I'm currently writing up my Masters Dissertation and in one of my sections I have translated an article that was written in German. To the best of my knowledge no current translation of this specific article exists.

My question is this; what is the best way to add commentary/remarks to what has been translated without disrupting the flow of the translation?

For example

foo bar foo bar foo bar and is given by
<insert equation here>
where ......

I'd like to add a comment along the lines of

foo bar foo bar foo bar and is given by
<insert equation here>
{comment on how he managed to derive said equation because it's not obvious}
where ......

Initially I thought that perhaps it's better to comment on them in the footnote as suggested here. However, it means some footnotes are going to be half a page and ruin the flow of the translation.

Any ideas or feedback is greatly appreciated



  • Would putting the various explanations in an appendix be appropriate for your journal?
    – Jon Custer
    Jul 30, 2019 at 20:13
  • @JonCuster it's in my masters, so I want to comment on why it was worth translating the article and why it's important to fully understand the maths.
    – Kendall
    Jul 31, 2019 at 10:01

1 Answer 1


Actually, inline comments will ruin the flow of the translation more than footnotes, I think. Especially if you have long comments that will run over page boundaries.

Footnoting will make it clearer what is the translation and what are the comments. It is also easier to ignore the comments if the reader chooses.

But if they are inline, perhaps using a distinctive font for the comments might help a bit.

  • I am accepting this answer, as even with the distinctive font, the flow of the translation was indeed ruined. Reducing the font size in the footnotes 'beautified' the overall look and I am happy with the results. Many thanks for your suggestion.
    – Kendall
    Jul 31, 2019 at 11:52

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