of non-Latin scripts are available for the OCLC Connexion Client. While these macros can be helpful when dealing with non-Latin scripts, they can never be perfect. If using a macro for transliteration, it is still important to double-check the output.

Available Macros for OCLC Connexion:

  • Joel Hahn's Transliteration Macros - select individual macros as needed, or install the transliteration zip file for multiple macros. Supported languages/scripts include: Armenian, Cyrillic, Devanagari, Ethiopic, Greek, Hebrew, Korean, Syriac, Thai, and Urdu.
  • Pinyin Conversion Macro (Princeton University) - converts Chinese characters to Pinyin in a linked field
  • Arabic & Persian: transliteration of Arabic and Persian is built in to Connexion via Edit > Transliterate

Non-Latin Script Keyboards

Entering non-Latin script into an OCLC record can be done via direct keyboard input, or it can be done by entering the non-Latin text into an online keyboard and then copying and pasting the text into the Connexion Client.

  • Built-in keyboards - Change the language of your keyboard to enter non-Latin script directly. This is best done if you are already familiar with typing in a specific language. To add languages to your Windows machine:
    1. Click Start > Control Panel > Clock, Language and Region
    2. Under Region and Language select Change keyboards or other input method
    3. In the Languages tab, click Change keyboards
    4. Under the General tab, click Add and navigate to the appropriate language
    5. Toggle between installed languages using <Left Alt><Shift>, or change languages from the icon in the taskbar
  • Online Keyboards - offers a variety of keyboards for non-Roman script languages. Use the keyboards to enter text and then copy/paste non-Latin script into OCLC Connexion records.
  • Keyboards for many non-Latin scripts are also available via websites dedicated to a specific language. These offer the same ability to type in the non-Latin script and then copy/paste the text into OCLC Connexion.

After entering non-Latin script into an OCLC record, always validate using Edit > Validate. For scripts in the MARC-8 character set (Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, Cyrillic, & CJK), use Edit > MARC-8 Characters > Verify.

Additional Cataloging Resources

*Note: while transliteration macros can be helpful when dealing with non-Roman scripts, they can never be perfect. If using a macro for transliteration, it is still important to double-check the output.