Let's say one is writing an academic paper, and one has to deal with two languages and possibly acronyms. How would be appropiate to formate the citations in the text using Harvard style?

If one is writing if for example German, and one wants to mention a company/institution that is located in the UK.

So I would format it like this: company name in English (acronym in English)

But in the case one has a German translated version of the company name I would format it as follows:

German translated name of company (English name of company [English acronym of company])


German translated name of company (English name of company; English acronym of company)


German translated name of company (English: English name of company [English acronym of company])

But does this last example seem like overdoing it? Sometimes though the German translation is not widely known, or the English name is more common. Also some companies are commonly referred to with acronyms. Let's say that the readers of you paper don't know/understand English, then the German translation would tell them what type of company it is, for example: The Electrical National Company of England in German.

When it comes to certain physical processes or geographical locations the same applies, would one use the same rules as above (replace company by process)? For example certain languages don't have direct translations of the English words, because English might have a wider vocabulary. In these cases one can experience that even lecturers and professors use the English terms (in lectures in the local language), because the English terms are more commonly used/known and maybe due to lazyness. But what if there actually is an appropiate equivalent term in the language you are writing, then it would make sense to include both versions right? Even the English acronym if there is one.

What do people normally do when encountered with this challenge?

1 Answer 1


English and German/Italian/etc. are not on the same footing in scientific writing: English is commonly accepted as the international language of science (most, if not all, top journals in all fields are published in English), so writing in English, one uses the appropriate English terms (but giving in addition names of companies in their original language, to make e.g. online searches easier, is totally acceptable). So in such a case (from my own experience), one should go with

English translated name of company (name of company in the original language, original acronym)

When you write in German, Italian or any other language, the hidden assumption is that you adress the text mostly to the native users of that language, so should make it as easy for them to follow as possible. So in this case one could write

German/Italian/etc. translated name of company (name of company in original language [e.g. English, but in case of French companies it should be the original French name], original acronym)

with the name and acronym in the original language again to facilitate online searches.

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