I'm writing a research paper in English, but my data is in another language. I want to include some pictures in an appendix, but they contain some writings in the foreign language.

How can you include translation in an appendix?

Is it a common practice to write the translation over the picture since it has the necessary space. I don't want to put the translation below the picture to avoid taking too much space.

  • Are writings in other language important for your message? Can you remove them in some graphics editor and replace by English labels? Jun 30, 2014 at 10:42
  • They are very very important. The picture, with the writings, is pregnant with cultural meanings and should remain so. I'm asking if I can the translated text in the picture using a software. Thank you Jun 30, 2014 at 10:50

1 Answer 1


As the comments state, if the wording is of any significance to understanding your manuscript then a translation is in order. Depending on the type of figure you have several options

If your figure exists in editable digital form, you can see if actually changing the wording is possible. Even better if the format is a vctor graphics is to redraw the figure completely.

If your figure is a bit map, you could ad labels to the figure and provide translations in the text or figure caption (preferably).

Clearly the possibilities vary with the format of the original but it will be important to make the figure as understandable as possible for people not familiar with your native language.

  • Could you please further explain the second option? Jun 30, 2014 at 11:40
  • 1
    Since you cannot change th etext in a bitmap you need to figure out some other way of adding translations. Introducing some form of markers and then providing the markers and the translation of the word in the caption might be one way. I am not advocating a single method but to use your creativity in a way that would make it easy for the reader to understand the figure. Jul 1, 2014 at 9:23

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