EBSCO Publishing Expands Language Support for EBSCO Discovery Service™ and EBSCOhost

Share Article

Moving Beyond Unicode Compliance and Continuing Development Improves the Searchability of Non-Roman Characters from Journals and Other Metadata

News Image
EBSCO knew it had to develop a custom solution that addressed the needs of a global and diverse customer base. Multilanguage searching is an essential element of the continued development of the EBSCOhost platform.

Multilanguage searching in EBSCO Publishing (EBSCO) resources such as EBSCO Discovery Service™ (EDS) and EBSCOhost® databases continues to expand, now supporting a growing list of languages. EBSCOhost has built upon existing Unicode compliance standards, which enable string match searching for 90 languages, to provide improved language-specific searching for more than 40 of the most common languages in EBSCOhost resources—a number that will continue to expand as development continues and content requires. These ongoing developments offer library patrons improved search results whether the search begins in EBSCO Discovery Service or EBSCOhost databases. With EDS and EBSCOhost, users can now even combine search terms in multiple languages in one search.

While continuing to make improvements to the non-English language searching that EBSCO currently supports, developers have also targeted the most difficult languages for significant improvements. Continued improvements to support multilanguage capabilities for non-Roman character sets include languages such as Arabic, Greek, Hebrew and Russian, and other languages using alphabets such as Cyrillic. Additional improvements also target searching in complex languages such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean—typically the most technically challenging languages for keyword searching.

The EBSCOhost user interface is currently localized into 23 languages meaning the interface’s labels and messages are translated into those languages. The EBSCOhost search platform has been expanded to now support search, discovery, and display of database and catalog content in more than 40 languages. The current list of languages includes (but is not limited to):

  • Arabic
  • Bahasa Indonesian
  • Bengali
  • Bulgarian
  • Chinese, Simplified
  • Chinese, Traditional
  • Croatian
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Estonian
  • Farsi
  • Finnish
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Hungarian
  • Irish Gaelic
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Latin
  • Latvian
  • Lithuanian
  • Malay
  • Nigerian
  • Norwegian
  • Pashto
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Slovak
  • Slovenian
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • Tagalog
  • Thai
  • Turkish
  • Vietnamese
  • Welsh
  • Yiddish

Supporting multiple languages with non-Roman characters is a challenge for any online search service. For example, phrases or sentences in languages such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean, are commonly written without spaces between words. Some languages contain multiple scripts per language and there are regional and historical variations to consider. EBSCO has created a system to handle these variations among character sets and now offers unparalleled searching in these non-Roman languages.

The Japanese language alone combines more than 2000 Kanji or Chinese characters, Hirigana and Katakana characters that represent syllables plus the Latin alphabet in Romanji and even foreign words which use their original characters or letters. These systems are used together or often in combinations so all that needs to be accounted for in each and every search. It is conceivable that a single user searching in Japanese, for example, might require the EBSCO search system to confront five completely different writing systems.

EBSCO developers have created the most robust search capabilities available for those languages including:

  •     Inter-searchability between Simplified and Traditional Chinese characters
  •     Japanese searches using New Kanji that are able to retrieve results containing both New and Old Kanji
  •     Hiragana/Katakana inter-searchability and word-matching that accurately retrieves compound words from parts of the word in Japanese
  •     Korean word-matching (accurately retrieve compound words from parts of the word)

The growth of EBSCOhost throughout the world, the continued addition of non-English content to databases and the advances in resources such as EBSCO Discovery Service, which extend searching beyond EBSCOhost resources, all require multilanguage search development. EBSCO Publishing Senior Director of Software Development Ron Burns says providing support for a growing list of languages has expanded along with the scope of content and coverage of EBSCO’s resources. “EBSCO knew it had to develop a custom solution that addressed the needs of a global and diverse customer base. Multilanguage searching is an essential element of the continued development of the EBSCOhost platform.”

About EBSCO Publishing
EBSCO Publishing is the world’s premier database aggregator, offering a suite of more than 300 full-text and secondary research databases. Through a library of tens of thousands of full-text journals, magazines, books, monographs, reports and various other publication types from renowned publishers, EBSCO serves the content needs of all researchers (Academic, Medical, K-12, Public Library, Corporate, Government, etc.). The company’s product lines include proprietary databases such as Academic Search™, Business Source®, CINAHL®, DynaMed™, Literary Reference Center™, MasterFILE™, NoveList®, SocINDEX™ and SPORTDiscus™ as well as dozens of leading licensed databases such as ATLA Religion Database™, EconLit, Inspec®, MEDLINE®, MLA International Bibliography, NISC™, The Philosopher’s Index™, PsycARTICLES® and PsycINFO®. Databases are powered by EBSCOhost®, the most-used for-fee electronic resource in libraries around the world. EBSCO is the provider of EBSCO Discovery Service™ a core collection of locally-indexed metadata creating a unified index of an institution’s resources within a single, customizable search point providing everything the researcher needs in one place—fast, simple access to the library’s full text content, deeper indexing and more full-text searching of more journals and magazines than any other discovery service (http://www.ebscohost.com/discovery). For more information, visit the EBSCO Publishing Web site at: http://www.ebscohost.com.

EBSCO Publishing is a division of EBSCO Industries Inc., one of the largest privately held companies in the United States.


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Kathleen McEvoy
EBSCO Publishing
800 654-2726 x2594
Email >
Visit website