Conference 2018

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Conference presentations for the SENSE 2018 conference

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Off-conference 2018

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Saturday, 9 June

17:15–18:30, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 3

18:00–18:30

Carol Norris, Developing a modern, journal-acceptable manuscript style

Editing/Writing

After seven years’ teaching tertiary-level writing in the United States, I established the University of Helsinki’s first English-writing course for research scientists and began author-editing for Finns, in 1986.

Being a Finno-ugric language like Hungarian, Finnish interferes with Indo-European languages in startling ways. It has scores of cases, but lacks articles, prepositions, and gender. Finns, however, receive English training early and also learn by ear from non-dubbed TV and films that heavily feature English; they stay constantly net-connected.

Before Finnish academics send their manuscripts to journal and book editors, I help them satisfy the current requirements for a clear, reader-friendly style. As every word costs money, almost all editors now favour the concise active voice, which, in fact, rarely requires first-person pronouns. Instead, the inanimate agent (‘Results were encouraging’, ‘They received a diet of …‘) serves even to describe methodologies. Passive voice, once ubiquitous, fulfils exceptional needs: ‘The late [unpopular] Professor Smith is greatly missed.’

As teacher, I have my students fling their first-draft sentences onto paper/screen at maximum pace, as if speaking. Similarly, as an authors’ editor, I ask writers never to translate lines from Finnish and always to read all drafts aloud: ears out-perform eyes. In manuscript editing, before any thought of grammar, we seek in each sentence the message-word best expressing its key point and foreshadowing oncoming information. After this word goes the full-stop. The next sentence’s early words (‘this/such/moreover/conversely’) produce flow. Next, every unnecessary, wasted word goes out. End-focus plus linkage in active voice ensures clarity and rhetorical power, even demands logical thought. Only after this brutal language manipulation do I consider grammar – in Finland, having errors has largely vanished. Writing itself becomes faster, enjoyable and, to editors, manuscripts far more publishable.

 


About the presenter

Carol NorisAfter completing a Bachelor's degree in pre-medicine at Duke University but lacking funding for medical school, Carol Norris conducted research at Duke and Oak Ridge National Laboratory before undertaking an MA in rhetoric and then teaching university writing courses for seven years. Her PhD thesis at the University of Maryland concerned the physician in literature. Carol also holds an Applied Linguistics MA from Birmingham University, UK.

In 1985 she began the University of Helsinki’s first English-language writing course for scientists and became a university medical author-editor. In addition, she writes for the European Science Editors’ European Science Editing and presents at conferences. She is a member of Nordic Editors and Translators (NEaT).


Saturday, 9 June

17:15–18:30, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 3

17:15–18:30

Anne Murray, Marije de Jager, Emma Goldsmith (moderator: Valerie Matarese), Moderated panel discussion – Invasive species: Language versus subject specialists in biomedical editing and translation

Translation/Editing

Invasive species are generally perceived as harmful, but can they also be beneficial and are they sometimes necessary? In this session, three language professionals who offer writing support services in medicine and pharmaceutics will talk about their being figurative ‘invasive species’. A former nurse, a generalist translator now specialising in medicine, and a translator now also editing in her non-native language will be interviewed by a biologist-cum-editor and academic writing trainer. All the speakers are members of the Mediterranean Editors & Translators (MET) association.

Translators and editors in biomedicine may have had formal training in language or translation, or may have started out as a practising physician, nurse, or scientific researcher. Whether one educational background is to be preferred over the other is a long-standing dilemma. The panellists will compare notes and share experiences, highlighting the advantages, drawbacks, pitfalls, and joys of working in a field they had to invade before turning it into their stamping ground.

Examples of questions the session will address are:

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different backgrounds?
  • What challenges are faced by language specialists and subject specialists?
  • How steep is the learning curve in each case?
  • Can you learn on the job? What is the value of a mentorship?
  • What do you do when you don’t know? How do you know you don’t know?
  • How does your service portfolio evolve as your knowledge and confidence grow?

Taking into account that translators and editors in many fields other than biomedicine face the same language-versus-subject-specialist dilemma, the focus of this panel will be on education and learning issues rather than on medical specificities.

 


About the panel

Anne MurrayAnne Murray is a freelance translator, editor and authors’ editor who works mainly in the field of medical research articles. She has a degree in translation from Dublin City University, Ireland, and a foundation certificate in medical writing from the European Medical Writers’ Association. Anne is also currently chair of MET.

 

 

 

 

Marije de JagerMarije de Jager was born in the Netherlands and received her NL-EN-IT translator’s training at the University of Amsterdam. She studied contemporary dance in London and then moved to Italy, embarking on a freelance career as translator and editor. Her current work is mostly in medical copy-editing and author editing.


 

 


EmmaGoldsmith photoEmma Goldsmith originally trained as a registered general nurse at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. She moved to Spain in 1987 and for the following 10 years she worked as a staff nurse through the BNA (British Nursing Agency) during visits to England. This gave her broad experience in a wide range of hospital settings.

Meanwhile, in Madrid, Emma set up as a freelance Spanish-to-English translator, first working for local translation agencies and later — in the internet age — specialising in medicine for global companies and individuals. She now has more than 20 years’ experience in translating clinical-trial documentation, articles for publication in medical journals and product information for EMA submissions. Emma is a member of Mediterranean Editors and Translators (MET) and currently serves as Webmaster on MET’s Council.

Valerie MatareseValerie Matarese is an authors’ editor based in Italy. Born in New York, she trained in biochemistry and molecular biology at US universities and worked in research in the United States and Italy prior to launching a sole proprietorship offering editing in the biomedical sciences, writing, and training in research-article writing. She has recently published a book on the profession of author editing, entitled Editing Research: The author editing approach to providing effective support to writers of research papers. (Information Today, 2016).

 

 

Saturday, 9 June

17:15–18:30, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 3

17:15–17:50

Nigel Harwood, What do proofreaders do to a poorly written Master’s essay? Differing interventions, disturbing findings

Editing

Much interest has been shown recently in researching the changes language brokers make in English for research publication contexts (eg Burrough-Boenisch 2006; Cargill & O’Connor 2011; Flowerdew & Wang 2016; Li 2012; Lillis & Curry 2010; Luo & Hyland 2016, 2017; Willey & Tanimoto 2012). These studies report on the types of changes supervisors and editors make to the texts of novice researchers who are attempting to publish in English. However, with the exception of Harwood et al’s research (2009, 2010, 2012), studies focused on the proofreading of students’ university essays are largely conspicuous by their absence. Harwood et al uncovered apparently significant variations in their 16 proofreaders’ practices, but because they relied solely on proofreaders’ interview accounts rather than also soliciting examples of the proofreaders’ work, the validity of their research is questionable.

For the purposes of the current project, I therefore adopted a different approach: 14 UK university proofreaders all proofread the same authentic, low-quality Master’s essay written by an L2 speaker of English in order to compare and contrast the proofreaders’ interventions. A modified version of Willey & Tanimoto’s (2012) taxonomy of revisions was used to analyse the changes the proofreaders made. I use ‘proofreader’ in this presentation as it is the most commonly used term in my UK university context and I adopt Harwood et al’s (2009) intentionally broad definition, ‘third-party interventions (entailing written alteration) on assessed work in progress’, to explore the roles proofreaders adopt and eschew.

Similarly to the findings in Harwood et al’s research, I uncovered ample evidence of widely differing proofreading interventions, with some proofreaders intervening at the level of content, making lengthy suggestions for improving the writer’s essay structure and argumentation, while at the other extreme others were reluctant to focus on anything more than the language. Disturbingly, some proofreaders frequently introduced errors into the text, while leaving some of the writer’s errors and unclear claims uncorrected. Examples of the proofreaders’ interventions will be shared via PowerPoint and handouts.

The study provides much food for thought for SENSE delegates: for copyeditors and proofreaders working with student writers, university lecturers whose students may be approaching proofreaders, and for university policy-makers responsible for formulating proofreading guidelines and regulations. How can the inconsistencies in what is being offered in the name of ‘proofreading’ uncovered by this research be tackled? The implications of the findings will be discussed and debated with the audience, and I will argue for the need for tighter regulation and dissemination of research-informed proofreading guidelines and policies across UK universities.

 


About the presenter

Nigel HarwoodNigel Harwood is a reader in Applied Linguistics at the University of Sheffield. He has previously published three co-authored journal articles reporting findings of an interview-based study of the profiles, practices and beliefs of proofreaders who work on student writing in the United Kingdom. He has also published research on English for academic purposes and teachers’ use of EFL and EAP textbooks; his most recent monograph focuses on students' experiences of dissertation supervision. He is co-editor of the journal English for Specific Purposes (Elsevier).

 

Saturday, 9 June

17:15–18:30, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 3

17:15–17:50

Nigel Saych, ‘… divided by a common language’: Cultural, topical and geographical Englishes

English

This quote (in several variations) has been attributed to GB Shaw, Oscar Wilde and even to Winston Churchill. However, this presentation is not really about the differences between UK and US English: there are hundreds of websites which explain that. Following the theme of ‘Englishes now!’, the session will highlight some of the ways in which different forms of the language can be used for effect – sometimes positive and sometimes negative. It will illustrate some of the pitfalls for the unwary linguist. Many of these are based on experience I gained, first as a teacher in international education and in the past 15 years as a translator. Obviously the differences between the English language in various countries around the world will form part of this session, but in addition to ‘Global English’ there will also be examples of ‘Gender English’, ‘Classroom English’ and even ‘Aunty Mabel’s English’ …

‘Gender English’ will include changing trends in ‘Mr and Mrs’, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’, the changing use of the terms ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ and how these affect us as translators, interpreters and editors. ‘Classroom English’ will deal with how teachers’ reports are interpreted by parents (in my case translated into other languages) and how ‘reading between the lines’ is sometimes required to really understand the content. ‘Aunty Mable’s English’ will examine past and present conventions in polite English, including the way criticism and disapproval can sometimes be covered by seemingly appreciative language.

My intention is to draw from the audience their own experiences with and examples of the types of English mentioned above. I hope the message participants will take with them is that we are all dealing with these issues daily, but the more creative the consideration we give to them, the more likely we are to be able to deal with them.

This is not intended for any particular discipline within the language profession. It should be an inspiring session for anyone dealing with language every day.

 


About the presenter

photo Nigel Saych 1Nigel Saych is the owner and director of Interlex Language Services, a ‘Fair Trade’ translation company based in Nuenen (near Eindhoven) in the Netherlands (www.interlex.eu/). He is also a full-time translator and has given entertaining presentations at 20 translation conferences over the past ten years. Creative translation is Nigel’s speciality and his presentation at SENSE conference 2018 will offer a creative approach to ‘Englishes now’.


 

Saturday, 9 June

16:00–16:30, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 2

16:00–16:30

Susannah Goss & Ailish Maher Editing documents produced in LaTeX (laptops required; session continues after tea break)

Editing

There is an increasing trend for authors of technical and scientific documents, especially those containing mathematical equations, to use LaTeX rather than MS Word. LaTeX is free, open-source software that separates form and content. It is essentially a markup language rather like HTML. Here’s an example of some LaTeX source text and output:

Major disadvantages for editors, apart from having to deal with source code, are that LaTeX softwares often lack the comfortable – and oh so familiar! – comment/annotation and edit-tracking features offered by Word. You can, of course, edit LaTeX documents in Word, or even annotate the PDF if the English is good and the text is reasonably short. However, for longer and more complex texts, other approaches are required.

In this presentation, we will give you a beginners’ introduction to editing texts in LaTeX. We will present the online editing environments Overleaf and ShareLaTeX (which are now in the process of joining forces) and also briefly describe an offline option (in case of confidentiality requirements). We will summarize the advantages and drawbacks of each approach, including complexity and cost, explain how we have used them with clients, and demonstrate some workarounds to overcome certain challenges of LaTeX that editors used to working in Word find especially tricky.

Our aim is to remove the fear factor from editing in LaTeX by equipping attendees with the confidence to work in this kind of environment – likely to be a source of new work opportunities. We will provide attendees interested in exploring LaTeX further with access to a set of learning resources.

 


About the presenters

Susannah GossSusannah Goss is a Scientific Editor at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. She has the Chartered Institute of Linguists’ Diploma in Translation and a European Master’s Degree in Linguistics. Having been thrown into the LaTeX deep end a few years ago (and almost sinking), she is motivated to offer other language professionals a gentler introduction to LaTeX.

 

 

Ailish MaherAilish Maher is a freelance translator and editor who has the Chartered Institute of Linguists’ Diploma in Translation and a Master’s Degree in Translation from Dublin City University. Like Susannah Goss, she had to figure out editing in LaTeX for herself and is pleased to report that things have become much easier since the advent of online applications.

 

Saturday, 9 June

16:00–16:30, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 2

16:00–16:30

Lloyd Bingham, Dealing with Dunglish – and other source-language interference

English

Dunglish, Denglish, Franglais, Spanglish … they can all be deceptive. Especially when you find out that your friend’s new ‘beamer’ is not quite the BMW you imagined, but a projector!

While it might be cool to drop English words into other languages, the meaning is often corrupted, leaving us translators scratching our heads.

Taking source-language terms borrowed from English at face value is a rookie mistake. The consequences might well be hilarious, but they can often be catastrophic too – a sign that the translator doesn’t fully understand the source text.

This presentation will first look specifically at the accelerating trend of other languages – with an emphasis on Dutch – giving English words new meanings that you won’t find in the dictionary, and at how translators can translate them accurately and idiomatically. The audience will be invited to venture examples they have come across, and how they translated them. Then we will look more generally at ways to avoid source-language interference from a stylistic point of view and how to opt for more idiomatic formulations.

Real-life examples that I have come across in my own practice will be taken from Dutch and German, so English translation professionals will not only come away with greater awareness of the issue, but will also be able to take away ideas on how to avoid ‘steenkolenengels’ in their translations and how to make both the terminology and the style of their texts sound more natural.

 


About the presenter

Lloyd BinghamLloyd Bingham runs Capital Translations in Cardiff, the United Kingdom. A former in-house translator, he works from Dutch, German, French and Spanish into English, specialising in business, marketing and education. Lloyd is a qualified member of the UK’s Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL). He is also a tutor on ITI’s Starting Up as a Freelance Translator course. In addition to a linguistic curiosity about English interference in other languages, Lloyd takes a keen interest in online presence-building and professional conduct for translation professionals.

 

Saturday, 9 June

14:50–15:50, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 1

15:25–15:50

Valerie Matarese, Bad textual mentors: How awkwardly written research articles complicate the work of an authors’ editor

Editing/Writing

The term ‘textual mentor’ indicates an exemplary piece of writing that novice writers can emulate so as to produce text that meets readers’ expectations. In scientific research, novice writers often model their writing on articles published in their target journals, because these reports were judged favourably during peer review. Yet many of these research articles are badly written, with deficits in English usage, argumentation, structure, or scientific reporting.

In my experience as an authors’ editor in the biomedical sciences (and occasional instructor of scientific writing) in Italy, these ‘bad textual mentors’ seem to be conditioning the language of research more than English usage guides and scientific style manuals do. When editing, I apply standard written English, but I am aware that my clients – and their reviewers – may be more familiar with the non-standard usage that is gaining ground in their discipline; I therefore proactively justify my edits in the margin. And when teaching, I am aware that some of my recommended practices may be hard to find applied in the biomedical research literature.

Questions I will pose during this presentation include:

  • If standard written English is no longer the benchmark for publishability, should we insist on it while editing and teaching?
  • How should we handle our clients’ choice of textual mentors?

In this presentation, I will show examples of how bad textual mentors have complicated my work, and I will present the differing views on this problem from the worlds of applied linguistics, academia, and industry. I invite conference attendees to join me in a discussion on where we should draw the line between tolerance of non-standard English and clear scientific communication.


About the presenter

Valerie MatareseValerie Matarese is an authors’ editor based in Italy. Born in New York, she trained in biochemistry and molecular biology at US universities and worked in research in the United States and Italy prior to launching a sole proprietorship offering editing in the biomedical sciences, writing, and training in research-article writing. She has recently published a book on the profession of author editing, entitled Editing Research: The author editing approach to providing effective support to writers of research papers. (Information Today, 2016).

Valerie will also moderate a panel discussion with Anne Murray, Marije de Jager and Emma Goldsmith entitled Invasive species: Language versus subject specialists in biomedical editing and translation.

Saturday, 9 June

14:50–15:50, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 1

15:25–15:50

Martine Croll, Scribe or Shrink? Improving client relationships and winning more clients the easy way - by getting into their heads!

General

We spend most of our time weighing and polishing words for our clients. Whether as an editor, translator, transcreator, teacher or copywriter. Sometimes so much, that we forget the client behind those words.

This session in NOT about perfecting your skills as a language expert. It’s about using your skills to improve your relationship with your clients. It’s also about winning more clients by getting into their heads.

Based on my many years of experience working for agencies and direct clients, my talk will focus on the lessons learnt writing for and dealing with clients. What is your client really looking for? What are their needs? What are the most essential questions that you should be asking? And how do you deliver more than just perfect words?

I’ll be showing you that awareness of a client’s needs doesn’t mean you have to provide all the answers. It’s up to you in how far you take on the ‘challenge’! Based on real examples, we’ll discuss when can you say ‘yes!’ (even though it might feel scary to do so) and when should you be saying ‘this is not for me!’.

Session takeaways:

  • Know what problem you can help your clients with.
  • Know your value for a client.
  • Know what adds value to both your client and yourself.
  • Feel confident in communicating about what you do.
  • Feel confident and find new clients.

About the presenter

Martine CrollMartine Croll is a freelance copywriter, storyteller and communications consultant. Born in the Netherlands, but travelled the world living in Jamaica, Indonesia, Zimbabwe and the UK. Because she is a native speaker of both English and Dutch, she writes in both languages. She studied English Language and Literature at Leiden University here in the Netherlands.

Since setting up her business she’s been lucky enough to work for a vast array of people and companies. She’s written articles for magazines, blog posts, annual and strategic reports, corporate books and many, many websites.

Saturday, 9 June

14:50–15:50, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 1

14:50–15:20

Ellen Singer, Linguists and Laymen (Or: Fit for purpose)

General

Linguists tend to be so immersed in language that they are prone to forgetting that others are not swimming in the same waters. Language evolves through time. Texts do not all have to be works of art; sometimes fit-for-purpose is enough!

On the other hand, we practitioners need to make laymen understand that correct grammar, punctuation, etc is important.

This talk focuses on the discussions we have with laymen to indicate why our expertise trumps their expectations and why their priorities sometimes trump our preferences.

The idea is to present a few ideas and examples and then briefly discuss the issue with the room. We need to be conscious of the different sides of the coin to be able to discuss issues with customers properly.

This session is suitable for any person working with English texts.

 


About the presenter

Ellen SingerEllen Singer is a freelance translator with more than twenty years of experience as a full-time translator and project manager. She owns a small technical translation agency with her husband that focuses on quality. Ellen has been working with CAT tools since the 1990s. She loves challenges and knowledge and enjoys cooperating with others. A speaker of English, Spanish and Dutch, Ellen has been presenting at conferences since 2013. She has covered a wide range of topics, from technical translation to Donald Duck, from file conversion to QA, and even Why translate? She enjoys conferences and meeting other translators.

Saturday, 9 June

14:50–15:50, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 1

14:50–15:20

Charles Frink, Disrupting the inheritance of poor writing habits: An alternative approach to editing and teaching writing (in the health-related sciences)

Editing/Writing

In the health-related-sciences, about 500,000 manuscripts are published each year. Unfortunately, the authors of many of these manuscripts, and many more that were rejected for publication, tend to use language to impress their peers rather than to communicate to an increasingly multidisciplinary readership. This problem has been acknowledged for decades, but journal editors continue to complain that many submissions are so poorly written that the point of the manuscript is unclear. According to Amin Bredan, scientist and journal editor, this tendency to write ‘complex, exaggerated and often pompous prose’ is transmitted by senior scientists to junior ones, leading to the inheritance of poor writing habits.

Disrupting this inheritance obviously requires attention to the linguistic aspects of clear writing, which has indeed been the emphasis of most editors and teachers of scientific writing. Despite the standard plea of journal editors for editing by a native speaker, however, the overall quality of writing in the health-related sciences remains below par.

Here I present an alternative approach that focuses first on the underlying structure of a manuscript. These are the core components of research manuscripts in the health-related sciences, such as the problem definition, hypothesis, study design, results and discussion. By presenting these components clearly – and explicitly – and linking them logically, peer reviewers can focus on the actual scientific content of a manuscript instead of struggling to find the point. This approach not only ensures that manuscripts have the ‘flow’ that journal editors want; it often makes the linguistic editing more efficient.



About the presenter

Charles FrinkCharles Frink is the owner of Frink Communications and has worked as an editor and translator for more than 30 years. He has been associated in this capacity with Wageningen UR (and its precursors) since 1992. He currently focuses on editing and teaching scientific writing in the life sciences.

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