“Академический английский” для научных изданий
Сегодня, в условиях глобализации академии, публикация текстов на “мировых языках”, прежде всего английском, является для ученых скорее нормой “по умолчанию”, чем исключением. Вместе с тем, учитывая постоянно растущее число новых профессиональных научных журналов, ужесточаются требования к текстам авторов, для которых английский не является родным языком. Частично это связано с тем, что перевод часто оказывается недостаточным: ожидается, что переводной текст будет столь же “естественным,” что и текст на родном языке, для чего обычно требуется стилистическая и редакторская обработка рукописи. Этот процесс одновременно направлен на исправление грамматических неточностей, незаметных “не-носителю” языка, и на “оформление мысли” в соответствии с логикой английского языка (и в какой-то мере англоязычного научного дискурса). Для многих авторов именно язык является преградой к публикации в международных изданиях. “The Bridge/MOCT” обратился за комментарием к Мэтту Тэгелбергу, канадскому стиль-редактору, работающему с рукописями исследователей из разных стран, для которых английский не является родным языком. Мы приводим его ответ ниже:
“Academic” English for non-native speakers: Editing services as a tool for a successful international career
Across the academy, scholars with a wide range of linguistic and cultural backgrounds are increasingly turning to the English language publishing market. Consequently, the quality of the academic writing produced by scholars who speak English as a second language tends to vary quite dramatically. This often reflects the status and prestige of the publication where an author chooses to contribute. Leading scholarly publishers set high standards for English that authors must comply with before a manuscript is considered. Contributors are encouraged to hire a language editor and recommendations are provided for specialized editing services that cater to authors with different disciplinary backgrounds. The consequence of submitting a manuscript without language editing is a diminished quality of English that reflects poorly on the reputation of a publication, its editorial board and contributing authors.
In my own work, as a researcher and professional editor, I encounter recurring problems such as missing or misplaced articles, issues of structure and syntax, unclear expression and incorrect formatting. For example:
– Russian speaking authors often have difficulty with English phrasing due to the radically different syntax of their native language. One common mistake is to arrange a sentence in the wrong order, beginning with “because” or “if” instead of by identifying the main clause. This problem can be fixed by reorganizing a sentence so that the words appear in proper English syntax. A language editor must then consult with an author to clarify the changes and ensure that the original meaning has not been lost;
– A related issue many authors struggle with is unclear expression. This refers to problems with the clear articulation of an idea or concept in English due to a lack of appropriate vocabulary. This problem can be resolved by having a language editor revise the unclear language while ensuring that the original meaning is expressed;
– Finally, one of the most common problems for non-native English speaking authors is the correct placement of articles. It is not unusual to find multiple occasions where missing or misplaced articles have the adverse effect of disrupting the flow of a text. In this case, the services of a language editor come in handy once again since resolving the issue results in a much more satisfying and engaging experience for the reader.
Each of the grammatical problems described here stem from the nuances of the English language, making them difficult to address without the services of a language editor. My own response to these problems has been to begin providing language editing services for Social Science and Humanities scholars. During the past several years, I have edited scholarly manuscripts, journal articles and book chapters from Canada, the United States and Europe. I work one-on-one with these authors to clarify meaning and intention, polish language, address issues of structure and syntax and enhance the general flow of a manuscript. I currently work as a language and copy editor for MediaClimate, a network of media researchers from 19 different countries.
Non-native English speaking clients frequently tell me they appreciate having a native speaker assist them in clarifying and conveying the original meaning of a text in English. They value an edited paper that reflects their authorial voice while also maintaining grammatical and stylistic consistency in the English language. I strongly encourage non-native English speaking scholars who are considering publishing their work in English to consult with a language editor. These services greatly enhance the overall quality of a document and the impression it makes on an audience. It also hastens the peer-review process, saving an author valuable time in the race to expose his or her latest work to a wider audience. There are several options for finding a language editor. You can find out more about the editing services I offer by visiting typewrite.ca.
Matthew Tegelberg, Ph.D., is a lecturer at Ryerson University and a free-lance English language editor.