Answered By: Theresa Bell
Last Updated: Dec 06, 2017     Views: 630

Translated material is either cited as a paraphrase of a non-English source, or as a quotation or paraphrase of a translation, depending on whether you are working with the source in its original language or someone else’s published translation.

When citing directly from a source written in a language other than English, paraphrase the relevant content from the original language in English and include the author, year and page number in a parenthetical in-text citation. In some cases, the cited material may be a very close word for word translation, but the cited material is considered a paraphrase rather than a direct quote because you have ultimately used your own English words to re-phrase the original quotation (Lee, 2014).

If you cite a published translation of a source originally written in another language, include the original author’s name, the publication year of the original source, the year the translation was published, and the relevant page number in the in-text citation for both direct quotes and paraphrases (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 204). For example, if you are citing from Margaret Cook’s 1954 English translation of Jean Piaget’s 1950 French book La construction du réel chez l'enfant, include only Piaget’s name in the parenthetical citation and both dates of publication in the order they were published: (Piaget, 1950/1954, p. 25).

The reference for a non-translated source follows the relevant format for the source, including the English translation of the title in square brackets:

Piaget, J. (1950). La construction du réel chez l'enfant [The child’s construction of reality].

         Zurich, Switzerland: Neuchâtel, Delachaux, & Niestlé.

The reference for a translated source also includes the translator’s name in parenthesis following the title, while the original publication date concludes the reference:

Piaget, J. (1954). The construction of reality in the child. (M. Cook, Trans.). New York, NY: Basic 

         Books. (Original work published 1950)

For more information on referencing translated sources, please see Citing Translated Sources in APA Style on the APA Style Blog. The blog post Lost in Translation: Citing Your Own Translations in APA Style also includes useful information on citing and referencing non-translated sources.



American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological 

         Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Lee, C. (2014, November 4). Lost in translation: citing your own translations in APA Style [Blog post]. 

         Retrieved from