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Foreign Languages: A Guide to Library Research

Easy Readers

The library has a collection of books called "readers" that are written at a lower language level to help people learning that language. Our largest collection of readers if for English Language Learners, but we have significant holdings in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish.

To find these books, search the Library Catalog for "subject:readers" Then use the language filter to find the books published in a specific language.

screenshot of the library catalog highlighting the search field and language filter

How to search for books in other languages

The best way to find a specific foreign-language book is to look up the title or author in the Library Catalog. Try both the original title and its English translation (but not at the same time). Due to differences in spelling, translation, transliteration, etc, it can often be difficult to search for non-English materials in the Catalog. Any questions, please contact a librarian!

  1. Go to the Library Catalog Advanced Search
  2. Enter the title, author, or a keyword
  3. If necessary, click “Available Online” under Additional Search Options, to limit search to ebooks
  4. Under "Language," choose the language you desire
  5. Under "Format," choose "Books” to eliminate audio, video, and other materials from your search
  6. Click "Search" to view your results

Relevant Call Numbers

P - Philology.  Linguistics
PA - Greek language and literature. Latin language and literature
PC 1-5498 - Romance languages PC 2001-3761 French
PD - Germanic languages
PG - Slavic languages
PJ 6001-8517 - Arabic language and literature
PL 501-889 - Japanese language and literature
PL 1001-3208 - Chinese language and literature
PQ 1-3999 - French literature
PQ 6001-8929 - Spanish literature
PT 1-4897 - German literature

Bilingual Dictionaries

Find bilingual dictionaries for many languages in the P call numbers of the Reference Collection. Ask a librarian if you have any questions!