How should a bibliography cite works titled in several scripts?

Up to now I've been putting all titles into a single list, in the original scripts and in the alphabetical order informed by their otherwise unused transliterations. For example, Матюшкин (Matyushkin) could come right after Mason, but the transliteration Matyushkin would not appear.

I have a book in hand from Princeton University Press in the 1950s that also uses a single bibliographic order, but includes only transliterations and title translations, not the original-script references. That makes it hard to track down a source because the reader has to be able to back-form the other spelling, which may be ambiguous or nonstandard. The title translations are useful, though as they involve the creation of new text, they can make an entry not match references elsewhere to the same work.

Filled with doubt, I wonder if there is a standard approach to this problem.

2 Answers 2


For non-Roman scripts, it's common to have separate bibliographies. I imagine that this was especially the case when switching languages required switching codesets or linotype font sets.

So you'd have:

  • English language bibliography

  • Chinese language bibliography

and so forth. There's even a question on the TeX.stackexchange on how to do this: https://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/343307/put-chinese-language-entries-before-english-language-entries-in-the-bibliography

These days, it's easy to mix the two together as unicode solved many of the font issues. But separating them allows you to use the name ordering system most appropriate for that language.


I think it's best to use transliterations as the basis for the bibliography. However, if you'd like to also provide the spelling according to the original language's alphabet, you can do so in parenthesis after the transliteration.

I suspect the tendency to use transliterations arose because it was too expensive to have additional languages when documents had to be typed or typeset before publication. In the modern digital era, such limitations have largely disappeared.

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