Citation in Spanish Guide

Anyone reviewing your content can verify facts and discover more details through cited sources. Since you must also cite foreign language resources, you can use this guide to help you with citation in Spanish.

What Is the Standard Citation in Spanish?

Per the MLA Handbook, you cite a Spanish resource the same way as an English one except that titles must follow sentence capitalization instead of headline or title style except when a word or words normally starts with a capital letter, such as with proper names.

Examples:

Allende, Isabel. La casa de los espíritus. Barcelona: Plaza & Janés, 1982.
Allende, Isabel. El cuaderno de Maya: una novela. 2011. New York: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2012. Print.
Matías-Guiu, J.A., et al. “¿Qué ocurre con los artículos médicos remitidos en español que no son aceptados para publicación?” Neurología 28. 4 (2013): 205-211. Print.

What Are the Elements of an MLA Citation?

MLA format in Spanish differs only slightly from MLA format in English. Names in Spanish present the biggest challenge because of the use of writing elements not commonly used in English. With citations, you typically include at least:

  • The full last and first name of the author or authors of the work. In Spanish, you might need to cite both maternal and paternal surnames of an author.
  • The title of the work highlighted with the italics font style. For works published within other works, you use quotations marks.
  • Publication details vary based on the source. They usually include the location of the publication or publisher, the name of the publisher, and the year of publication.

Citing A Spanish Book in MLA

MLA requires title capitalization change to sentence case for a book written in Spanish. If you can’t find the exact place of publication for a book, you can also omit it in your citation.

Format:Last Name, First Name. Title of the book. Place of Publication: Publisher Name, Publication Date.
Example:Allende, Isabel. La casa de los espíritus. Barcelona: Plaza & Janés, 1982.
Example:Allende, Isabel. El cuaderno de Maya: una novela. Barcelona: Plaza & Janés, 2011.
Example:Allende, Isabel. El juego de ripper. Barcelona: Plaza & Janés, 2014.

Citing A Republished Spanish Book in MLA

MLA standards require that you cite a reprinted book if you use one for your research, such as a paperback reprint of an original hard copy edition. With a republished book written in Spanish, you cite the original hard copy date after the title and the date of the reprint copy that you referenced after the publisher details as follows:

Format: Last Name, First Name. Title of the book. Original Publication Date. Place of Publication: Publisher Name, Reprint Date. Format.
Example:Allende, Isabel. La casa de los espíritus. 1982. Barcelona: Plaza & Janés, 1994. Print.
Example:Allende, Isabel. El cuaderno de Maya: una novela. 2011. New York: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2012. Print.
Example:Allende, Isabel. El juego de ripper. 2013. Barcelona: Prh Grupo Editorial, 2015. Print.

Citing Spanish Articles in MLA

The MLA format in Spanish for articles differs slightly from books. Instead of highlighting an article title with italics, you place quotation marks around it and use italics to highlight the title of the journal, newspaper, or other periodicals. If the work has more than one author, use “et al” without quotation marks after the first name.

Format:Last Name, First Name. “Title of the article.” Periodical Title Volume Number. Issue Number (Year): Page Number or Numbers. Format.
Example:Matías-Guiu, J.A., et al. “¿Qué ocurre con los artículos médicos remitidos en español que no son aceptados para publicación?” Neurología 28. 4 (2013): 205-211. Print.
Example:Javier Jiménez Martínez, Francisco, et al. “Optimización de piezoeléctricos comerciales para su uso en sistemas de Energy Harvesting.” Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Cerámica y Vidrio 54. 6 (2015): 247-253. Print.
Example:Garcia Saiso, Sebastian, et al. “Barreras y facilitadores a la implementación de la telemedicina en las Américas” Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública 45 (2021): 1-7. Print.

Citing A Spanish Web Page in MLA

For a complete web page citation in Spanish, you use italics with standalone content and to highlight the title of the website. If the site doesn’t have an obvious publisher or sponsor or a content publication date, you use “N.p.” or “N.d.” without quotation marks, respectively.

Format:Last Name, First Name. “Title of work.” Title of Web Site Version or Edition. Publisher or Sponsor, Publication Date (Day, Three-Letter Month. Year). Publication Format. Access Date (Day, Three-Letter Month. Year).
Example:García Méndez, Isabel. “Smart cities, Smart business, a debate en CASA SEAT.” Emprendedores.es. Revista Emprendedores S.L., 22 Oct. 2021. Web. 23. Oct. 2021.
Example:Blanco, Loreto. “¿Por qué todo el mundo continúa fascinado con Tulum?” ELLE.com. Hearst España, 19 Oct. 2021. Web. 23 Oct. 2021.
Example:Méndez, Begoña. “Gloria Steinem, el feminismo nómada.” Elcultural.com. Unidad Editorial S.A., 18 Oct. 2021. Web. 23 Oct. 2021.

MLA Spanish Names and Capitalization Rules

A person using a laptop to do citation in spanish

Several linguistic differences exist between English and Spanish. The following sections outline how you must handle Spanish names and related words in relation to appropriate positioning and capitalization when formatting citations.

de

Spanish speakers use the preposition “de,” the equivalent to the English “of,” before a surname that contains a place name or the combination of paternal and material surnames. Yet, when citing “de,” you position it after the forename instead of before the surname.

Format:Last Name, First Name de.
Example:Añorbe y Corregel, Tomás de.
Example:Cervantes, Miguel de.

Del

Spanish language users use the word “del,” or “of the” in English, before the surname. MLA doesn’t require the placement of “del” after the forename as with “de.” Instead, you capitalize the “d” and place it before the surname.

Format:Del Last Name, First Name.
Example:Del Alcázar, Baltasar.
Example:Del Corral, Andrés.

Paternal and Maternal Names

For citation in Spanish of double surnames, you cite the father’s surname first and the mother’s surname second. The name might appear with or without a “y,” the equivalent of “and” in English, between the two names.

Format: Paternal Name Maternal Name, First Name.
Example:Portilla y Esquivel, Miguel de.
Example: Zorrilla y Moral, José.

Alphabetize by Full Surnames

MLA requires that you list names in alphabetical order based on complete surnames. You might need to consult with a dictionary that deals with biographical information to confirm that you have cited a name and the alphabetical order correctly because of the difficulties differentiating between some Spanish surnames and forenames.

Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de.
Laforet, Carmen.

Other Words You Should Capitalize

As seen with citing titles in Spanish up to this point, you also shouldn’t capitalize the following words in a title unless they’re normally capitalized or begin a sentence, title or verse:

  • Place descriptors like “drive,” “lane,” “road,” “street” or “square”
  • Any words taken from proper nouns
  • Language and nationality names
  • Names of the days of the week or month
  • Titles before individual personal names
  • A pronoun subject, such as “I” or “We”

Conclusion

As you can see, you don’t have to remember a lot when fulfilling the citation in Spanish requirements of the MLA Style Guide. You merely need to keep in mind the main Spanish spelling and full name differences, the positioning of certain words in relation to names and publication details.

Leave a Comment