How to Cite a Source in a Foreign Language

Good sources come in all types, sizes, and…languages!

With the increasing popularity of searching for sources on the Internet, it is easier than ever to access sources from all over the world and in different languages. With these kinds of sources, however, it can be difficult to understand how to accurately include them in your citation list.

So, how exactly would you cite a source that was originally published in another language? Below are some helpful tips on how to do so in MLA, APA, and Chicago citation styles.

To create a citation for a source in a foreign language, here are some pieces of information you may need:

  • Author name(s)
  • Title of the work* (you may need the original title, depending on your citation style)
  • Where the work was published
  • Date the work was published

To help with creating citations for sources in a foreign language, we’ve included formulas and  examples for some of the most popular citation styles for the source Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Formula for citing a foreign language source in MLA:

Author Last Name, Author First Name. Title in the Original Language [Translated Title]. Publisher, Year.

MLA format example:

de Saint-Exupéry, Antoine. Le Petit Prince [The Little Prince]. Gallimard, 1943.

*For additional help with MLA citations, checkout this MLA in-text citation example and MLA citation website citing guide.

Formula for citing a foreign language source in APA:

Author Last Name, First Initial. (Year Published). Title in the original language [Translated title]. Place of Publication: Publisher.

APA citation example:

de Saint-Exupéry, A. (1943). Le petit prince [The little prince]. Paris, France: Gallimard.

*If you’re citing many sources, this guide can help you create citations for an APA reference page.

Formula for citing a foreign language source in Chicago:

Author Last Name, First Name. Original Title [Translated Title]. City of Publication: Publisher, Year Published.

Chicago style citation example:

de Saint-Exupéry, Antoine. Le Petit Prince [The Little Prince]. Paris: Gallimard, 1943.


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About the Author

Elise Barbeau

Elise Barbeau is the Citation Specialist at Chegg. She has worked in digital marketing, libraries, and publishing. She graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor’s degree in History/Art History, and earned her Master’s degree in Public History/Library Science from St. John’s University. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, running, and cheering on the Yankees/Islanders/Jets. She lives and works in New York.