Citation, Documentation of Sources

Q. I am copyediting a translation of a scholarly book. The translator and editor have decided to use two sets of notes: the author’s notes, set as footnotes and numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals; and the translator’s notes, set as endnotes and numbered consecutively in Roman numerals. Both the author’s and translator’s notes are quite lengthy, but especially the translator’s notes. The translator and editor do not wish to use symbols for the author’s notes, but having two sets of numbered references in the text seems awkward and somewhat confusing. Is there any other method one might use in such a case as this?

A. Although this isn’t an impossible arrangement, the vision of roman numeral note callouts is a bit icky.xxxviii A better option might be to suppress numbers/symbols for the translator endnotes and instead key them to phrases in the text (see CMOS 14.53). Or you could set all the notes (both author and translator) as endnotes (or footnotes) numbered in a single set, identifying notes written by the translator with a tag such as “—Trans.”