How should I refer in my prose to a film or TV show that has an original foreign language title and an international title?
Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.
When writing about a work known by more than one title, consider your audience. If you are writing for an audience that will know the work best by its original language title, use that title throughout your paper and provide a translation in parentheses:
In “Cécile,” the first episode of Dix pour cent (Ten percent), Cécile de France plays herself as an actor deciding whether she should have cosmetic surgery to avoid aging out of roles for younger women.
But if you are writing about a work that may be unfamiliar to your audience or known to your audience by its international title, provide the original title with a translation in parentheses and also indicate that the work is known by an alternative title.
In “Cécile,” the first episode of Dix pour cent (Ten percent), known internationally as Call My Agent!, Cécile de France plays herself as an actor deciding whether she should have cosmetic surgery to avoid aging out of roles for younger women.
In either case, your works-cited-list entry should list the title provided on the work itself, and your in-text references should key to the first element of the entry. In the examples above, the writer refers to the title of the episode, “Cécile,” and the episode title is the first element of the entry, shown below. The title sequence of the episode shows Dix pour cent as the series title, so that title is given in the Title of Container element of the entry. Note that in works-cited-list entries, you do not need to provide a translation of the series title.
“Cécile.” Dix pour cent, created by Fanny Herrero, directed by Cedric Klapisch, season 1, episode 1, Mon Voisin Productions, 2015.