Transliteration in new multilingual Zotero beta

First off - thanks to the authors of this. Great work!

And also a question - I see we can now manually transliterate foreign titles (etc.) into new special fields. But is there any way to do this automatically? If so, could somebody please explain how to do this? If not, is this being worked on (for instance, google now does this automatically)?

Also - can somebody tell us more about the plans to (re)activate the sync option?

Thanks again. This new functionality saves us a lot of time and aggravation. Zotero is truly growing leaps and bounds!

  • Also - can somebody tell us more about the plans to (re)activate the sync option?
    That's an unofficial, experimental build developed by Frank Bennett. As such, it will never sync with the Zotero server, and there will be no upgrade path. The only (possible) way to get data out would be to export to RDF once the multilingual functionality is integrated into Zotero, but there's currently no ETA for that.
  • Understood. Thanks. As long as we can export/import RDF files at some point.

    Oh and BTW - I see that you are lead developper of Zotero. So let me use this opportunity to thank you for what I genuinely think is a FANTASTIC piece of work. I have been through the whole transition path: from the 5x3 index cards (had 100 pages of footnotes in my first diss, which I still typed on a typewriter - taking me literally WEEKS of work JUST for the footnotes); through first-generation software like ProCite (which already saved me months of my life over the years), and now Zotero. I can't wait for the Chrome/Everywhere combo (Zotero is the ONLY reason I still use Firefox). So on behalf of the undoubtedly 10s of thousands of people in the research trenches - a heartfelt expression of gratitude!


  • Thanks very much—but it's due to the contributions of community members like Frank (who developed not only the multilingual build you're using but also the next-generation citation processor in Zotero 2.1) that Zotero is where it is today.
  • edited December 17, 2010
    And also a question - I see we can now manually transliterate foreign titles (etc.) into new special fields. But is there any way to do this automatically? If so, could somebody please explain how to do this? If not, is this being worked on (for instance, google now does this automatically)?
    There are no current plans to embed automatic translation, but I still hope to add automated transliteration to the extent that it is possible. My first stabs at a system to do so are at .

    There is also some hope that the translations and transliterations of titles and authors might be crowd-sourced some day, but that's more like a pie-in-the-sky dream right now than a concrete goal for this branch.

    As with almost all the non-CHNM developers, Frank Bennett is a full-time academic, and so the multilingual branch is currently just trying not to fall behind the Zotero core and bit-rot away. There are architectural questions that need to be worked out before the multilingual functionality makes it into Zotero proper, but this direction is very important for quite a few people, and Dan and the team have stated that they do want to merge this major branch back to the trunk when it is ready.
  • Thanks Avram. Do you have any instructions for how to use this javascript in Windows (I run Windows 7)? When I double-click on it, I receive an error (Line 5, char 1, jahat_to_standard_tatar_cyr is undefined).

    I sure hope work on this will continue. And having seen incredible improvements in Google translate, for instance (at least for Russian to English, for instance), I sure hope that even that functionality may become available some day. So keep up the good work!

    BTW - It's nice to see that Slavists have become a lot more computer-savvy than in my days! И еще раз спасибо Вам огромное. И удачи с татарским! :)
  • edited December 17, 2010
    The transliteration script is not integrated into Zotero in any way at this point. You should be able to run tests.js with your JavaScript engine of choice -- and modify tests.js to do what you need.

    To see it in use on an actual site, see , and click on the LATIN button. View the source of that page to see how I've done it-- it's pretty easy:
    <script src="";
    <script src="";
    <script type="text/javascript">
    function translit() {
    document.documentElement.innerHTML = transliterate("tt-Cyrl",
    "tt-Latn-yan1999", document.documentElement.innerHTML);}

    Now that I've started to learn to work on Firefox extensions, I hope to tie this into the Zotero interface at some point soon. I'll post here if and when that happens. If you have other questions about the transliteration system, it's probably best to handle them elsewhere-- email me at and we'll try to keep the forums related to Zotero itself.

    One thing that both the transliteration system and Multilingual Zotero use is specific language variant subtags, which have to be approved by the IETF languages working group. So if you need such subtags for your future use, post here and we'll try to help you work through the process of submitting new tags.
  • edited December 18, 2010
    We have now entered the new fields (for translation) in our (new multilingual) Zotero database. But when we try to use cite while you write in Word, we get an error Zotero 2.1b2pre-multilingual requires Zotero WinWord integration 3.1a0 or later. This despite the fact that we re-installed the Word components from within the Firefox add-on. I also manually deleted the file from the Word Startup folder, re-installed it from within Firefox (when I check, it does put the template in the right folder, and it's timestamped 12-08-2010 19:18 - is that the right one?) - but I still get the same error. Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance
  • edited December 18, 2010
    Reminder: Do not expect the multilingual experimental branch to work. Do not use it for anything important at this point.

    You can try to install the latest trunk XPI of the integration plugin-- I know that it did work at one point, but it may have since changed in some way that makes it not work with the multilingual branch. Frank is the only one who has worked on this significantly-- and maintaining support for the integration plugins is less of a priority now than guiding this branch to an eventual landing in the core Zotero installation-- the underlying citation processor suports the multilingual apparatus already, and any issues with the integration plugins are thus unlikely to be major ones.

    edit: While I stand by what I've said, adamsmith is right and this is likely just a case of using the wrong plugin. The bleeding edge might even work if you have the guts to use it.
  • edited December 18, 2010
    well - what version does it show as installed in FF?
    you should install this one:
    (linked to from here

    edit: while everything ajlyon says is right, this sounds to me like you simply have the wrong plugin installed.
  • edited December 18, 2010
    AJ, Adam - thanks for the reply. And Adam - yes, that did the trick. I can now use cwyw in Word, and the references do get inserted. I guess I'll now have to try and figure out how to make Zotero add the new fields to the actual citation in Word (both in the footnote and in the bibliography). But I guess there should be documentation for modifying or creating styles, so I'll go look.
    At any rate - thanks for helping me out!

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