My field is in the humanities, and I need to quote a long passage (around 40 words) written in French inside of a paper I write in English.

Naturally, I would like to quote a (personally) translated-into-English version of French-written this passage.

How should I do that?

I did not find this situation in APA7 documentation.




NB: A similar question exists in SE Academia, but concerns IEEE's style.

1 Answer 1


The stance of APA is that your own translation (as opposed to quoting one previously published) of a foreign-language passage is considered a paraphrase:

If you translate a passage from one language into another language on your own in your paper, your translation 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. It is also recommended that you include the page number (if available) in the citation to help readers who do speak the language of the original passage find the material in the original work.

Because your translation of the material is a paraphrase, do not use quotation marks around the material you translated. In creating your translated paraphrase, keep in mind that APA Style does not promote patchwriting, which is considered a form of plagiarism, when a few words in a passage have been changed but content is largely the same.

Rather than translate word-for-word, strive to create paraphrased translations. Let’s say you read an article in one language and then write about it in another language; for example, you read an article in French and then paraphrased it in English. In this case, you are both translating and paraphrasing the information. Such a situation requires no special treatment—treat it as any other paragraph by providing an in-text citation.

Further, because it is not possible to codify how exact any given translation is, it would be inappropriate to put quotation marks around the translated words; again, your translation is a paraphrase. There are many ways to paraphrase a text.

The APA style blog shows the same rules applied to APA Style 6.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .