Multiple versions of a field in a record

  • edited November 30, 2009
    I'm also biding my time, waiting for the finalization of 2.0 and the first green shoots of 2.1, for which I'm told multilingual support is planned.
  • I also hope to see multilingual support in Zotero 2.1 which should provide other fields for translatedTitle, transltatedAuthor and translatedJournal.
  • A small update on this. The citeproc-js processor has been deployed in the trunk version of Zotero. I've done some testing, and found that the multi-lingual input scheme described in the processor manual works. It's not pretty in the user interface, but it does allow the entry of multilingual data, and produces acceptably formatted multilingual references as defined in the default-locale attribute of the style.

    Note that the trunk version of Zotero is undergoing constant development, and is not for use in production. If all goes well, the feature will become available with the eventual beta release of Zotero 2.1.
  • I'll try to take this for a test drive with my multilingual sources and see how it works. Thanks for doing this -- this is one of the features that I am most excited to see.
  • Doesn't having multiple "default-locale" values kind of abuse the spirit of the attribute (which really suggests a singular value)?

    In any case, always good to test these sorts of idea with some real code, so good to see!
  • Doesn't having multiple "default-locale" values kind of abuse the spirit of the attribute (which really suggests a singular value)?
    Yep. It's not a very nasty abuse, though, since the language strings conform to the RFC 4646 that you recommended, and styles with these extended language parameters still validate against the CSL 1.0 schema (!). Definitely agree that it's unnecessarily awkward to manage the parameters in this form, though, and it may not make sense to freeze them in the style in this way; if the reviews are good, there should probably be processor methods for manipulating them through the UI.
  • edited September 3, 2010
    For anyone of a technical bent that might be following this thread, the UI portion of a multilingual development branch is now complete, pending bug fixes and cosmetic adjustments. If you would like to take the code out for a spin, it can be run from SVN. The README files in the archive contain some notes on the (relatively modest) work that remains to be done to make the prototype functional. In addition to having a functional UI, the current code will sync to the Zotero dataserver over the existing infrastructure.

    Note that the data storage format is likely to change slightly before this work is declared stable. The language tags will need to conform to RFC4646 (which they currently do not) and be limited to those listed in the IANA Language Subtag Registry (which they currently are not). The prototype should be used for experimentation only at this point, not for production storage.
  • Ha. I've just discovered that RFC4646 has been superceded by RFC5646. The subtag registry is over half a megabyte in size, and contains more that 8000 entries. Taming this beast in the UI will be a bit of a challenge, but once done we'll have a solid foundation.
  • For all Zotero users interested in the problem of translated and transliterated fields, I recommend that you read Frank's detailed description of the branch as it now stands, at .

    It is now possible to install the XPI on that page in a new Firefox profile (so you don't break your main Zotero install) and work effectively with multilingual data.

    I highly encourage anyone who uses translated or transliterated bibliographic information to try this out and provide feedback on how it works for you. If you come across problems or confusing points in the software, please post your questions to the zotero-dev mailing list ( Try to record the language data you need using this version of Zotero, and if something seems wrong or not currently possible, let us know so we can adjust the behavior of the extension accordingly.
  • edited October 13, 2010
    And, just to reiterate what fbennett said above, that's an unofficial, experimental XPI, and you should not expect data saved with it to be compatible with a future version of Zotero (though there's a slim chance you'd be able to export and import).
  • Yes -- we're trying to determine whether we cover the needs of users who use multiple languages. This is not yet a replacement for your normal Zotero usage, and you should only install it in a fresh Firefox profile (
  • I tried to install the "Multilingual Zotero" following the instruction "Running the Implementation" on, but it doesn't work. The download is really slow and at the end I get the message:
    "Firefox konnte das Add-on von folgender Adresse nicht installieren:
    Grund: Installationsscript nicht gefunden
    [translation: FF could not install the add-on from: [...] Reason: installation script not found - 204]
  • edited October 13, 2010
    You will not be able to run the extension unless you switch to one of the locales included in the test extension -- English or Japanese. Obviously this will have to change, but locale files for other localizations haven't been created yet. The error you're getting doesn't sound like a locale error, however. Can you try downloading the XPI to your computer (right click and Save File As...), then opening it from Firefox (File->Open)?

    Also, direct further troubleshooting to the zotero-dev mailing list at, so we don't confuse and mislead people who shouldn't be exploring super early (and super exciting) experimental versions of Zotero.
  • edited October 16, 2010
    @tucabib, et al.

    The xpi file was indeed bad; I inadvertently deleted a data file on which my local build script depended, and important things (like the Zotero core ...) were left out.

    I've just put up a working xpi at the same address that should be more fun to play with.

    [PS: I've also added placeholders for language strings in all of the supported locales, so it should be possible to run the client in any locale supported by Zotero.]
  • Just played around with it for a couple of minutes and it looks fanTAStic. This will make life a lot easier for people working with publications using non-Roman scripts. Any prediction about when this will end up in a stable Zotero release?
  • no, no ETA, but will be a while for sure.
  • @rickus: Very glad you like it -- encouragement from multilingual users like yourself is very helpful in moving things forward. Just a blind guess, but assuming all goes well, a merge of multilingual support is maybe a year out. At the moment the data model reflected in the database inside the multilingual version needs to be redone (it's unnecessarily complicated at the moment). That will take couple of weeks of concentrated effort. Once that's in place, there will be a fairly long period of testing, bug-fixing and incremental extension to be sure things work reliably enough, and that the code is maintainable enough, for merging.
  • I know this thread is almost 3 years old, but I was wondering if there was any progress being made to incorporate this functionality into the main Zotero program? The Google groups news site for Multilingual Zotero seems to be updated to the 2011. Or perhaps I'm looking in the wrong place?

    I'm a little hesitant to install the multi-lingual Zotero over my current install if it won't be compatible with future releases of Zotero. On the other hand, if I can't get the romanized title, asian characters, [translation] thing working, it could be a moot point anyway.

    Any news?
  • this won't make it into regular Zotero anytime soon, no, though in general that's still planned.

    See for updates on MLZ, I don't believe there ever was a google group for multilingual, if there were it's certainly not where things are happening now.
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