I have found links on academia-SE pertaining to translation of documents here and here, but those were not for a CV. Please tell me if my question is a duplicate.

I have just moved to France from an English-speaking country for a PhD. My French is not amazing currently; this is a work in progress and I'm going half-time on my research to take an intensive language course in May. However, in June I hope to attend a school which will be taught in French, and for this reason I need to translate my CV into French to apply.


When translating my CV from one language to another, should I:

  • translate the names of past works e.g. the name of my masters and bachelors dissertations? Or leave them in English, as they were submitted to my past university?

  • translate the names of publications (and leave the name of the journal as-is)?

  • leave the names of the university and the qualification as-is per link 1, or put in parentheses the French name equivalent of my prior qualification?

And mostly: Are the rules different between translating a CV and translating a publication/bibliography?

  • 4
    Possible duplicate of Translating/Transliterating foreign bibliography references
    – Luigi
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 17:59
  • Perhaps not an exact duplicate but the answers are definitely relevant
    – Luigi
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 17:59
  • @Luigi OK, the crux of my question besides what I've stated is whether the rules would be any different between a CV and a publication, but it makes sense that they'd be the same Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 18:02

3 Answers 3


Things can be different in the humanities, but English is the language of science and, in a STEM field, you can reasonably expect whoever will read your CV to be able to understand the titles of your works (if they are in English).

However, if, as a courtesy to the reader, you wish to translate the titles anyway, don't eliminate the original titles, but put the two versions side-by-side.

Your last point is more critical:

leave the names of the university and the qualification as-is per link 1, or put in parentheses the French name equivalent of my prior qualification?

  1. The name of the university should be absolutely left as-is, unless the university itself does not provide an official French translation, which I doubt (on the other side, universities from non-English speaking countries sometimes issue statements about official English translations of their names or department names).
  2. It's not always easy to find equivalences among qualifications in different countries, and it's almost impossible for grades. Thus, if you want to provide a translation, leave the original qualifications and grades too, so that the application committee can employ their equivalence rules, if they have any.
  • 1
    +1 for "don't eliminate the original titles". Imagine what a reader would think if he wants to search for your papers but only has a translated title (assuming you have not attached them to your application). You would just be making his job a little harder.
    – PatW
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 21:35

I personally would use the original names/titles, and provide translations when appropriate. That is, write the titles of publications as published, with between brackets a translation, to help out the reader which does not speak the original language. If the original language is English it might not matter that much in practice, but if it is in a smaller language such as Dutch, it at least gives the reader an idea what the content of the paper is. Keeping the original name makes it much easier to track the publication down, which is ultimately the goal of a publication list.

Qualifications I would translate only if it is not some internationally recognised degree (e.g. MSc or BSc), and would indicate roughly equivalent qualifications from France, if necessary.

I wouldn't translate journal names or other proper names, such as the name of the university.


I think this will be field dependent. If the common language of publication in your field is in English, I would say you are not obliged to translated, but it might look better. If English is not the main publication language, I would definitely advise to translate.

Personaly, I did and I would translate.

The goals of a CV is to show off what you can do. If the person reading it can't tell if you have or not the abilities they seek, you miss the goal. Thereby, if they don't read English, you need to give them something they can read.

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