How to cite a translated book in MLA

MLA translated book citation

To cite a translated book in a reference entry in MLA style 8th edition include the following elements:

  1. Translator(s) name: Give the last name, and name as presented in the source (e. g. Watson, John). For two translators, reverse only the first name, followed by ‘and’ and the second name in normal order (e. g. Watson, John, and John Watson). For three or more translators, list the first name followed by et al. (e. g. Watson, John, et al.)
  2. Title of the book: Titles are italicized when independent. If part of a larger source add quotation marks and do not italize.
  3. Author(s) name: Give the last name and name as presented in the source (e. g. Watson, John). For two authors, reverse only the first name, followed by ‘and’ and the second name in normal order (e. g. Watson, John, and John Watson). For three or more authors, list the first name followed by et al. (e. g. Watson, John, et al.)
  4. Publisher: Always use the abbreviated version, e.g: MIT P for MIT Press or Oxford UP for Oxford University Press.
  5. Year of publication: Give the year of publication as presented in the source.

Here is the basic format for a reference list entry of a translated book in MLA style 8th edition:

Translator(s) name, translator. Title of the book. By Author(s) name, Publisher, Year of publication.

Take a look at our works cited examples that demonstrate the MLA style guidelines in action:

Examples

Book with one translator and one author.

Keeland, Reg, translator. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. By Stieg Larsson, Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, 2008.

Note: The translator takes the author position if the focus is in the translation of the book.

Book with one translator.

Larsson, Stieg. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Translated by Reg Keeland, Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, 2008.

Note: The author can be listed first and the translator after the title, if the focus is on the book and not the translation.

Book with two translators and one author.

Maude, Louise, and Alymer Maude, translators. Anna Karenina. By Leo Tolstoy, Penguin, 1992.

or

Book with two translators and one author.

Tolstoy, Leo. Anna Karenina. Translated by Louise Maude and Alymer Maude, Penguin, 1992.

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