Useful materials from the Laboratory for Scientific Translation

When is editing by a native speaker necessary?

Since the expert editing of an English-language scientific text by a native speaker is a highly demanded service, it is important to consider whether it represents a sensible investment. 
No matter how well a translator or author of a text knows the language, the most subtle nuances of meaning can escape a person for whom this language is not his or her mother tongue. The naturalness of the wording and correct tone of the address to the reader characterises the text, resulting in its perception “as native". 

Although not every manuscript or translation needs to be edited by a native speaker, texts that will definitely benefit from this procedure include the following:
– those aimed at a readership for whom English is the mother tongue (for example, for publication in a journal published in the UK or USA);
– those aimed for publication in more highly ranked journal of a major international publishing house;
– those discussing specific socio-cultural problems, requiring special attention to linguistic nuances;
– materials such as those presented on a scientific journal's website, since their quality affects the image of the publication as a whole.

Example of the formulation of the goals and objectives of a scientific journal before and after editing by a native English speaker:
Before: The scientific mission of the journal involves the exchange of experience, modern achievements and results of national and international research in the field of informatization of education, methods of teaching computer science at different levels of education, training and retraining of teaching staff.
After: The Journal aims to present the results of fundamental and applied research in the field of informatics education, thereby stimulating scholarly discussions around topics associated with the role of information technologies in the modernization of the education system both in Russia and globally, use of effective techniques in teaching informatics at various school levels and encouragement of teacher development.