My PhD thesis is in French, can I take parts from it, just translate them to English (without any paraphrasing) and use them in my next paper? would this cause any plagiarism issues?

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    I'm at a loss to explain the down voting on the answers. No one has expressed any views contrary to what was written. Both of the answers at this moment are valid. Cite your old work to avoid self-plagiarism. The concept of paraphrasing is immaterial here. Maybe one or more of the voters would like to comment or provide an alternative answer. – Buffy Jul 3 at 12:40
  • I also wonder why the down voting? I prefere some written answers that can help! – David Jul 3 at 13:30
  • @Buffy be good to see eloquent comments from a downvoter, but I may have to wait a long time. – Solar Mike Jul 3 at 13:44

Reference them as normal - plagiarism is not limited to words but ideas so proper attribution is the way to go.

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    I would use the word "cite" rather than "reference", but the intent of this answer is correct. – Buffy Jul 3 at 14:01

If it's properly attributed, then it's no plagiarism and with a PhD thesis there should also be no copyright issues (You should check whatever you signed to publish that though, just to be on the safe side).

There are a lot of papers that effectively start with something like "This article consists of material that first appeared in the authors PhD thesis [..]" and "This article is an English language translation of [...]". Assuming that you intend to publish parts of the thesis as a paper, yours would just be a combination of the two.

A slightly different thing would be to only reuse some paragraphs or smaller sections, e.g. a literature review or descriptions of an experiment. Again if attributed, this is no plagiarism, but generally this is a bit frowned upon. Personally, I'd see it as a sign that you are either too lazy to adapt the section to the specific context of the new paper or that the new context is identical to the old one, which then begs the question why there is a second paper in the first place. Even there, there are however times where doing so is reasonable and a translation of material otherwise unavailable to non French-speakers could be one of them.

Edit: Also please don't just "translate without any paraphrasing". There are always some formulations and sentence structures that work in one language and not the other. Those should be adapted.

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  • yeah, language and sentence structures would be respected, what I meant is that the original text is my text so I don't think that I have to paraphrase it again. – David Jul 3 at 13:35

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