Answer: Footnoting a Citation from a Translated Book

F.A.Q. #13

Hi there,

Firstly, thanks very much for creating this site. No matter how many guidelines I’ve received, I always seem to come across a situation that isn’t dealt with! I’m wondering how to properly footnote a citation from a book that has been translated. For example, I’m quoting from a book originally written in German but translated to English. The book was originally entitled, Altirischen by Rudolf Thurneysen but my copy is called A Grammar of Old Irish, translated by D.A Binchy and Osborn Bergin. I’d greatly appreciate your help.


A.Ó. Cléirigh


When footnoting a citation from a book that has been translated (and considering that it is the translated book that you are working from), you should use the translated book as your footnote source. Hence, even though the original reference is a book by Rudolf Thurneysen written in German, if your quote comes from Binchy and Bergin’s A Grammar of Old Irish then it is definitely Binchy and Bergin’s translated work that must be used as the reference.  This being said, credit must still be given to Thurneysen as the author but must also be given to the translators.  Here’s how the footnote could be included properly:

1 Rudolf Thurneysen, A Grammar of Old Irish, Translated by D. A. Binchy and Osborn Bergin, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1993, p. 67.


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Citing the Back Cover of a Book

Endnotes’ Procedure and Number of References

Footnote for a Foreword

Footnote Regarding an Expert Author’s Paragraph

Footnotes and Copyright Protected Documents

Footnotes and Direct References

Footnotes and Official Letters

Footnotes and Punctuation Marks

Footnoting a Citation from a Translated Book

Numbering and Continuation of Footnotes

Positioning of the Number

Proper Reference for the Transcription of a Conference

Proper Use of the Ibid. Terminology

Quoting a Book’s Section Written by a Single Author

Quoting from a Dictionary

Quoting from a Website

Reference for a Scholar’s Lecture

Reference for an Essay Published in a Book with Many Authors

Referencing Photos and Pictures

Two Footnotes in a Single Sentence

Using a Source More Than Once

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