ESL Dissertation Editing Services

"…my expectations were surpassed. I was happy with the sample edit, but the full edit went beyond that. I have worked through half the edited book and haven’t found an error; the wise comments on plot, character, etc. have really impressed me."

ESL Editing Services: Dissertations

There are many benefits to employing an ESL editing service to look at your dissertation. While writing in a foreign language, particularly when writing in a technical context, unnatural phrasing can creep in unintentionally, for instance, when a language makes reference to cultural a touchstone that is alien to the target language, the phrase will generally lose its context, and thus its meaning.

One example of this is when St. Jerome, the patron saint of translators decided to learn Hebrew to translate the bible from the original Hebrew instead of the Greek translation version that was commonly used. When Moses comes down from Mt. Sinai with the ten commandments, his head was described as having a “radiance,” which is “karan” in Hebrew, but as Hebrew is written without vowels, St. Jerome mistranslated this as “keren,” which means “horns,” and led to hundreds of years of depictions of Moses with prominent horns.

Many examples of similar mistakes are evident in computer games, when companies want their games to reach a broader market they have them translated into new languages to sell them there, often without providing sufficient resources for such, many of which have become engrained in popular culture. One example of this is the “All your base are belong to us” meme, wherein a game was so terribly translated that it was openly mocked on the Internet for months, before people moved on to the next trend.

The English language is renowned for the vast quantity of common yet irregular verbs and idioms that often require an inherent understanding of a vast quantity of cultural context to employ correctly. Studying to such a high level of proficiency is difficult and time consuming, subtracting time from the subject, whether science, art or a combination, in which the student is interested. In such a situation, it is much more efficient to reach a reasonable level of fluency (or even hire a specialized translator) and then have your translated work proofread by an ESL editing service. It may prove either difficult or prohibitively expensive to find a translator specialized in the specific field of your work, hence the need for separate proofreading by an English native specialist in your area of expertise.

Of course, science editing goes beyond simply ensuring that the language used is unambiguous and phrased naturally. An author can ask their editor to ensure that their paper adheres to a specific style guide, such as APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago, or one specific to the requirements of a particular submission review board, as long as the guidelines are accessible for the editing team. There are many details in common between these style sheets, and careful nuanced differences between them, such as MLA’s requirement to use hyphens to indicate page ranges in references rather than en dashes, which is common to the other three major style guides, and professional ESL editing services are well-versed in these differences and applying them where appropriate.

Precision and clarity are extremely important when explaining how procedures have been implemented in scientific pursuits, because replicability is paramount for confirmation of results. If your methodology has room for interpretation or is misleading, your results may be declared unprovable or false, and the difference between clarity and ambiguity is often difficult to explain, even for a native speaker, yet the change will be indisputably correct.

Social sciences often require a great deal of explanation of the variables and hypotheses under examination, and may rely on questionnaires for gathering data, in which the wording can give questions and statements entirely new meaning, leading to confusion among participants. This may not even garner attention until, upon peer review, a reviewer asks what the intent was behind asking participants a question that can clearly be read in any of several different ways, when the conclusions drawn from the responses seem to imply that all participants read the question a specific way. The researcher is then left with unusable results, due to what may amount to a simple grammatical misstep, which is why it is important to have an external agency, such as an ESL editing service, double check your work, when many hours and much expense may hang on the correct placement of a comma.

Just because two words are synonymous, does not make them equivalent, and often there are rigid guidelines on the situation in which they can be considered synonymous. For example, describing a liquid as “pure nicotine” does not carry the same implications as describing it as “authentic nicotine.” The former description indicates that the liquid contains nothing but nicotine, whereas the latter indicates that the substance is genuine nicotine, which is only useful or appropriate when there is a sample of fake nicotine or a nicotine substitute with which to compare it. This sort of distinction may not be immediately apparent to a non-native speaker of English; after all, thesauruses list these words as synonyms, which will often mean that the words are interchangeable, but there are in fact often important differences between supposedly synonymous words.