Guides to Primary Works


Index Translationum, [1979– ]. Paris: UNESCO, 1994– . <>. Updated regularly. CD-ROM.

Index Translationum, [1932–40, 1948–86]: Répertoire international des traductions / International Bibliography of Translations / Repertorio internacional de traducciones. Paris: UNESCO, 1932–40, 1949–92. Annual. Z6514.T7 I42 011′.7.

A bibliographic database of translated books published for the most part in UNESCO member countries. As of February 2013 coverage extended to more than 2,000,000 volumes in more than 500 languages. Entries can be searched by author, title (original or translated), target language, original language, translator, editor, country of publication, place of publication, publisher, year (specific year or range), and nine predefined subject areas (or by any combination of the preceding). Entries—which a search returns in no apparent order—cite author, title of translation, editor, target language, edition, translator, publication information, source language, and original title.

Coverage varies in the print volumes, ranging from six to more than 70 countries. Organized alphabetically by country of publication (using the French form of name), then by Universal Decimal Classification main category, then alphabetically by author or editor, entries cite title of translation, translator, publication information, and—if known—language of the source and original title. (Organization by original author would be more convenient for most literature researchers.) The print version is indexed by original authors; some early volumes have indexes of translators and publishers (both classified by country). Although it is compiled from a variety of sources that vary widely in accuracy and is necessarily incomplete and cumbersome to use (especially in the online version since the results of a search cannot be ordered, saved [except by cutting and pasting 10 records at a time], or exported), Index Translationum does provide the fullest list of translations published each year. Researchers should, however, also search WorldCat (E225).


The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation. Ed. Peter France. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2001. 656 pp. PR131.O94 809.21.

An evaluative guide to English-language translations and related scholarship. The first part consists of essays on theoretical issues, historical development, and types of texts (poetry, theater and opera, sacred texts, children’s literature, and oral literature); the second part, which surveys translations, is organized by individual languages, language families, or geographic area, with each subdivided by essays on a language, genre, or author. Each essay assesses both the accuracy and literary quality of translations and concludes with a bibliography of translations and criticism. Indexed by persons and titles of anonymous works. Impressive in scope and enlightening in its evaluations, Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation is the essential resource for readers needing to understand the shortcomings of a translation or choose among competing ones.

A valuable complement is Encyclopedia of Literary Translation into English, ed. Olive Classe, 2 vols. (London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2000), although it is less efficient to consult. Entries—which typically run to c. 1,000 words and cover topics associated with translation; the history, theory, and practice of translation; and authors or works translated—are organized alphabetically and end with a list of suggested readings. As in Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation, assessments of individual translations can be trenchant. Three indexes: titles of source texts and target texts; translators; subjects.

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism

For an overview of recent developments in translation research, see Lawrence Venuti, “Translation Studies,” pp. 294–311 in Nicholls, Introduction to Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literatures (A25).


Translation Studies Bibliography (TSB). Ed. Yves Gambier and Luc van Doorslaer. John Benjamins Publishing Company. Benjamins, n.d. 5 Mar. 2013. <>. Updated annually.

An interdisciplinary database of documents (including unpublished material and reviews) treating translating or interpreting, covering “aspects of intra- and interlingual translation, intercultural communication, adaptation, interpreting, localization, multimedia translation, language mediation, terminology and documentation.” The c. 24,500 entries exclude translations and dictionaries unless they are germane to translation or interpretation research.

The database uses the same interface as Bibliography of Pragmatics Online but with different searchable fields in Advanced Search: author or editor, title, keyword (i.e., subject term), abstract, publisher, document language, source language, pivot language, target language, person as subject, title as subject, series, journal title, and date. It is subject to the same limitations in sorting and exporting results of a search. (See entry U6050 for an evaluation of the interface.) Users can browse a list of subject keywords. International and interdisciplinary in scope but in need of an interface that offers more flexibility in downloading records, Translation Studies Bibliography is the fullest guide to scholarship on translation and interpretation studies.

See also

Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory (U6133) sometimes devotes a chapter to translation studies.