11. 377 Associated Language

Sources: LC RDA Training Module 3, BL Guide, RDA 9.14, 11.8

LCT M3 Slide 30:

377 is repeatable (R)

Second indicator “7” if using a specific source, which would then be noted in the ‡2

If using the MARC Code List, second indicator is blank


‡a Language code (R) <‡a at the beginning of 377 does not display in OCLC>
‡l Language term (R) (not yet activated)
‡2 Source of code (NR)

Slide 31

Use an authorized code from the MARC Code List for Languages.

Record the language the person/family/corporate body uses in works it creates or contributes to

  • e.g. a writer who is a native English speaker but publishes exclusively in German – record “ger” for German
  • Hey, ABBA would be an example here. They were Swedish and wrote songs to be sung in English.
  • However, for creators of non-verbal works, the language should not be recorded for THOSE works.

NOTE: although RDA does not specify the language attribute for Family names, the MARC Authority Format allows you to record the language of the family.

BL Guide to Name Authorities


  • In ‡a, record codes from the MARC Code List for Languages
  • In ‡l, record terms for languages and dialects that are too specific for the code list:377    ‡a nya ‡l Chewa
  • Chewa dialect is under the collective code nya (Nyanja)


  • 377 can be used for the official language(s) of a country, state or province. Do not generally use 377 for local places such as towns and villages.

Personal Names:

  • Record only languages of which we have evidence of use in the public sphere. Do not surmise what languages a person might use in private. Do not record a language for an illustrator, photographer or other person working in a non-verbal context, unless they have also written, broadcasted, etc.
  • Do not record a language from which a person has translated, unless there is evidence that the person has also created expressions in that language. For example, for a person who has translated Japanese literature into English, but has not published in Japanese, record:
372     Translating and interpreting ‡a Japanese literature ‡2 lcsh
374     Translators ‡2 lcsh
377     eng [but not ‡a jpn]