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Stretching Conceptual Structures in Classifications Across Languages and Cultures.
School of Information Studies - Faculty Scholarship
  • Barbara H. Kwasnik, Syracuse University
  • Victoria L. Rubin, Syracuse University
Document Type
  • Classification,
  • translation,
  • cultural hospitality,
  • Dewey Decimal Classification,
  • library of Congress Classification.

The authors describe the difficulties of translating classifications from a source language and culture to another language and culture. To demonstrate these problems, kinship terms and concepts from native speakers of fourteen languages were collected and analyzed to find differences between their terms and structures and those used in English. Using the representations of kinship terms in the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) and the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) as examples, the authors identified the source of possible lack of mapping between the domain of kinship in the fourteen languages studied and the LCC and DDC. Finally, some preliminary suggestions for how to make translated classifications more linguistically and culturally hospitable are offered.

Additional Information

The downloadable article is the final manuscript of the article, Stretching conceptual structures in classifications across languages and cultures in Classification & Cataloging Quarterly. All rights reserved to the authors, Kwasnik, B., & Rubin, Victoria. The article is under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 Licenses. ” To link to this article:

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
Citation Information
Barbara H. Kwasnik and Victoria L. Rubin. "Stretching Conceptual Structures in Classifications Across Languages and Cultures." (2003)
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