Scientific Review Translation
For several years now, I have been translating scientific articles into English, which are then to be published in various journals, including those from the ISI Master Journal List. It means, among other things, that my translations are read and evaluated by reviewers and subjected to criticism. At the beginning of my work as a translator of scientific articles, I would take it very personally and be very ambitious about it when I received such reviews. Now, I am trying to look at it as professional feedback and support my work with a native speaker’s proofreading. To me, when you make mistakes to learn from them, you treat your work professionally.
Review as a source of information
In fact, reviews of scientific articles in the vast majority relate to the article’s content and are directed to the authors. For me, an English translator, the most often there is only a brief mention of the language or style. Interestingly, these opinions are rarely objective. Sometimes, when I translate an article myself, there are no comments about the quality of the English language. Sometimes, when the text passes through several hands, including those belonging to a professional proofreader of specialist texts, the reviewer may state that English „bothers” him. Then it is time for another arduous reading of the text and subsequent consultations until the best possible language version of the article is created.
Sometimes it is so that due to the specific style of the author of the original, the English version then requires corrections and „refinement” of the translation style. There are also specialized vocabulary issues, style appropriate to a given scientific field, requirements of a specific journal, etc. As you can see, many factors need to be considered and affect the final version of the text.
Time is of the essence
What’s more, you have to answer the reviews – the authors must attach an explanatory letter to the corrected translation, in which they respond to the reviewer’s comments. An English translator also handles the English version of such a letter/email – it is essential to maintain such correspondence’s appropriate language level. An issue worth mentioning here is time – authors very often want to send answers efficiently and quickly, which is why such translations are a priority for me.