5 Days of Library Land: Day Four, You Want Me To Catalog What?

One thing that there wasn?t much time devoted to in my basic cataloging course was Foreign Language material cataloging. ?I took 4 years of German in high school, and a semester of German 3 in college, I?ve dealt with a few German language books, on my own, and some Arabic language materials with help from a native speaker.? This is by no means comprehensive, but here are some things I?ve learned along the way:

Check Fixed Field Lang 008/35-37 ? Mandatory

Check Field 041 ? Language Code(s) – Required

Don?t forget a 242 Translation of Title by Cataloging Agency ? Required

Your greatest resources are your fellow librarians, and catalogers.? I cannot emphasize this point enough, communication with your colleagues is key, my boss calls this type of collaboration collective cataloging.? Sooner or later we all have to catalog something in a foreign language we are not familiar with, ask, people are more than willing to help.? It is not unusual for a fluent subject specialist to offer their help.? Be prepared; have scanned title pages and title page versos ready.

If you need help with German or French language cataloging you can try twitter using the term- #cataloging several catalogers using twitter have mentioned cataloging items in those languages.

For other language help I suggest sending a message to the AutoCat mailing list, if you don?t want to be flooded by e-mails set you personal message setting to read online only and you can just check the website for replies under the date and title of your e-mail.? This list is followed by thousands of catalogers all over the world.? All of the information presented here was either gleaned from AutoCat posts, or from my interactions with experienced catalogers.? Don?t feel bad about asking a question, one thing that is clear to me is that no one can be an expert on all areas of cataloging, especially when it comes to foreign languages.

Foreign Language Resources:

Start with the ALA-LC Romanization Tables:

Books on Foreign Languages For Librarians:

A Manual of European Languages for Librarians by C. G. Allen
Bowker, 1st ed. c1975, 2nd c1977

Manual of Foreign Languages for the Use of Librarians, Bibliographers, Research Workers, Editors, Translators, and Printers by Georg F. von Ostermann

African Languages:

General Note:
There are many, many dialects, until you find an expert who can accurately translate a work don?t assume when the language is unknown.? Keep looking till you find one.

Arabic Language Resources:

A dictionary of modern written Arabic by Hans Wehr
Note, I was informed that short vowels are not written in Arabic script but must be supplied by the translator, if you don?t speak the language find an expert, it would be very difficult to accurately transcribe this language with no working knowledge. Fortunately, I was aided by a librarian who was an expert in this language.

German Langauge Resources:

Online Dictionary: http://www.pons.de/

Crash Course in reformed German: http://www.duden.de/deutsche_sprache/sprachwissen/rechtschreibung/crashkurs/beispiele

English Language Course in reformed German:

Portuguese Language Subject Headings:

Vocabul?rio Controlado USP (USP controlled vocabulary) ?