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How to cite translated works

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Adams, A. (2021, July 19). How to cite translated works. APA Style.

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In this blog post, you will learn how to cite translated works. When doing so, create the reference in the language in which the translation you read was published. For example, if you read the English translation of a journal article that was originally published in French, write the reference list entry for the article in English. Credit the translator or translators in the reference by writing the abbreviation “Trans.” after the translator’s name and placing both the name and abbreviation in parentheses after the title of the work (but before the period).

Credit the original source by providing the year the work was originally published (in its original language) at the end of the reference in parentheses and preceded by the words “Original work published,” as shown in the following example. Both the original publication date and the republished date of the translated work appear in the in-text citations, with the earlier year first, separated with a slash.

Journal article, republished in translation

Piaget, J. (1972). Intellectual evolution from adolescence to adulthood (J. Bliss & H. Furth, Trans.). Human Development, 15(1), 1–12. (Original work published 1970)

  • Parenthetical citation: (Piaget, 1970/1972)
  • Narrative citation: Piaget (1970/1972)

This guidance applies to all kinds of translated works, not only journal articles. For example, to cite a chapter in an edited book that has been translated and republished in English (or whatever language you are writing your paper in), include in the title element of the reference everything noted previously as well as the editor(s) of the book, the title of the book, and the page range for the chapter in the book, just as you would in a standard reference for an edited book chapter. The correct format is shown in the following example.

Chapter in an edited book, republished in translation

Heidegger, M. (2008). On the essence of truth (J. Sallis, Trans.). In D. F. Krell (Ed.), Basic writings (pp. 111–138). Harper Perennial Modern Thought. (Original work published 1961)

  • Parenthetical citation: (Heidegger, 1961/2008)
  • Narrative citation: Heidegger (1961/2008)

Here is an example of a reference for an entire authored book that has been republished in translation:

Book, republished in translation 

Coelho, P. (1993). The alchemist (A. R. Clarke, Trans.). HarperOne. (Original work published 1988)

  • Parenthetical citation: (Coelho, 1988/1993)
  • Narrative citation: Coelho (1988/1993)

How do you cite a work that has the same editor and translator?

If the work you want to cite has an editor(s) who also translated the work, add their name and roles “(E. Editor, Ed. & Trans.)” in parentheses after the title, as shown in the following example:

Book, republished in translation—with an editor who is also the translator

Freud, S. (2010). Civilization and its discontents (J. Strachey, Ed. & Trans.). W. W. Norton & Company. (Original work published 1930)

  • Parenthetical citation: (Freud, 1930/2010)
  • Narrative citation: Freud (1930/2010)

In particular, many classical and religious works have been translated into various languages and republished. For information on how to cite these types of works, read the blog post about citing classical and religious works. And if you need to cite a work written in another language from that of your paper, read the blog post about citing works written in another language.

For more information on how to cite translated works, please see Section 9.39 and the reference examples in Chapter 10 in the Publication Manual and the Concise Guide to APA Style.