Displaying items by tag: professional development

Sunday, 10 June

09:30–10:30, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 4

10:00–10:30

Joy Burrough, Editing English-language doctoral theses in the Netherlands: Are the SENSE Guidelines useful?

Editing

Now that most Master’s and PhD candidates in the Netherlands write their thesis or dissertation in English, there is much demand for these texts to be corrected. The many suppliers responding to this demand range from ‘convenience editors’, through online agencies, to experienced professional editors. What they amend and how they do so vary. Can SENSE’s Guidelines for Proofreading Student Texts clarify what thesis editing entails and reduce the variation in the nature and manner of language professionals’ interventions in such texts? I will address this question, considering doctoral (i.e. PhD-equivalent) theses only.

First, I will explain why variation in editorial interventions is unavoidable, pointing out that it depends partly on the parameters of the assignment and partly on the language professional’s personal skills, knowledge, background, circumstances, and attitude towards the ethics of editing theses. Expanding on the issue of ethics, I will argue that although concern about the ethics of editing student work drove the creation of SENSE’s Guidelines for Proofreading Student Texts, in the Netherlands this concern is not as important as it is in countries such as the UK and Australia. I will suggest reasons for this. I will then explain why the Guidelines specifically exclude the Dutch-style article-based doctoral theses that predominate in the sciences.

After discussing the editorial and ethical challenges these compilation theses raise, I will suggest how articles destined for journal publication and thesis inclusion should be edited and how ethical predicaments might be resolved. Aspects of the SENSE Guidelines turn out to be useful for this, after all.

Although the presentation focuses on doctoral theses – specifically, compilation theses – the issues addressed are relevant to all aspiring and practising editors working for clients in academia and science, and to language professionals interested in the ethics of editing.

 


About the presenter

Joy BurroughBased in the Netherlands but having edited and researched in various countries, Joy Burrough-Boenisch edits and translates for Dutch academics and scientists, teaches scientific and academic English, and gives workshops for translators and editors. She is a founder and honorary member of SENSE. She has two degrees in geography and a doctorate (on Dutch-scientific English). Her academic and professional publications include Righting English that’s gone Dutch (Kemper Conseil, 2013) and contributions to the book Supporting Research Writing: Roles and challenges in multilingual settings, (Chandos, 2013), edited by Valerie Matarese.


Sunday, 10 June

09:30–10:30, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 4

09:30–10:00

Jackie Senior, International science needs English editors

Editing

At the 2017 SENSE Professional Development Day, someone stated that science papers are still written in the passive voice. Time for an update! Science is now big business, performed by international collaborations communicating in English, and it forms a major ‘export’ product of the Dutch knowledge-based economy. At the same time, publications have become the measure of a scientist’s career, which puts many excellent non-native-English-speaking researchers at a disadvantage. The result is a real need for English editorial services.

In addition to research papers, science editors may also work on grant applications, press releases, and presentations to lay people (eg patient groups, journalists, or investors).

International researchers may not have had training in how to write in English nor in the formal style required by academic journals. The choice of active versus passive voice is just one example of how editors can guide authors towards a more readable text. Whereas the passive was once considered to convey an authoritative style, the active voice is now encouraged by most journals because it identifies the actor and lends itself to shorter, more direct sentences. It is one element to foster writing that can convey complex messages in straightforward English to a readership with a wide range of language proficiency. I will discuss how scientific publishing has changed and how editors can help scientists write clearly for an international readership.

I will give examples of what editors can do, including helping writers clarify their language and ideas, recognising when more information is needed, and considering the target audience and their background.

While academic publishers point struggling authors to commercial editing services, my experience of working with a top research group shows that an editor with good subject knowledge and direct access to authors offers an added value that an unknown third party cannot easily match. If you have a scientific/technical background, or an interest in certain fields, you too can become a language professional with a specialty, and you can certainly build up a worthwhile freelance career.

 


About the presenter

JackieSeniorJackie Senior works as an editor and webmaster for an ambitious international research department (Dept of Genetics, University of Groningen/UMCG). Nowadays she works mostly on biomedical texts but she started as a geologist at Shell, later working as an editor for Shell Research and an international investment bank. She has been editing and translating for more than 40 years but, with the Dutch retirement age becoming a moveable feast, is exploring options for later. She was a founder member of SENSE in 1990, has served twice on its executive committee, and was appointed an honorary member in 2010.

Sunday, 10 June

09:30–10:30, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 4

09:30–10:30

Tony Parr & Marcel Lemmens, Identifying and rectifying translatorese (workshop-style)

Translation

Wikipedia defines translatorese as ‘Stilted or unidiomatic language produced by automated translation’. And it is labelled as ‘pejorative’. Well, yes, of course. But we believe translatorese is not restricted to automatically produced translations. Human translators may produce wooden and unnatural translations too. The question is: What makes a translation stilted, wooden, unnatural, or unidiomatic? How can you recognise translatorese in human translations? And how should you deal with it?

In this workshop-style presentation we will present the findings from a one-day course in ‘repairing translatorese’ that we organized in 2017. We will focus on what a group of professional Dutch into English and English into Dutch translators consider stilted or unidiomatic language and will discuss our analysis of how they repair it. Do they practise what they preach? Do they intervene too much or too little? Is it possible to reach consensus on what is and is not translatorese?

The goal of this presentation is to raise awareness of translatorese and the consequences of literal translation on readability, and to trigger a discussion about the scope of a revisor’s job.

‘In the final analysis, give preference to the reader’s needs over the client’s demands’ (Brian Mossop).

 


About the presenters

Tony ParrTony Parr (top) and Marcel Lemmens (bottom) are professional business translators and translator trainers. Both have extensive experience as translators (both freelance and in-house) and as teachers of translation, principally at the National College of Translation in Maastricht. They are the authors of Handboek voor de Vertaler Nederlands–Engels. Operating under the name of Teamwork, they have been organising courses, workshops and conferences for language professionals in the Netherlands since 1993.


 

 

 

Marcel Lemmens

Sunday, 10 June

09:30–10:30, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 4

09:30–10:30

Tom Johnston, Mid-Atlantic English: Which mid-Atlantic English?

English

When it comes to spelling, diction and punctuation, Dutch people writing in English tend to be consistently inconsistent in their mixture of British and North American conventions. The same could be said – though obviously to a lesser extent – for younger Brits. As English continues to evolve in different directions within the English-speaking world, the rest of the world could benefit from a set of guidelines that focus on the current common ground between the two ‘supervarieties’ of English.

This presentation discusses the concept of ‘Mid-Atlantic’ English (a term resurrected here for writing rather than pronunciation) as a reasonably sophisticated, hybrid form of English for use in relatively formal, international contexts. I will focus on the type of written language used in business/finance, science and international development organizations, as so many of our clients tend to be operating in those fields. I will certainly refer to the ‘international English selections’ that Pam Peters has put forward in The Cambridge Guide to English Usage (2012), but my talk will go beyond spelling and diction to consider punctuation and even certain grammatical forms that are commonly held to be typical of either UK or US English.

Establishing the common ground is easy enough. Choosing from among the different options where the two varieties diverge is more difficult. The character of one client organization and that of its audience may call for a style sheet with a slightly different ‘Mid-Atlantic’ selection of words and conventions than one developed for another type of client. Multiple bespoke ‘Englishes’ could result, none of which are strictly UK or strictly US, but all of which are practical solutions for carefully formulated texts written by well-educated non-native speakers.

This presentation will discuss how to make such a selection: how to create an effective Mid-Atlantic English. It is intended primarily for translators, editors and copywriters who produce English texts for companies and organizations based in non-English-speaking countries.

 


About the presenter

Tom JohnstonBorn and raised in the United States, Tom Johnston has called Amsterdam home since 1985. In need of a job after getting his PhD in Old Frisian Philology in 1998, he began as an English editor and Dutch-to-English translator at Dutch consulting firm Berenschot. Since 2001 he has been giving workshops on writing effectively in English — initially as an offshoot of his editing practice — to professionals from all over the world (primarily in the fields of science, business/finance and international development). Besides running Johnston Text & Training (founded in 2003), he also teaches 3rd-year Bachelor’s students of Translation at ITV Hogeschool (since 2015).


Saturday, 9 June

17:15–18:30, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 3

18:00–18:30

Kenneth Quek, Chinglish as she is writ: On the uses and abuses of English by native Chinese speakers

English/Editing

This presentation covers some of the specific issues involved in editing English-language texts produced by native speakers of Chinese and provides suggestions on how to handle them. Chinese speakers are growing increasingly important in academia and business, and it is crucial for them to communicate fluently and precisely in English. Unfortunately, having Chinese as a native language often interferes with English usage, as Chinese syntax and idiom is so different from that of English. Thus there is a strong market for providing editing and copywriting services to Chinese speakers, which participants may become better able to tap with skills specific to them – especially so when the Chinese market is still strongly driven by word of mouth, with most clients relying on recommendations through their networks to select service providers.

In this presentation I shall introduce some of the common mistakes made by Chinese speakers, especially those that are more challenging to correct, and suggest strategies for dealing with them. Many of these mistakes are particularly difficult to handle because they can distort the meaning of the text or even render it unintelligible to those unfamiliar with Chinese syntax. But the knowledge I hope to share will help participants to revise texts from such sources more efficiently while still capturing the essence of what the authors are attempting to communicate.

By the end of the presentation, participants will have a clear idea of some aspects of the Chinese language and how they can affect the English usage of native Chinese speakers. They will also have learned effective strategies for handling these issues, which may also be transferable to editing texts from speakers of other non-English languages.

This presentation will be of interest to any language professional who may find themselves handling texts produced by native Chinese speakers, or who may wish to break into this large and growing market.

 


About the presenter

Kenneth QuekKenneth Quek is a Singaporean who resides in Helsinki. He is fully bilingual in English and Mandarin Chinese and works both as a freelance academic revisor for the University of Helsinki Language Centre and as a freelance editor and copywriter in the corporate sector. He has previous experience in private teaching, translation and journalism.


Saturday, 9 June

17:15–18:30, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 3

18:00–18:30

Martine Croll, Making ideas happen! Using the power within to tackle the things that are scary and just ‘do it’

General

However big or small the challenge, procrastination is what most of us are pretty good at. If you have projects and dreams that you never dare start, you need to transform your thinking. Or if, like most of us, there’s that nagging voice that pops up whenever you do something that says it’s no use trying, there’s someone far better qualified for the job or assignment or project than you are.

But, how do you silence your inner critic?

First, you’ll want to be clear about the things you actually want, instead of focusing on what you don’t want. This can be harder than you realise. But if you can do it, you become a connoisseur of your own thinking.

In this talk, I’ll be looking at the basics of improvisation and how these can help us in our professional (and everyday) life to dare to take the plunge.

I’ll talk to you about an exercise to create one particular mental habit that I have never seen anywhere else.

 


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.

She enjoys writing. Why? ‘Because every piece of writing challenges me to tell a new story. Writing and storytelling are crafts that can be acquired. But, perhaps more importantly, I’ve found that they are crafts that can make things happen in the real world,’ according to Martine.

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’.


 

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