I am writing an article for publication in English. It is necessary to include references to articles written by Russian authors in Russian language. Do I have to translate their names and titles of their articles to English or I can leave their names and titles of the articles in original language (Russian)?

In the Russian-language articles, I see that foreign authors (their names and titles of the articles) are not translated into Russian and left in the original language (English). However, I have not seen articles in English, where Russian/foreign authors and articles were referenced in the original language (i.e. Russian).

For now, I am following IEEE citation style.

  • Are you following a specific style guide (such as APA Style)?
    – svavil
    Mar 9, 2016 at 8:41
  • For now, I am following IEEE style. I generated references using refme.com site. But, if needed I can change style to anything. I am not quite sure now what my final style will be. Mar 9, 2016 at 8:55
  • 1
    In physics the following is quite common: R. G. Arkhipov, Zh. Eksperim. i Teor. Fiz. 43, 349 (1962) English transl. : Soviet Phys.—JETP 16, 251 (1962). The point is, that many authors in Soviet times published in Russian journals, but these articles were subsequently translated into English. The first part of the citation is simply a transliteration of the Russian text into the Latin alphabet, the reference to the translation follows.
    – LLlAMnYP
    Mar 9, 2016 at 17:28

2 Answers 2


The purpose of a bibliographic reference, from your reader's standpoint, is to be able to find the original work. So, if I have any hope of finding it, you must provide the original title, as it appears on the publication.

Now, since I don't speak Russian (and unless your paper is on Russian literature, most of your expected audience won't either), your reference is, for me, just a bunch of weird symbols. So, I will benefit if you provide a translation of the title and authors. That would, at least, give me the topic of the article, and if the authors have any international projection, I'll get a rough idea of their work. The different citation styles dictate how to exactly refer to the original and translated title. This is an example for APA style:

Piaget, J. (1966). La psychologie de l’enfant [The psychology of the child]. Paris, France: Presses Universitaires de France.

In your case, you would also transcribe the name of the author, and possibly translate the name of the journal, so I know what kind of work is it (it wouldn't be the same a paper published in a Psychology journal than in a pure Maths one).

Note that sometimes, work is published in national venues, and later translated into English. Having the names of the authors and translated title can help me find it, if it were published after your paper.

  • Actually, a quick search didn't help me to find any exact guides on how to refer to foreign sources. Do you happen to have it for, say, IEEE?
    – svavil
    Mar 9, 2016 at 9:09
  • 1
    @svavil I found this example: E. P. Wigner, “On a modification of the Raylei gh–Schrodinger perturbation theory,” (in German), Math. Naturwiss. Anz. Ungar. Akad. Wiss. , vol. 53, p. 475, 1935.
    – Davidmh
    Mar 9, 2016 at 9:13

The IEEE Editorial Style Manual contains the following example (Sec. V, p. 35):

[9] E. P. Wigner, “On a modification of the Rayleigh–Schrodinger perturbation theory,” (in German), Math. Naturwiss. Anz. Ungar. Akad. Wiss., vol. 53, p. 475, 1935.

Though they do not give an explicit recommendation, the example above suggests a translation of the title with an indication of the original language.

It should be noted, however, that many authors leave the title in the original language.

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