Editing is a necessity for most texts. This is especially true when it comes to academic works—journals and other professional publications have such high standards for acceptance that there is simply no room for error.
These requirements obviously pose an even bigger problem if your work needs to be translated from one language to another. Thankfully, the role of an academic editor is to ensure that your writing is the best it can be, regardless of language differences. To do that, though, they must deal with a unique set of challenges specific to translated academic texts. Here is a look at two such challenges.
The Need for Specificity
One of the primary difficulties of creating an academic text is the need for specificity. Most scholars are working within a very niche and detailed area of study, which requires writing that maintains a tight focus as well. Unfortunately, some of that specificity can be lost during the translation process, and this is doubly true when you’re attempting the translating yourself. As a subject matter expert, you may know exactly what you’re trying to say, but that might not be true for someone who isn’t familiar with your work.
Luckily, collaborating with an academic editor during the translating process can help alleviate this problem. As a native speaker, they have a good understanding of the best way to make your ideas clear and explicit in their language.
The Need for Style
Academic texts are not typically known for their creative prose, but that doesn’t mean style is altogether unimportant in your work. Things like authorial voice, the structure of your writing, and even transition statements can have a significant impact on your success. However, style conventions are not universal—they can be drastically different from one culture to another.
Without an academic editor, you run the risk of a translation that may read as sloppy or poorly written in another language. With their help, though, you can ensure that your work’s style enhances the main point of your message.