Parallel Session C

Science translation, editing and readability

Moderator: Sylwia Ufnalska
Freelance Translator and Editor, Poland

The Dr. Fox hypothesis: the relationship between reading difficulty and academic prestige
John Bates, Rovira i Virgili University in Tarragona, Spain

Why do academics write as they do? Why are convulted language, reading difficulty and long words often associated with prestige? These questions were discussed at a round table on academic writing and plain English a few years ago. This talk will summarize and extend what was said on that occasion.

Authors, translators and  editors: who is right?
Eva Baranyiová, University of Life Sciences, Institute of Tropics and Subtropics, Prague

Science is a search for truth. In the life sciences, we use scientific methods to ask questions, formulate hypotheses, design experiments, interpret the results and formulate conclusions. Scientific terminology is the tool making our communication clear, concise and unequivocal. It seems so simple. However, authors sometimes have problems formulating a clear statement, translators may understand something different, and editors may miss the point. We will look at a few examples of cultural differences in medical terminology, a few puzzles and other pleasures of this never-ending trialogue.

Quantifying the work of copy editors
Yateendra Joshi, Senior Trainer, Cactus Communications, Mumbai, India

If the adage ‘what gets measured gets managed’ is to apply to copy editing, it needs to be measured. Counting pages, words and even characters indicates the length of text to be copy-edited but does not measure the work required. Billable hours is another indirect measure. Copy editing with ‘track changes’ offers a point of departure, making it possible to count the number and kind of changes (insertions, deletions, and formatting) and analyse these data. For example, the corrected errors can be grouped into those related to spelling, grammar, punctuation, usage, style and fact-checking. If missing elements in references are supplied, that contribution can be quantified. Each category can be subdivided: corrected grammatical errors could be subdivided into those related to articles, prepositions, subject–verb agreement, and so on. And the process can even be automated with macros.

Computer-Aided Translation  (CAT) tools for translators and reviewers
Marek Pawelec, Kraków, Poland

CAT software is a category of widely used tools created to speed up and simplify the process of translation of written text. Translators employing CAT tools can translate faster, more consistently, and achieve better quality of their work. Reviewers of translations can also benefit from these tools, as they simplify the process of reviewing, commenting, and verification of the translated text. The lecture will cover basic principles of operation of CAT software and their use in translation, terminology management, review, and translation quality assurance. Several most popular CAT tools on the market will be compared: their strong and weak points, potential “best case scenarios” of application, and interoperability between the tools.