Thats the question. I'm writing a paper in Spanish and I need to cite (APA) several citations in Spanish of books written in English that doesn't have translated versions. My reviewer is telling me that I need to be explicit about it but I don't now how to do it. Should I write "Name (2001, translated by me)"?

I have it clear for the reference, put it on brackets with my translation, but I don't know how to do it in text.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

  • Can't you just mention the language in which the book is written? Then, it will be obvious that you translated it. I don't think that you are putting quotations in your text. Is it right?
    – Yacine
    Oct 17, 2018 at 7:17
  • 2
    I'm not sure I understand. Are you saying that your reviewer is asking you to translate into Spanish the titles of books written in English with English titles for your reference list? Or are you saying that you've translated entire English books into Spanish and want to cite these (presumably unpublished) translations?
    – user96258
    Oct 17, 2018 at 10:29
  • @St. Inkbug, first question, no, I'm translating the text because I needed but the reviewer is asking me to clarify if the translation is made by me in each of the citations. Second, no, I'm reading in English and translating what I need. Thx.
    – GlobeFish
    Oct 17, 2018 at 12:36
  • To answer @Younes (for some reason won't let me comment), I'm putting quotations in the text translated.
    – GlobeFish
    Oct 17, 2018 at 12:36

2 Answers 2


Your suggestion "Name (2001, translated by me)" seems good to me. Or else "Name (2001)" and then include translation information in the reference.

However, in a formal paper you would not say "translated by me". Maybe "translated by the author" or "translated by AB" your initials, or even "translated by Alexis Brown" your name.

If there are several of your translations in the paper, maybe say once at the beginning: "Translations are by AB, unless otherwise attributed".

  • 1
    My first thought was "author's translation", but I think that and "translated by the author" are a bit ambiguous as to which author it's referring to - was it translated by the author of the original, or the author of the current paper? For that reason, using your name might be the best option, well, at least if you don't share names with the author of the original work...
    – Anyon
    Oct 17, 2018 at 12:56
  • I've seen "own translation". E.g., "According to Fopm'd'bbog The Lesser B'ee'g'doomp (1992, own translation), 'The reticulation of splines is closed with respect to the transverse manifold'. ". Oct 17, 2018 at 15:32
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    You could also just paraphrase. E.g. "Ivanov (1953), writing in the Advanced Soviet Journal of Best Practices in Advanced Underwater Basket Weaving and Nuclear Physics, found that transverse manifolds were effective in restoring the polarity matrix." Oct 17, 2018 at 15:36

Here's what blog.apastyle says (https://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2014/11/lost-in-translation-citing-your-own-translations-in-apa-style.html), and it sounds reasonable:

Luckily, the solution is quite simple: If you translated a passage from one language into another it is considered a paraphrase, not a direct quotation. Thus, to cite your translated material, all you need to do is include the author and date of the material in the in-text citation. We recommend (but do not require) that you also include the page number in the citation, because this will help any readers who do speak French to find the translated passage in the original. You should not use quotation marks around the material you translated, and you do not need to use the words “my translation” or anything like that.

  • 1
    I find that advice unsettling. Though certainly there is some art and interpretation in translation, I would definitely want an author to distinguish between where they are merely referencing an idea that they have otherwise phrased in their own writing, versus a quote where they have taken specific language by another and translated it. Though academic referencing and copyright are not at all the same, I think it is still worth considering that a translation of a copyrighted work is typically seen as violating that copyright if it is not authorized.
    – Bryan Krause
    Apr 7, 2022 at 22:24

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