Hi Karen!

According to Wikipedia [1] Orwell's book is "Nineteen Eighty-Four, often 
published as 1984". The article has a picture of the cover of the first 
edition which uses the spelled out name. So apparently both versions of 
the title are used in English language editions, but the long version 
was used in the first edition.

You're right that having catalogers choose the language for every field 
is probably asking too much. However, in most cases it should be 
possible to infer the language from other information in the record, so 
having catalogers explicitly tag the language may not be necessary as 
long as the cataloging system is smart enough - for example defaulting 
the language of most fields to the language of the work. Problems arise 
e.g. in situations when there are multiple titles in different 
languages. Then it would be good to have an explicit language tagging 

I wonder if LOC has considered language tagging in their BIBFRAME pilots?

Also, authority records currently are very problematic. In our corporate 
name authority we currently have the following alternative names for the 
City of Helsinki ("Helsingin kaupunki" in Finnish):

City of Helsinki
Helsingfors stad
Stadt Helsinki
Ville d'Helsinki

These are all just names in the 410a field, with no information about 
the language of each. It's quite awkward to deal with this outside the 
MARC records, since we don't know which names to display in which 
situations. For example the English language name should probably be 
preferred when displaying the information within an English language UI. 
To my knowledge, there is no way of indicating the language of a name in 
4xx fields of authority records. It would be very useful to be able to 
tag them with languages, though it would take a lot of work to go 
through all the existing records and add the language information.



Karen Coyle kirjoitti 22.12.2017 klo 16:42:
> Osma, I took all of those examples of 1984 from LoC's catalog. While
> Wikidata may think they have different titles, we don't know how that
> decision was made (there are no cataloging rules for Wikidata). In no
> case have I seen "Nineteen Eighty-Four" for the English version
> (although it was filed that way in card catalogs as per the ALA Filing
> Rules). Your examples all conveniently prove your point, but I still
> think that asking catalogers to determine the language of every field is
> going to create difficulties. It would be a good idea to take a sampling
> of records and try this out. From the cataloger's point of view.
> kc
> On 12/21/17 7:44 AM, Osma Suominen wrote:
>>> However, there is a big problem with trying to attribute
>>> *language* to fields in bibliographic data. It only takes a few examples
>>> to understand why:
>>> Title:
>>> 1984 (book in German)
>>> 1984 (book in Hebrew)
>>> 1984 (book in English)
>> I don't think that's a problem at all. In fact this is a great example,
>> since the name of Orwell's novel (assuming you meant it) actually
>> differs between many languages. According to Wikidata
>> ( it is called
>> "1984" in German
>> "1984" in Hebrew (but rendered with right-to-left alignment!)
>> "Nineteen Eighty-Four" in English (not 1984!)
>> "Vuonna 1984" in Finnish
>> "নাইন্টিন এইটি-ফোর" in Bengali

Osma Suominen
D.Sc. (Tech), Information Systems Specialist
National Library of Finland
P.O. Box 26 (Kaikukatu 4)
Tel. +358 50 3199529
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