Translating articles

Science in School aims to promote inspiring science teaching across Europe. For this reason, we publish articles online in several European languages.

We are very grateful to all teachers and scientists who volunteer to translate articles in Science in School from English into their native languages. If you are interested in helping, please email us detailing your language skills, involvement in science / science education and your translation experience.

Translating review articles

We feel that translating a review (for example of a book, CD-ROM or website) only really makes sense if the reviewed material is also available in the language that you are translating into. Those readers who cannot understand the review in one language (e.g. English), probably cannot appreciate the materials in that language either. If you do translate a review, please include the correct details for the translated version of the reviewed material, e.g. publisher, publication year, ISBN etc. Please also add the original (probably English) title, so that readers can find the original version of the material if they need to.

Format of the translations

We will provide the English articles as Word table files and the finished translations should be returned in this format. 

Please translate the whole article, including the title, introduction, figure legends and (if present) the review at the end: each translated paragraph should be written on the right of the corresponding English paragraph in the tabulated article. This helps us to identify which paragraph is which. Please note that some words will have a special kind of formatting (in italics, underlined, or bold) - please maintain this formatting, as it helps us identify the corresponding words or phrases in your translation. We may, for example, want to attach a link to the words or phrases, as in the English original.

The text in the tabulated article should match the online version of the article. The only difference should be the addition of the 'translated by' section below the name of the author: please translate that as well and add your name.

Translation style

Science in School aims for an engaging, journalistic style, and this style should be maintained in translation. Avoid translating literally (word for word), but do not change the contents or meaning of a sentence.

Please do not use automatic online translators. We would like our translations to be as readable and engaging as the English originals of our articles, and this is rarely the case with automatic online translators.

How to deal with names

Please do not translate or change the names of people mentioned in the articles. If you need to transliterate a person's name (if the language you are translating into does not use the Latin alphabet), make sure you include the original name (in the Latin alphabet) in brackets the first time it is mentioned in the main text.

If you translate the names of institutions/organisations/projects etc., make sure you include the original name in brackets.

Gender sensitivity

We would like to encourage our translators to use gender-sensitive language where appropriate. However, we leave it to your discretion which specific form to use to reflect that in your language.

Translating the references and resources section

In the references, web references and resources sections, do not translate the titles of books or articles, unless the work is also published in the language into which you are translating (in which case, please also include the correct details for the translated version, e.g. publisher, publication year, ISBN, etc…). Do translate the town + country of the book's publishers though (e.g. 'Munich, Alemania: BLV' instead of 'Munich, Germany: BLV').

Using our standard terms

To ensure consistency, we use a range of standard terms in all our English original articles. To maintain this consistency in other languages, particularly between translations performed by different translators into the same language, it is important that you use our list of standard terms in all appropriate parts of your translation. 

You can download the list of standard terms in PDF or Excel format (please keep checking back that you are working with the latest version as these files are frequently being updated). Note that you will have to zoom in on the PDF file after downloading it to be able to read it properly.

We rely on your help to keep our translations accurate. You will notice that we are still missing translated standard terms for a number of languages. If this is the case for your language, or if you disagree with any of the suggested standard terms in the list, we are looking forward to your input (please contact us at translations@scienceinschool.org).

Comments and suggestions by the translator

You are very welcome to make comments on the article or suggestions for improvements or further resources to include. However, please send us these suggestions in an email and do not add them to the translated article itself. If you do suggest additions, please also provide a translation for the term 'translator's comment' in your language, which we will need if we decide to keep your addition.

Common errors made by translators

Please be aware of the following common errors made by translators:
-    Not maintaining the correct formatting (bold, italic, or underlined)
-    Not translating the reviewer’s or his/her institute's country of origin
-    In the references section, the word ‘here’ is often made into a hyperlink. Care should therefore be taken to ensure it is translated.

In case of doubts

When in doubt about the meaning of a word or sentence in the English original, do try to clarify this (by asking a friend or colleague, or contacting us) before going ahead and guessing what might be meant. Otherwise, this may result in a misleading translation and, in worst case, teachers in your country who use your translation as the basis of their classwork may end up teaching students incorrect facts. Therefore, please be considerate in your translations.

If you find that an article is too complicated for you to translate after all, do contact us and swap it for an easier article of your choice. This is much more useful for us than receiving a badly translated article or no translation at all.

Quality of translations

We do not have the resources to copyedit translations and check their quality. We strongly encourage you to carefully check your text for spelling and grammatical errors. Ideally, you will ask a friend or colleague to do this for you, as a fresh pair of eyes will spot mistakes more easily.

Useful links for translators

Online tools can be extremely useful to find the appropriate word, but we strongly discourage you from using any full text translation function (such as Google translate or any other) because the quality of their texts is usually not good.

Lingoes - a freely downloadable easy and intuitive dictionary and text translation software which offers lookup dictionaries, and pronunciation of words in over 80 languages.

Leo - a free online dictionary, mainly useful for German translators, with a well-used forum for translators in which trickier cases are being discussed.

Wordreference - a free online dictionary that offers accurate translations in some of the most widely used European languages, with a well-used forum where you can ask for advice from the community.