On 19/06/2013 01:45, Robert Maxwell wrote:
Mac, you have brought this issue up often enough, but what do you do about other parts of the record that are geared toward a particular language community? Notes in 5XX fields are going to be in English in English-language records, for example, and for good reason. We use English terms in the extent element. There are lots of places in the record where we use the language of the cataloging agency. I don’t see how this differs from using English terms in a publication statement (specifically the date of publication element). I also note that this is not new to RDA. AACR2 also used English-language phrases like “not after Aug. 21, 1492” or “between 1711 and 1719” (21.16G).
And yes, the fact that we record a lot of information within the record in the language of the cataloging agency does imply that a cataloging agency that uses a different language would need to create its own record in its own language, i.e., duplicate records. I don’t see any way around that. At least most of our users in Utah wouldn’t be happy with records for Chinese resources created by Chinese agencies (the Universal Bibliographic Control ideal) in which the notes, the publication statement, the extent, etc., were all in Chinese.
With the power of modern systems, it is important to realize that “text” today is not like “text” on a piece of paper. Everybody keeps talking about metadata and linked data, but those are not the only tools and there are other developments that are just as important (I think even more important) and could be incredibly useful. Here is an example of what can be done today, using a tool that is “free”, i.e. from Google (and we should all now be getting a better awareness of what “free” means, although in this case, I think it really is free).
I wish I could make a live demonstration of this but I cannot seem to find a permanent link into the Russian National Library catalog, so this is the best I can do at the moment. Here is a record (in Russian characters) for a book by Mikhail Gorbachev as cataloged there, and I have chosen their ISBD format: (after Mark’s tests, I think the Russian characters will come out OK)
Моральные уроки XX века : Диалоги / Михаил Горбачев, Дайсаку Икеда ; [Послесл. М. Горбачева]. – М. : Blue apple, 2000. – 175 с., [8 л. цв. ил., цв. портр.] ; 22 .
5000 экз. – ISBN 5-8415-0004-Х (В пер.).
I. Икеда Дайсаку. – 1. Новейшая история, 20 в. 2. Перестройка социально-экономической жизни общества – СССР
When I run this through Google Translate, I get:
Gorbachev, Mikhail Gorbachev (1931 -).
Moral lessons of XX century: Dialogues / Mikhail Gorbachev, Daisaku Ikeda, [Afterword. Gorbachev]. – M.: Blue apple, 2000. – 175. [8 liters. col. ill., col. Portree.] 22.
5000 copies. – ISBN 5-8415-0004–X (In per.).
UDC 94 (47 +57) (093.3)
BBK 63.3 (2) 6 + T3 (0) + T3 6.02 (2) 74.02
I. Daisaku Ikeda. – 1. Recent history, at 20. 2. The restructuring of social and economic life of the community – the Soviet Union
It doesn’t understand some of the Russian bibliographic abbreviations and ignores them mostly e.g. where it changed “Новейшая история, 20 в.” (Recent history–20th century) to “Recent history, at 20.” It did figure out “col. ill.” but considered the “8 л.” (leaves) as “8 liters”, which is pretty funny! It also didn’t pick up “портр.” as “portrait”. Far from perfect, but not all that bad. The final product is very readily comprehensible to a person. The biggest error however, is with Gorbachev’s name, which for some reason goes from “Горбачев, Михаил Сергеевич (1931-).” (Gorbachev, Mikhail Sergeevich (1931-)” to “Gorbachev, Mikhail Gorbachev (1931 -).” ignoring his patronimic! I have no idea how or why that happened.
This could also be done with another format that the Russian library provides, which they call “full” but is actually a simplified XML-type of delimited information, which I won’t append here (and unfortunately, I cannot link to it).
Google Translate can be made to work as a “mashup” which could work in conjunction with catalogs. It’s easy to implement and I have it working on my blog, e.g. for my blog in Greek. I am sure the translation is far from perfect, but someone may be able to get some kind of an idea of what is there, otherwise it is totally gone to them. It’s helped me with languages I don’t understand.
All of this can–and will–be improved vastly and libraries could make versions for their own purposes (adding authorized forms or URIs?, or maybe making special translations for specific fields such as the 300 field). Libraries could perhaps be lucky enough to work with Google and supplement what they have done. None of it is magic (although the results sure looks like magic to me!) and can only get better.
So, this is how it could work: libraries could help create a really cool tool that would begin to be a real solution to a problem that has plagued libraries since they started to cooperate: how can you efficiently and effectively share a record made for a community in e.g. Russia with e.g. an Anglo-American community. Here is the start of a real solution. And we can all see it in action!
Also, an improved tool such as this could be implemented today (not in 10 years from now when libraries will be even further behind developments than they are today and it will be even harder to catch up) and absolutely everyone could benefit–from user to cataloger. This tool could be improved in all kinds of ways (people today tend to be understanding of “weirdness” they see, but they expect continuing improvements) plus it would probably be far cheaper to implement than it will cost the library community to implement RDA/FRBR. It could even help iron-out problems with that evil, old “legacy data”.
Use the power of the tools that are now at our fingertips! There is so much more that could be done and could make everyone’s job easier!