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Topic: Books not in English

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Subject: Books not in English
Date Posted: 9/15/2014 12:51 AM ET
Member Since: 9/18/2008
Posts: 391
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Question for those in the know.  Several times now I've ordered a book that the Title was in English on the site and nothing on the listing on PBS said that the book was not in English but then when the book arrives it is NOT in English.  So now I've got a book that I can't read because there was no indication that it was not in English on the site...what do I do? What can I do?  

Date Posted: 9/15/2014 1:23 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Ouch, maybe discuss it with one of the book data volunteers? But if the PBS book data doesn't say 'XYZ Edition" with the title (or subtitle) I'd be tempted to RWAP.  For lack of a better term, it's part of the title...therefore Title, Binding, Author, and ISBN must match.

It's possible that both editions were printed under the same ISBN, in which case the edition first entered is valid (English) and the other version (Non-English) must be posted with a short ISBN. 

It's also possible that the PBS database is incorrect.  But research must be done to prove it before TPTB will change the database.

Here's an example from my Bookshelf: Great Expectations (Korean Edition) Author: Charles Dickens

Since I have the Korean Edition, my copy is properly posted.  If I posted a Korean Language edition to a posting that did not note it as such...the receiver could (and should) RWAP.

Scott (scalta) - ,
Date Posted: 9/15/2014 1:49 AM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2010
Posts: 723
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The following information is from the help docs.  I highlighted the pertinent subject matter.


  • Paperback books
  • Hardcover books (dust jackets not required)
  • Audio books (must be originals, not burned copies)
  • Ex-library books (check that these are withdrawn/decirculated before posting)
  • Book Club Editions (note: since most of these do not have ISBNs, they will need to be Posted using the "Post a Book Without an ISBN" option, to create a matching listing).
  • Books with accompanying media (the accompanying media must be included with the book)
  • Books that originally came with non-media items, if the non-media materials are NOT REQUIRED for the book to be useful.  The non-media items do not have to be included to be postable here.
  • Textbooks/Workbooks - see Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS for more about this
  • Foreign-language books (if in a language other than English, the language needs to be specified in the book description)
  • Playaways (these are considered audiobooks)
  • Audio language courses or other courses of instruction (ie, self-help) with accompanying bound book.  (These are considered a bound book with accompanying media, and swap for 1 credit. They are not "audio books," which are books read aloud by a narrator.)
Date Posted: 9/15/2014 1:55 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
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If a book is posted with an English title and there is no mention that it is in another language then it is assumed to be in English. If you receive a book in another language without knowing this it should be marked as RWAP. It is the responsibility of the poster/sender either to submit a data edit to make this clear or to list the book with a short ISBN and make this known. Foreign language books, for example, are often posted as Book Title (French Edition) or whatever other language is appropriate. The publication language can also be stated in the book description section, but it is better to indicate this in the book title field since this makes it very obvious.

Even in cases where the other-language title exactly matches the English-language title (which technically may comply with the PBS rule that the book title must match the database listing) the book must be posted in a way that makes clear it is not in English. If the other-language title does not match the listing, then the book clearly does not meet the PBS the requirement that titles of posted books must match the database exactly. In either case, this is a book that you cannot read and should marked as RWAP along with a request for a credit refund.

Last Edited on: 9/15/14 2:00 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/15/2014 5:11 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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It is also important that there is a language genre added to the listing. The Search uses the genre listing. Without that added, it will not show up in searches for the language.

There is a non fiction and a fiction one for several languages.