According to the Chicago Manual Style 16 edition, section 14.194 Translated Article Titles, non-English article cited in an English work follows this formula:

Authors, "Original title," [English-translated title] Journal Date

However, how should English article be handled in a non-English work, considering that English is the language of science? I see no guidance in the style book. I think how it is formulated might be different, depending on the readership:


Typically, articles are cited as how they are cited in English work, with or without translation. Based on my observation, trivial words (date, and, issue, et al., etc) will be in English. This is to withstand the academic consistency, and let the software chooses how to process for simplicity.

Authors, "Original title," [Translated title] Journal Date

Popular audience

Since their main interest is to understand what it says and become accustomed to academic norms, I think the references should be treated as if they are regular text. Trivial words will be translated. Translated titles will be put first, original ones will be in brackets.

Authors, "Translated title," [Original title] Journal Date

Is this thinking reasonable? How should the journal names be treated? Would this break any consistency that a reference should follow? I haven't seen any precedent on this, especially with books for kid.


1 Answer 1


For what concerns citations there is a general international standard, the ISO 690, but at the moment I don't have access to it. Therefore, I'll give you an answer based on an Italian style guide and on a number of Italian and French popular science books, from different publishers, that I have on my bookshelf (e.g., [1-7], but I can find many others).

All books report English, German and French references in the format

Authors, "Original title," Journal Date

No translation of the title is provided. The translated title is reported only for books which have an Italian edition too.

Il nuovo manuale di stile (The new manual of style), edizione 2.0, by Roberto Lesina, §15.4, explicitly says

I titoli di scritti in lingua straniera vengono sempre espressi nella lingua originale.

Titles of writings in foreign languages should be always expressed in the original language.

There's no distinction between academic and popular science books.

Books [1-6] are written by Italian and French authors; [7], instead, is a translation of the original Russian edition, and there are Russian references. These are not translated either, but the Cyrillic letters have been transliterated. This is in agreement with the recommendation of the cited style guide for titles in non-Latin alphabets (§5.4.3).

To sum up: I think that there is some, possibly strong, evidence, from at least two countries, that references in popular science books should be treated exactly as references in academic works.

[1] G. C. Ghirardi, Un'occhiata alle carte di Dio, Il Saggiatore, Milano, 2003.

[2] M. Ageno, Le origini dell'irreversibilità, Bollati Boringhieri, 1992.

[3] R. Lamouline, Du Thermomètre à la temperature, Éditions Ellipses, Paris, 2005.

[4] J.-P. Parisot, F. Suagher, Calendriers et chronologie, Masson, Paris, 1996.

[5] G. Lolli, La crisalide e la farfalla. Donne e matematica, Bollati Boringhieri, 2000.

[6] A. Guerraggio, P. Nastasi, Matematica in camicia nera. Il regime e gli scienziati, Bruno Mondadori, 2005.

[7] V. I. Arnol'd, Huygens & Barrow. Newton & Hooke, Bollati Boringhieri, 1996.

  • Does this include languages not written in a Latin alphabet?
    – virmaior
    Apr 16, 2017 at 16:00
  • @virmaior Yes, but it also says that titles written in non-Latin alphabets can be traslitterated, following standard traslitteration tables (specified also in the ISO standard). Apr 16, 2017 at 16:43
  • @virmaior See also the edit to my answer. Apr 16, 2017 at 20:53
  • I have massively edited my question to reflect what's in my mind. Can you check that again? Thanks
    – Ooker
    Apr 18, 2017 at 14:19
  • 1
    @Ooker Usually on SE the complete change of a question is discouraged, especially when there are already answers. It is better to ask a new question, possibly referring to the old one if they are related. Apr 18, 2017 at 14:58

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