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Language requirements

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Language requirements

1. Assigning languages. The language at the album level must be the same as the titles. If there are various languages in the titles, the main one has to be chosen.

The language at the track level should be the one used in the song.

If the language does not appear in the list, the most similar one must be assigned.

If the track is instrumental or the language is invented, then it must be indicated with the option “no linguistic content”.

2. Considerations on non-Latin metadata. If an album contains one of the following languages in the metadata, it must follow the requirements settled below.

  • Hebrew metadata. All the titles and names must be written in Hebrew. Transliterations are not allowed.
  • Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Thai metadata. The metadata must be introduced accordingly to the original alphabet. However, the artist’s names in Chinese and Korean must be written in English (or transliterated). For instance, only the second option would be valid in the following example:
    • Korean: 박신혜
    • English: Park Shin Hye
  • Russian, Belarusian, Bulgarian and Ukranian metadata. The releases in these languages must use the Cyrillic alphabet. Transliterations are not allowed, and the titles should follow the sentence format.
  • Arabic and farsi metadata. All the metadata in arabic and farsi albums must be written according to their original alphabet. Transliterations and translations are not allowed.

3. Side-by-side translation. Side-by-side translations are not allowed. This means, translating the title to the English and including it in the own title as a part of it.

For example: “이카루스” is correct, but “Rise 이카루스” wouldn’t be accepted.

4. Layout of the titles. Depending on the language, the capitalization of the titles can differ.

  • Titles in English. The titles for albums and tracks in English language should have title case format (all words are capitalized except articles and conjunctions). In addition, the first letter of the words before and after a hyphen (“-”), a slash (“/”) or a colon (“:”) and at the beginning and the end of a sentence should be capitalized.

The following words should always be lowercase:

a, an, and, as, but, for, from, nor, of, or, so, the, to, y yet, at, by, for, from, in, into, of, off, on, onto, out, over, to, up, with

For example: “In the Still of the Night”.

As an exception to this rule, these words must be capitalised as long as they are part of a phrasal verbs.

  • Titles in Spanish and Portuguese. For albums and tracks’ titles in Spanish and Portuguese, you can decide on either title or sentence casing, as long as the format is consistent throughout the entire album and the first letter of each sentence is uppercase. In addition, the first letter of the words before and after a hyphen (“-”), a slash (“/”) or a colon (“:”) and at the beginning and the end of a sentence should be capitalized.

The following words in Spanish should always be in lower case:

a, al, de, del, e, el, en, la, las, los, o, para, por, un, una, y

The following words in Portuguese should always be in lower case:

a, à, ao, aos, as, às, da, das, de, das, do, dos, e, em, na, nas, no, nas, nos, o, os, ou, para, pela, pelas, pelo, pelos, pra, pro, por, um, uma

  • Titles in Swedish, French, Italian and Latin. The titles of albums and tracks in Swedish, French, Italian and Latin should be in sentence format, therefore only the first word of the sentence should have the first letter capitalized, all others must be lowercase, except in cases of names and / or abbreviations.
  • Titles in German. German albums and tracks’ titles must use sentence case, following in this case the rules of capitalisation of this language.

5. Accents and required characters. All western languages should include all appropriate accents and characters, as required by the correct spelling of each language respectively.

6. Use of “no linguistic content”. The tag “No Linguistic Content” must be introduced at the track level if the song does not contain any vocal part or only non-word vocal sounds. At the album level, the language indicated must be the one of the metadata. Even if the songs are instrumental, a particular language must be selected for the album.

7. Explicit lyrics. The box of “Explicit lyrics” must be checked at the track level when the title or the lyrics have explicit content (mostly if they mention topics like sex, drugs or violence). If the explicit tracks are indicated, the album will be automatically flagged as explicit.

  • If the cover image contains the logo of “Parental Advisory”, at least on track must be flagged as explicit.
  • If the album is flagged as explicit, the tracks with explicit content must be indicated. Unless the cover image is the only explicit content of the album (and the lyrics and the metadata are clean), in this case the tracks have to be kept as clean.

8. Supported Languages. Language support varies from DSP to DSP. We currently support every language that iTunes supports and some more. Most DPSs only use language information for internal search engine settings and do not specify other uses in their specs, so we do our best to manage language use.

We can add more languages, but if they are not supported they will need to be mapped to other that ITM supports.

iTunes supported languages are:

Afrikaans Hebrew Portuguese 
Arabic Hindi Punjabi
Bengali Hungarian Romanian
Bulgarian Icelandic Russian
Cantonese Indonesian Sanskrit
Catalan Irish  Slovak
Chinese Italian Slovenian
Croatian Japanese Spanish
Czech Kazakh Swedish
Danish Korean Tagalog
Dutch Lao Tamil
English Latin  Telugu
EstonianLatvian  Thai
Finnish Lithuanian Turkish
French Malay Ukrainian
German Norwegian Urdu
Greek Persian Vietnamese
Haitian Polish Zulu

9. Language conversions. For iTunes these conversions are required due to lack of iTunes support for the specific language, as per their latest specifications.

Language Language sent to iTunes
Basque Spanish
Luganda English
Tamazigh Arabic
No linguistic content English

For other DSPs:

Language Language sent to the DSP
Cantonese Chinese
Tamazigh Arabic