Monday, June 12, 2006

Editing Non-English Speaking Writers

I’ve been working through a number of articles for our book written by non-native English speakers.  Frankly I’m stunned and a bit embarassed at how amazingly well-done the vast majority of the articles are.

I lived and worked in Germany for about 3.5 years and was nicely conversant in German.  Far from fluent, but I was able to get across just about any concept I needed to both at work and at the Gasthaus after a couple beers.  Just don’t ask me to do the genative and other cases, which always killed me.

Back to the point.  I never would have considered writing an article in German for a publication, so I’m amazed at the great pieces I’m getting from our contributors.  I realize English tends to be a common business and technical language, but regardless… Russian, Israel, Germany, Brazil, Austria, China, Switzerland, Italy.  I’ve had pieces from all of these nations across my screen.  I’ve only had one which needed massive edits, and frankly I’ve had more thanone native English speaker who I had to do significantly more editing on!  One foreign writer even had down the proper usage of semicolons and commas in extended lists.  If that ain’t a subtle piece of work I don’t know what is.

I have no idea where I’m going with this blog post.  I’ve just been knocked over at how cool it is and thought to share my blatherings with my three readers.

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