Use Our Library Search Tool in 20 Languages

Posted on: March 12, 2024

laptop with flags and text reading Library Search in 20 languages

Did you know you can select from 20 languages when searching for articles, books, and more in JMU Libraries? The search interface will display in your preferred language! 

You can also search by using voice-to-text in a variety of languages, or by entering characters from languages such as Arabic, Japanese, or Hebrew.

How to select a display language in Library Search:

  1. Visit Library Search.
  2. Select the “Menu” option in the upper right area of the screen. On a mobile device, the menu option will be signified by three dots in the upper right area of the screen.
  3. Choose “Display Language.”
  4. Select your language of interest (see list of languages below).
  5. Search for books, articles, videos and other items in our collections, and the search interface will be displayed in the language you selected! That is true for all items, not just items written in the selected language.

Languages include:

Partial screenshot of Library Search with display language set to Chinese

The available display languages in Library Search are Arabic, Catalan or Valencian, Chinese or Traditional Chinese (as seen in the screenshot at right), Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Welsh.

How to search in a variety of languages:

  • Type in your search terms: You can find items in Library Search by entering words or phrases in multiple languages, including languages that use a vernacular script, such as Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, or Cyrillic.
  • Use voice-to-text search: If you have access to Google Chrome and a microphone, you can also use Library Search with voice-to-text search in a variety of languages.

Benefits of these multilingual features:

Dr. Steven Holloway, our Director of Metadata Strategies and the driving force behind these features, points out that being able to use Library Search in multiple languages can support both the local community as well as JMU students and researchers:

“Using Library Search in another language could be valuable as a pedagogical exercise for students learning a new language. It could also support immigrant Harrisonburg residents for whom English is an additional language.”

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