Should I italicize titles not written in the Latin alphabet?
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.
No. Note that there are many languages in the world that do not have an italic font—Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Armenian, for example. Arabic sometimes uses a typeface that slants to the left instead of to the right.
Given the complexity and specificity of historical, cultural, linguistic, and printing practices throughout the world, a writer should not use italics when a book title is in a foreign language that is not written in the Latin alphabet. If you are preparing a work for publication, leave the decision about italicizing such a title to the publisher.
For more on italicizing titles not written in the Latin alphabet, see our post on Cyrillic titles. For examples of titles in Cyrillic, see our post on the use of nonroman characters.