Translating Academic Texts into English

What You Need From an Academic Translator

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 A researcher’s path into the coveted world of academic prestige, both on a local and international level, can be long and challenging, and success is determined based on sheer determination, talent, and investment. This investment and determination characterizes each and every stage of a researcher's work, and even more so when his work is at the stage of publication, for it is precisely at this hurdle that a quality editing or translation job will drastically alter the chances of publication or not. 

How Do You Choose a Good Translator?

You want to hand the task of translation off to a competent academic translator, if possible, the best out there. This much is obvious. But who is a good translator? What characterizes a good academic translation?

The work of an academic translator- researcher is multi-faceted, with many steps that need to be taken along the way in order to build a reliable and professional reputation.Let’s start with the most basic rule, the translator must have a thorough knowledge of both languages, the source language and the target language, but it is important that the translator not only know the language well, but be a native speaker of the target language.

Although English is the most common language in Israel, which to a lesser or greater extent, most Israelis do speak, only about 100,000 Israelis speak it as their mother tongue. Grammatically, English is one of the world's simplest languages, but really knowing the language goes above and beyond knowing grammar and syntax rules, and a good translation will never be a literal word for word translation.

Did you know that English is the richest language in the world? According to various estimates, it has about 240,000 words (when there are approximately only 70,000 words in Hebrew). Expert translators require a thorough knowledge of the language and a full command of the rich vocabulary, along with the ability to choose the right word, or phrase, which will transfer the idiomatic and cultural nuances. The translator will use language that will not only depict the text, but also convey the subtext. This can only be done with a translator who is a native speaker of the target language, and who will, therefore, recognize the dialect (British, Australian or American English, for example), culture and current affairs. 

The Characteristics of a Professional Academic Translator

The translator must have a high level of academic education and proper knowledge of your field of study, which will allow the translator to understand your arguments, data, findings, and research questions. The experience that comes with translating academic texts will allow expert translators to maintain the clarity of the material, as well as the writers' unique and personal writing style.  

There is one more important feature of an expert translator. Beyond high professional competence, the translator must also possess good interpersonal communication skills. The relationship between the academic and the translator should be based on trust and open communication. The translator must share uncertainties and deliberations with the author, and maintain an open relationship throughout the process. This should of course not come at the expense of missing the deadline for publication, and the final work should be polished and proofread, with all potential problems resolved.

Academic Language Experts

ALE specializes in academic translation services and academic editing. We understand the standard required when working with academia and therefore only work with experienced academic translators and editors, who themselves come from a broad academic background, and are therefore best equipped to provide the highest standard of translation.

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