Answered By: Erin Mooney
Last Updated: Feb 20, 2015     Views: 50

It can be difficult to search our databases and catalog (discoverE) for books and articles in other languages. Here are some useful tips that will make finding these materials easier:

  • ​Type your search terms in the language of interest.
  • Diacritics may or may not be detected in your search. To be safe, type the search word without the diacritic. Example: “El Niño”— type as “El Nino”.
  • Search in English, but limit your results to a particular language in a search field. NOTE: this type of search may not bring many results. Searching in English and restricting the search results by language only allows for matching English subject headings and translated titles, while searching in the relevant language can potentially match the original title, series title, or foreign-language subject headings in addition to those.
  • Some databases search the full text of an article (e.g., JSTOR) while most only search the abstract. Keep this in mind when typing in your search since the article may be in another language, but the abstract will probably only be in English.
  • You can search using either non-Roman or Romanized text (e.g. either 映画 or eiga for “film”).

For non-roman alphabet languages it may be best to consult one of our subject librarians:

  • Tim Bryson (Sanskrit, Hindi, and Tibetan)
  • Hikmat Faraj (Arabic and Persian)
  • Lawrence Hamblin (Japanese and Korean)
  • Phil MacLeod (Spanish and Portuguese)
  • Tarina Rosen  (Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian)
  • Guo-Hua Wang (Chinese)

Thanks go to the Portland State University Library for sharing their Library DIY idea with us!

Chat with a Reference Librarian:


Call the Library Service Desk at (404) 727-6873.

Text us a question to (404) 994-3366.