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Language Sites

ALA-LC Romanization Tables The links are to the scanned text of the 1997 edition of ALA-LC Romanization Tables: Transliterations Schemes for Non-Roman Scripts, approved by the Libary of Congress and the American Library Association.


Babel Fish Translate text from one language to another


Cataloger's Toolbox Site includes some foreign dictionaries.


Cataloging Foreign Language Materials Resources and tools for catalogers


Cathedral Libaries Catalogue : names of printing towns Latinized or European forms of place names for publishers of rare books


Chinese Romanization Guidelines - Pinyin


Currency converter


Ethnologue Catalog/handbook of more than 6700 languages


Foreign exchange converters at TelecomPricer Language translation service.


iLove Languages [formerly: Human Language Page] A comprehensive catalog of language-related Internet resources


Latin Place Names Latin place names found in the imprints of books printed before 1801 and their vernacular equivalents in AACR2 form. Created and maintained by Robert L. Maxwell ; sponsored by ACRL, Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, Bibliographic Standards Committee.

CJK and Vietnamese

Chinese, Korean, and Japanese names are based on Chinese characters or ideographs, usually 3

China, Korea - the surname is 1 syllable/iedograph

Japan - the surname is multiple syllables/ideographs

Vietnamese names often have diacritics (acute and grave accent, circuflex on "a", "e", "o", tilde, a dot, etc.; also "o" with a hook, a with a breve accent over it, "d" with a bar across the top and diptongs. Examples: Cao, Ngo (circumflex over "o"), Dao (D with a crossbar, grave accent of "a", Duong ("u" and "o" with a hook). The Vietnamese do their names in this order: Last, Middle First; or surname "Thi" (for women) or "Van" (for men) and end with a given name. On authority records, put the comma after the first word which is the last name, create a 4XX Words in order as given and another 4XX Final word,First words.

Only CJK are transliterated characters. Vietnamese uses the Roman alphabet.


If the name is multi-syllabic and ends in a vowel, it is likely to be Japanase, e.g., Hirohito, Miyako, Shuichi Kasaka, Shinpei Kusano.

If the name consists of 3 syllables, either written separately, or with two connected or separated by a hyphen, it is likely to be Chinese.

The hypenated or connected vowels should be considered the forenames in Chinese. However, watch for married women's names where they might have hyphenated their husbands surname with their own surname.

Surnames are usually one syllable, so if names are multiples with hyphens, it is probably not a surname.

In materials published in the Asian countries, the surname is first. Western publications often move the surname to the end. Look for hyphenated or combined given names.

If you are establishing a name with a CJK book in hand, usually you are to use the hyphen between the first and second character/ideograph with the second one in lower case for Chinese or Korean, but not Japanese.