[Koha] How to search by Language on OPAC?

Chris Mueller catsalsa at gmail.com
Tue Sep 22 05:37:38 NZST 2009

Using the 041 MARC field to search for works in a specific language will not
return all works in your database in the specific language. Field 041 is
*not* coded in all records, only in exceptions.

The MARC21 field definition/scope of the 041 field @
http://www.loc.gov/marc/bibliographic/bd041.html explains --

"Codes for languages associated with an item when the language code in field
008/35-37 of the record is insufficient to convey full information. Includes
records for multilingual items, items that involve translation..."

"Used when one or more of the following conditions exist:
-- The item contains more than one language...
-- The item is or includes a translation
-- The language of the summaries, abstracts, or accompanying material
differs from the language of the main item
-- The language of a table of contents differs from the language of the main

Example: If an item is in Spanish and is *not* a translation and has no
other language in the item, the 041 field should not be coded per MARC21
standards. The only way you can retrieve such an item is through field

If you do want to search the 041 -- to find translations perhaps -- there is
a challenge not mentioned in this thread: "In 2001: the practice of placing
multiple language codes in one subfield, e.g., $aengfreger, was made
obsolete and subfields $a, $b, $d, $e, $f and $g were changed from
Not-repeatable (NR) to Repeatable (R). The field was also changed from
Not-repeatable (NR) to Repeatable (R) to accommodate non-MARC language
codes." [same URL as above] Unless your database has only very recent
imprints it's probable that you have items with 041 field coded according to
the new standard as well as the old standard.

A way for patrons to search for items where the predominate language can be
selected from a pick list where the language is expressed in its full form
and not as a 3-character code is muy importante!

Christine Mueller
Database Administrator
Office of Information Technology
New Mexico State Library
1209 Camino Carlos Rey
Santa Fe, NM 87507
Phone: 505-476-9744
christine.mueller at state.nm.us

2009/9/17 Melisa Canales <mcanales29 at gmail.com>

> Hello,
> On the OPAC Advanced Search page one of the search options on the drop down
> list is "Language."  Our collection contains a lot of foreign language films
> and it was my understanding we could use this field to search for all films
> in a particular language.  Does anyone know the MARC tag that links to this
> search field?  I've tried different ones, but have been unable to find the
> right one.  Or maybe my understanding of the search field is incorrect...
> Thank you,
> Melisa Canales
> _______________________________________________
> Koha mailing list
> Koha at lists.katipo.co.nz
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