“PUBLISH OR PERISH!” Publishing work with high-quality, high-impact journals and presses is the key to a successful career.

However, preparing a paper for presentation or publication in a language that is not one’s mother tongue can be fraught with intense anxiety. For many accomplished scholars and writers, this can create a frustrating barrier to achieving wider recognition. No matter the level of expertise or the novelty of the ideas — if they are not conveyed in perfect English, they risk being misunderstood at best or discarded as unprofessional at worst. 

Many scholars and writers will have a working knowledge of the language they want to publish in, and be perfectly able to read and understand complex literature written in that language. But putting pen to paper to write in it is a different matter. And as the stakes are high, some of the common solutions, such as passing work to a colleague to read through, or asking a native speaker to cast an eye over it, don't always produce the desired results. Sometimes even passing work to a local agency doesn't help.

The problem with these solutions is that native speaker friends and acquaintances often are not specialists (it's not for nothing we spend years acquiring specialist vocabulary, even in our native language!). Busy colleagues may simply not have the time to check work thoroughly. Even large publishing houses are cutting costs and not employing proofreaders and translators, which means work is not given the specialist input it deserves. And very often, both academic and creative writers find passing their work to an agency very unsettling — after all, it can feel like surrendering control over something they have put massive effort (and money) into.

Academic and creative work needs to be translated or proofread by someone who knows both the respective field and the requirements of the target audience, and who is able to give texts the attention they need. Authors find it an intense relief to work with someone happy to communicate with them, who appreciates an exchange of opinions and ideas and who will work with them to reach the highest possible standards while ensuring their texts are still saying what they want them to say. They need to feel in control of the process, while feeling confident their work will meet the standards it needs to.

I am a professional translator and proofreader with over 10 years' experience working in both academia (predominantly the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) and the creative and cultural industries. As holder of several degrees, including a Ph.D., and as a former university lecturer with a record of publishing in and writing reviews for star-rated journals, I have expertise in a broad range of subjects which I am able to bring to my translating and proofreading work. I particularly enjoy taking a collaborative approach which empowers clients and keeps them involved with their texts and in touch with the translation and proofreading process.

Is your area one I work in? Click here to find out more about my subject specialisms.

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