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Foreign Languages in UMSL Library Databases

A guide that will give an overview of foreign language availability in various databases that the UMSL Libraries subscribe to.

Library resources

There are many Foreign Language (FL) articles available through online databases to which the UMSL Libraries subscribe. This material includes:

  • articles from wire services, newspapers and online magazines;
  • articles from scholarly sources, especially those in the social sciences and humanities;

While the FL material in our library resources is overwhelmingly from major European languages (French, German, Italian and Spanish) there has been a noticeable increase in less widely-spoken European languages (ex: Dutch Hungarian, Polish, Swedish).  There is also a growing presence of non-Western languages, especially Arabic and Chinese.

Department of Language and Cultural Studies at UMSL.


Search tips

When searching in library databases for FL material one should keep several things in mind:

  • one can normally select options to a) limit searches or b) filter search results to a particular FL;
  • most databases do not distinguish between letters that also have accents, umlauts, etc. This can make searching easier if one doesn't know the code for a particular letter.  In other words, most databases will now accept an a for an ä, or an n for an ñ, etc. Thus, inputting castana for Spanish castaña will retrieve the latter term in that language anyway.
  • It helps to input words in a desired FL in order to get search results in that FL;
  • sometimes article titles will be translated into English so that the article itself might appear to be in English although the full-text, if it exists, will be in the FL;
  • In some databases, one can search using non-Latin or non-Western scripts or characters;
  • unfortunately, some FL material in most of these databases is merely indexed and will have to be acquired later by using InterLibrary Loan (ILL);