MET workshop

Editing non-native English

What are the characteristics of non-native-English texts? What triggers the editorial changes made to such texts, and why? Are there particular strategies that editors should follow in order to identify and deal with the ‘non-nativeness’ of English texts? This workshop sets out to answer these questions and to stimulate editors of non-native English to reflect on their remit and how best to fulfil it.

Facilitator: Joy Burrough-Boenisch

Purpose: To consolidate and improve participants’ skills in correcting and editing non-native English texts. This will be achieved by:
  • characterising non-native English writing;
  • positioning the editing of non-native English in relation to regular text editing and translation;
  • presenting and discussing strategies for dealing with problematic non-native English texts;
  • presenting and discussing internet resources for editors of non-native English;
  • providing insights and vocabulary that enable the participants to discuss and justify their editorial changes to texts written by non-native speakers of English.

Description/structure: The workshop will be a mix of PowerPoint presentations, hands-on exercises (to be done individually and in groups) and discussion. The presentations will introduce and explain the generic traits of non-native texts and also some strategies and internet resources that editors of non-native texts can use. There will be sample texts to analyse and discuss, and opportunity to exchange views on approaches to this specialist form of editing.

Who should attend? Translators, other language professionals, scientists or academics, who wish to branch out into or are already engaged in the editing of non-native English.

Outcomes: Insight into the generic features of non-native English texts, which will make it easier to describe the shortcomings in such texts and justify editorial changes. An understanding of the types of editing that can be applied to texts written by non-native speakers of English. Greater awareness of the techniques and strategies that language professionals can use to solve textual problems.

About the facilitator: Netherlands-based Joy Burrough-Boenisch is a freelance editor and translator for scientists and academics, a teacher of academic English, trainer of language professionals and a popular speaker. She is a founder and honorary member of SENSE (Society of English-Native-Speaking Editors in the Netherlands). Her PhD thesis is on Dutch scientific English. Her many publications on editing non-native English include chapters in the EASE Science Editors’ Handbook and in Supporting Research Writing: Roles and challenges in multilingual setting (ed. Valerie Matarese), both published in 2013. She has given workshops for language professionals in various European countries, and for the European Commission.

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