Adding Chinese Language Books


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Adding Chinese Language Books

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1Choreocrat Første besked:
maj 26, 2007, 3:49 am

Does anyone else have trouble with Chinese language books? I have a growing Chinese language collection at the moment, and cataloguing them is somewhat tiresome, because none of the search catalogues have a decent collection for the sorts of things I have.
At the moment when I'm adding I'm using the standards from my university catalogue (one of the ones you can search through but not containing my books). Are there any hints about entering them?

Also, as far as I can see there's no CJK (Chinese/Japanese/Korean) language support on LibraryThing. Is there any chance of that happening at some stage?

On the other hand, it's good to see that there are some people with a Chinese interest - some people have translations of Lu Xun and Ba Jin, among other things.

Redigeret: maj 26, 2007, 10:31 am

Yes. Everyone has trouble with Chinese language books. Some, with hundreds or perhaps thousands of them, such as the Fogies, gave up on cataloguing them. Others of us with more modest holdings have just done it the hard way.

The biggest problem is finding books at add time. There are some high quality library databases out there, and the work has been done to identify all the connection details (for instance, here). But no action has been taken to add these libraries. The fundamental problem is presumably that there is no economic motivation, since there is not really a potential user base in China and the odd linguist or Sinologist does not really count.

So, the best bets are in the States: university libraries, the Library of Congress, and the Boston Public Library. The strategy I use is first to find the book in WorldCat and then see which library it lists that is also a LibraryThing source. Even with this, the majority end up manual entry, unfortunately. But even then, I aim to copy and paste the data from some OPAC rather than just transcribing it myself.

What specific CJK support did you imagine LT might have? I haven't actually noticed anything special in Chinese language OPACs. Have you? I think the problem is more generally a lack of support for non-Latin Unicode.

It's better than no support, which would be like refusing to accept those characters, or mapping them all into ?. In the early days, there were a couple of times where all the non-Latin titles got zapped, but those are thankfully behind us. The data you enter is preserved.

As of recently, Search within one's own library has been fixed to match. So, if you search for 話 it finds something. However, this does not work when searching globally.

When matching works, LT ignores non-Latin, which means that all books with only foreign scripts look the same to it, which is of course a mess. I have also seen strange behavior when matching non-Latin author names.

Touchstones in Chinese work as of recently. Like: 美国地图册.

Alphabetical sorting of non-Latin is still unpredictable. But even library interfaces that work seem to just use the underlying Unicode code sort order.

Non-Latin tags probably do not work. Best to just avoid them.

Based on those limitations, the strategy I use is to always include transliteration as part of the title and to only use transliteration for the author name. If you do find a university library that has the book, it will be using ALA romanization, so that's how it will start out. I then add the original script by hand (followed by the transliteration in brackets). I put the original script author in the Summary field. Modern libraries will have the original in a MARC 880 field. For instance, you can see it if you click on "See all MARC records" for Beijing gu cha ming si. I have asked on several occasions for this to be automated, but nothing has come of that yet. Anyway, this way searching and sorting can be done via the transliteration, which is better than nothing.

I am not saying this is the right way to do it, but it has worked okay for me, given what we have to work with.

maj 27, 2007, 1:15 am

THanks for all the information MMcM. It seem this has been discussed. I wasn't aware that non-latin titles could be used. I hadn't seen any on the Chinese works I found, so I thought that wouldn't work. If I can include both, it will be a lot better, because half of the deal is being able to see the characters, especially of authors. I'll avoid non-latin tags, as I have already. I can understand a lot of the issues that would be involved are complex, especially if they are not familiar with CJK requirements already.

4tonytony Første besked:
maj 28, 2007, 3:20 am

I also have had problem adding my collection of Chinese books, that is, until my discovery of this site: It allows one to easily add books in Chinese or any language for that matter. Hope that it helps.

maj 30, 2007, 10:18 am

tonytony, do you use both LT and aNobii at the same time? LT for all the books that aren't CJK?

maj 30, 2007, 12:12 pm

Does Anobii recognize Chinese books by ISBN? It seems to use Amazon data; does it also have Joyo or Dangdan? Or is it primarily that the site doesn't mess up searches and matches and so on for Chinese books?

jun 28, 2008, 5:29 pm

I have added my Chines language books, but it takes effort to do it. I scan my book into a jpeg file. Then upload it and then type in all the information about the chinese book. It is manually input. Check out my site to see examples.

Redigeret: sep 23, 2009, 11:09 pm

We are a library in a Section 8 building for seniors and disabled and in the last 5 years, about a quarter of the apartments have been rented by Chinese people, many of whom do not speak English. I have been desperately looking for books in Chinese, and if any of you can tell me of any good, Cheap, sources, I would be grateful. I should mention that so far there is no budget for books, and we've built the library entirely on gifts and trades at the local book trader.

sep 23, 2009, 11:13 pm

Thank you all for the information. So far I have managed by getting the bilingual folks in the building to give me the PinYin titles and to tell me what the books are about. So I just use Dewey numbers or fiction tags.
I have no idea what the titles actually are saying, but as long as the folks in the building can read them, I'm happy.

sep 23, 2009, 11:16 pm

If the book has an ISBN number, I normally look it up in and copy & paste the information. They normally also have a cover image to "borrow"

okt 1, 2009, 5:41 pm

We are lucky that our most reliable volunteer lived in Japan for five (?) years and was in charge of computers for one of the companies he worked for. He teaches our ESL for citizenship class.
He told me that most American computers treat orien-tal characters as graphics - and there are 14,000 you should know to be considered literate.
Our computers are so old that printing from the Chinese language computer - or even a Chinese language website - has overloaded our printer. I think I'll hit Craig's list and see if I can find someone getting rid of a high-capacity printer or computer.