"Disambiguation Comment" foreign language style clarification

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This just says,

Disambiguation comments should be written in English if possible and kept fairly short…

What does this actually mean for non-English languages? When should foreign languages be transliterated to Latin script (even if its target audience doesn’t typically read Latin script text)? When should foreign languages be translated to “English” (even if English readers are not its target audience)?

  1. If a proper noun or concept is best known in when written in a non-Latin script, what should be done?
  2. If something has ambiguous transl(iter)ations, what should be done?
  3. If text written in a foreign language has context because of its script, and translating that text to Latin-script English may cause it to partially lose meaning, what should be done?

Let’s work with 3 examples:

From this release group:

  1. 初回生産限定盤

  2. 期間生産限定盤

Can we agree that this should be left in Japanese, and not translated to English?

And finally,

  1. ラストピリオド -終わりなき螺旋の物語-

If this needs to be placed in, say, an artist comment because the name of the artist is common, what should the disambiguation comment be? (This is in voting now.)

@reosarevok Do you have any thoughts as Style Leader?


I helped craft the language of that document. I specified the “if possible” specifically for cases like these. I would prefer to keep them in their original Japanese.


Given how the document is being interpreted, I think an explicit exception for proper nouns / titles from foreign languages would do some good then.


What this means depends. In this specific case, though, I’d try to have both (for the release groups) if that helps clarify for people who might not speak Japanese. If not doable, then just Japanese is probably fine. For the artist, why not also combine them? ラストピリオド -終わりなき螺旋の物語- / Last Period might be the best option, unless a different thing connected to this Last Period has another character of the same name.

Basically, disambiguations should be useful for as many people as possibly in a reasonable way. So, ideally we would make it so that you don’t actively need to know Japanese to understand these to some degree and disambiguate, even if you lose some detail compared to someone who does speak the language. But yeah, might not always be possible :slight_smile:


Should https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Disambiguation_Comment be edited then? It currently says

Disambiguation comments should be written in English if possible and kept fairly short. A few words are usually enough for someone reading it to recognize the entity they’re looking for.

but based on the discussion here, would this proposal be more accurate? (changes in italics)

Disambiguation comments should generally be written in English and kept fairly short. A few words are usually enough for someone reading it to recognize the entity they’re looking for. In some cases, non-English words may be the most concise way to make the entity recognizable; if so, try to also provide an English translation if a short one is feasible

I’d like something more official than votes to point at if anybody is replacing a concise Japanese disambiguation with an “unpopular” or unofficial English disambiguation.


Sorry, I’m reviving this because I still have discographies of at least a dozen of anime to add and so far I’ve only kept disambiguation in Japanese using the original title because I was adding characters from a given source in a specific language.
And they keep getting edited out and romanized.
In the end I wanted to know what the consensus was about adding characters, specifically. Personally, I think the original Japanese is the way to go, because that’s the official source for both the character name and franchise name. Adding a romanization at the end could work, like in this example

But what doesn’t sit right with me is removing the original.

Additionally, I also feel that adding “character” at the end of disambiguation for an artist is redundant because the type is already set to Character.

I’ll leave a few examples of what is in voting right now all with the same criteria

I voted no and linked the note to this thread.


In general I find the common role/s, function/s, of an Artist useful in a disambig.

Would “Character” be similarly useful in distinguishing between entries quickly?

Excepting for this I support what you present here.

I find “Show Name character” for a character and “Show Name characters” for character groups to provide completely unambiguity of what the artist is as not all search views show artist type, but all search views show disambiguation.

As for the disambiguation language, it should be clear to the widest audience possible.

See also MBS-10413 for the future.


We are not everyone English.
You could start by appending the English instead of erasing the original title, maybe?

I’m uncomfortable with the idea of localizing show titles for disambiguations for different reasons.
Some shows are known by alternate names in territories outside of Japan. While we’re on the topic of Precure, it’s important to note that two of the show’s installments have been released on Netflix in North America and rebadged as Glitter Force and Glitter Force Doki Doki.
If we were to tailor all our disambiguations for the English-speaking market, wouldn’t that necessitate using the new names for said market? I personally don’t like this idea.