Help:How to enter translations

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This page is a help or manual page for the ISFDB database. It describes standards or methods for entering or maintaining data in the ISFDB database, or otherwise working with the database. Other help pages may be found via the category below. To discuss what should go on this page, use the talk page.

If, after exploring the Help system, you still have a question, please visit the Help desk and let us know. We probably know the answer, but we need your help to know what we left out of the help pages.

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General rules and information

These as some general rules and information about entering translations. You'll find a step-by-step guide in the next chapter.

  • All Title records have a Language field.
  • Translated titles are entered as Variant Titles of the original title. Translations done by different translators are entered as different Variant Titles.
  • If a work was written in one language, but a foreign language translation was published first, then the original language title should be considered the canonical title and the translated title should be considered variant title. The year of the canonical (i.e. parent) title should be set to publication year of the canonical title, not to the year of the translation (though the latter one was released earlier).
  • When entering authors, titles, publishers and publication series that use non-Latin characters, use the original (rather than a transliterated) form. Later on you can edit the entered author/title/publisher/publication series and add one or more transliterated forms of the name/title.
  • If you don't know the language involved, you may find it hard to distinguish the title from the subtitle or tell exactly what the publisher name is. For example, publisher attributions often include the city name, but you may not be able to tell where the publisher's name ends and the city name begins. In these cases, update the Publication Notes field to explain what you have entered.
  • There is currently no support for a "translated by" field in the database. Translators should be recorded in each Title's Notes field.
  • Bilingual or multilingual books, i.e. books with parallel texts in two or more languages, effectively contain multiple different titles, one in each of these languages, and should be entered as such. A multilingual novel should be entered as an Omnibus while a multilingual novella, novelette, or short story should be entered as a Collection. After your submission has been approved, use the "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work" page to turn the newly entered translated titles into variants of the canonical title. If one or more of the newly entered titles are duplicates of pre-existing titles, make sure to merge them.
  • NOTE that at one point non-English translations did not get their own title records. If they were novels, they were entered as Publications under the original language title. If they were short fiction titles, they were entered using the original title record. This policy was abandoned in December 2011, but a few older records still use the original convention and need to be fixed.
  • For a list of translations of terms and abbreviations in publications see ISFDB:Language-Specific Abbreviations

Step-by-step guide

This is a step by step guide which shall guide you through the process of entering a translation. Please note that this guide does not replace or overrule any rules stated in the help. If in doubt, the rules there apply, not what's written in this guide.

Adding a translation is at least a 2-Step process, but it may involve a few more steps:

  1. Step 1: Add a New Publication
    • Use one the Add New links in the left side bar. For example, if you are entering the translation of a novel, use Add New Novel
    • Title must be the actual title of the translated publication in that language, not the one of the original language
    • Author must be used as stated on the title page of the translated publication, even if it differs from the canonical author name in the database
    • Language must be the language of the translation
    • Don't add a Series or Series Number - the software does not support variant series titles. If the parent title in the original language belongs to a series this series will automatically be shown for the translation as well.
    • The Title Note should state the name of the Translator as it appears in the publication or the source you are referencing. You should enter it using the translator template {{Tr|TRANSLATOR NAME}} by replacing "TRANSLATOR NAME" with the name(s) of the translator(s). Example: {{Tr|John Smith}}. See Using Templates and HTML in Note Fields for more details.
    • Publication Data should mostly be filled in as normal for any new publication.
    • Image URL, if entered, must link to a cover image of the translated work, not of the original one
    • Ideally the Note to Moderator should contain the information that this is a translation and the Title of the original publication that it was translated from
    • Submit your publication and wait until a moderator has approved it. You may find questions or remarks regarding you submission on your User_talk page, so check it regularly. Once your publication has been approved you are ready for Step 2:
  2. Step 2: Make the translation a variant of the original
    • Find the Title page
      • Go to the My Recent Edits link on the left and look for your publication in the Affected Record column. There will be a link to it.
      • On the publication find the link to the Title page. For Collections, Anthologies and other so-called "Container titles" you'll find the link in the Container Title line. If this line doesn't exist there's a link to the Title page in the Contents section.
      • When you have the Title page, the left side bar features a link Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work which you need to follow.
    • You have two options there, of which you have to choose the proper one:
      • Option 1 - use this if a title record for the original language exists:
        • In a different browser tab or window open the Title page of the original work that was translated. Pay attention when looking for the original title: translations sometimes state an original title on their copyright page which itself is already a variant title (see the different English titles for Arthur C. Clarke's "Prelude to Space" as an example). You always have to use the main parent original title because variants of variants are not allowed. Once you've found it, look for the text "Title Record #" in the upper right corner or for the number in the browser's location bar behind the "?",
        • Copy the number you found there, switch back to the Make Variant Title tab.
        • Here you paste the number you copied into the Parent # field
        • Click Link to Existing Parent
      • Option 2 - use this only if there is no title record for the original language:
        • Title must be the title of the original work in the original language
        • Author must be the canonical author name in the original language
        • Language must be the original language
        • Date must be first date the original title was published
        • Click Create New Parent Title
    • Wait for a Moderator to approve your submission.

That's what at least has to be done. However, quite often a few more steps are required afterwards which will be listed here:

  • Variant content: If you have entered more content for the translated publication (in the Additional Regular Titles section in the data entry form), for example the stories contained in a COLLECTION or ANTHOLOGY, or a CHAPBOOK, or INTERIOR ART, or a foreword or afterword etc, you must also variant these titles if they are a translation.
  • Enter translator of content: for these records you must add the translator in the Title Note if it is a translation and you know the name of the translator.
  • Variant cover art: if you entered a cover artist and the same cover artwork already exists in the database, you must do one the following things:
    • if there is a title record for the artwork in the different language, variant the cover artwork of the translated publication to it
    • if there is a title record for the artwork in the same language with a different title, variant the cover artworks
    • if there is a title record for the artwork in the same language with the same title, merge the cover artworks
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