234

Having many non-English references is absolutely no valid reason to reject a computer science paper. If a reader wants to follow up on the references, they can learn some German, find a translator, etc. But this is the responsibility of the reader, not the author.


178

If you want a non-confrontation approach, simply repeat the question in English before answering it. Hearing the translation may help the student in question see how to phrase their questions in English. It also give a polite hint that the question should have been asked in English.


154

ETH and all other universities in Switzerland are funded by the government and offer college education for minimal tuition. While foreign students are welcome to attend, the primary purpose (at least at the undergraduate level) is to provide education to the locals. Nonetheless, that doesn't seem to be a limiting factor, especially at the graduate/research ...


153

There are several possibilities here, although generally they all have the same solution. The English is poor or incorrect and the company did not check it well It is possible that the company that checked your article did a bad job. This happens. Maybe the service did not have a native English speaker check your article. Maybe they had a bad day. Maybe ...


127

It's obviously appropriate and constructive to comment on writing issues that significantly affect the quality of the paper. The only question is how to do it as constructively as possible. Personally, I prefer to suggest that "the authors get editing help from someone with full professional proficiency in English" rather than asking for "a native English ...


111

Thou shalt not dumb down thy writing, but don't make it a vain exercise of style I'm a non-native English speaker, and let me put it straight: I may write in simple English, because limited are my English writing skills, but I don't want to read simple English because I want to enrich my vocabulary and grammatical constructions. But whether you write for ...


108

The short answer is that when people want something, they often experience cognitive distortions that prevents entirely accurate assessments. Dunning-Kruger is a good example of one of these effects, where a student thinks, "Oh, I'd love to study in Paris - and lots of people speak French, so I'm sure I could pick it up!" Learning a new language to a college-...


99

As somebody with accents in the name who does not put them on scientific papers, I would recommend going with the way they put their names on the papers. Certain people are very particular about having the right accents, but others (including myself) consider them a nuisance and avoid them. The only way to know in the particular case is to check the paper ...


99

I'm not sure how far ethics comes into this, but omitting accents is, effectively, a misspelling of the name. If you need to cite something by Schön, and you instead write "Schon", I'd regard that as analogous to writing "Schöm" or "Schöh": pretty close, but certainly a typo. If I'm reviewing a paper, I will request correction of missing accents as I would ...


99

I tend to agree with @Arno's answer that citing non-English sources is fine. But that is actually beside the point, since as far as OP's situation is concerned, I think he has much less of a dilemma than he thinks. The reason is that whether to publish a paper that references many German-language sources should be an editorial decision. As a reviewer, OP ...


99

This seems like an unreasonable request. Frankly, it does not matter if you paper has been proof-read by a native speaker or not. If, after revision, your English presentation is still bad, the editor won't accept it even if you include proof that it was read by a native speaker. I would personally be prone to just ignore this request, make sure that the ...


94

Accents are tricky, especially in large lecture halls where students hear you over a mic, and can't see your lips. Different regions might have different opinions on what accents are difficult, depending on what other native language groups the undergrads may have been exposed to. In my opinion, it would go a long way for your undergraduates to say ...


92

You should not email Textcheck about the article. The journal review process should be confidential, and you should not take the liberty to violate it. You should put the quality of the writing in your review. If it's still bad even after review by this company, then those are the breaks. It sounds like it still needs some help.


71

While original research is dominated by English, good textbooks are available in most languages. Needless to say, having learning material in your native language helps a lot, even if you master English. The level of English required to read technical literature is much lower than the level required to express yourself freely and understand fast-paced speech....


71

There are some excellent answers out there, but let's add this: Not all undergraduate programs lead to graduate studies. In fact, most undergraduates go on to work. We can speculate that the work environment will be in the language of the country. Actually, there's even a place where this is the law. In Québec (Canada), most companies are required to have ...


70

The rules of thumb are: Established facts are reported in the present tense (“The path of light follows Fermat's principle of least time”). However, you should use the past tense when you refer to previous work in the field (“Maxwell et al. demonstrated clearly in a laser cavity experiment that no mirror is perfect”). The experiments, simulations or ...


62

It will be much easier for you to learn German to conversational level than all of your co-workers learn English. Even if they are some-what able to talk in English, conversational English is actually pretty tough, whilst German is pretty structured and easy once you know the rules (and the many exceptions ;) ) More importantly, you moved to Germany. Whilst ...


62

This is not a legal issue—at least not at first. If you have copyright of your work, you can at any point in time—even years from now—sign a contract with a professional who will translate the thesis into another language and provide certification of having done so. That would be perfectly legal. The real question is if your faculty will allow you to have ...


58

My suggestion is that you either let it go, if everyone understands what the student has said, or that you explore the situation with the student during office hours. Perhaps it is just easier for this student to say subtle things as needed in his/her native language than in English. It is fine if you make an explicit request, but be prepared to yield if the ...


57

I like V. Rossetto's answer (+1), but I think the level of cynicism it contains is more appropriate as an answer for why bad papers are published (to which I would add that there is now a glut of mediocre venues looking for content ... everyone wants to be editor or co-organiser of something; and I would also add that, unfortunately, authoring and peer-...


54

Nowadays, every sufficiently recent typesetting system is able to deal with diacritics. When submitting to journals, the real problem are the publishers' typesetters, who are -- at least in my experience -- frequently careless in copying letters with diacritics. So, my advice is: keep the diacritics, as the style guides and common sense suggest, but check ...


52

I wouldn't worry about it too much: given the bilingual nature of his work, your professor probably context-switches back and forth between languages frequently. If the professor is very comfortable in both languages, they might not have even realized the switch, e.g., if responding to your email in the middle of a large block of work in English with their ...


48

Your only responsibility as a reviewer is to check that the article is scientific, relevant and original enough. When references are valid, the language should not matter, especially if - as you say - you can check them because you personally do know German. In other words: I too am shocked that this is even an issue.


47

I agree that it makes sense to set expectations as early as possible. I'd just put Note that all XXX for this course are in English. in the syllabus. You should of course be specific as to what XXX is: Class slides Required reading Supplemental reading Lectures (you could have slides in English but speak the local language during the actual lecture) ...


46

I am assuming that learning how to discuss statistics in English is not specifically part of the course syllabus. If it is, you should simply tell the student to speak English. If the students' questions are otherwise good, assume the best - that the student simply does not feel confident asking in English. I have had similar situations in courses before. ...


46

The art of academic writing is essentially the practice of re-writing the same story many times, until the result is "good enough". It takes a lot of persistence and a lot of time to prepare a single paper for publication. If English is not your first language and you struggle with the correct phrasing, consider using an academic phrasebank to help you. I ...


45

Actually, there are no universal requirements for waiving testing. For instance, at MIT, you establish eligibility for a language waiver by attending primary and secondary schools that have English as the language of instruction or by attending an American university for your undergraduate education. At Yale, you must have attended an English-language ...


44

I think the fact that the paper is in a language you don't understand is somewhat of a red herring. Sure, it will affect the specific steps you'd take to try to understand the paper, but the ethics of "to cite, or not to cite" it is no different from a paper you don't understand written in a language you speak. You're generally supposed to provide a good-...


43

I would not know any reason that forces chairs to read the title of the talk. On the contrary, even with grammatically correct titles, it feels rather lazy and unnatural to me. Also there is a certain kind of speaker who will read their title, no matter what you do. This is a little bit less awkward, if you haven’t read the title already. Hence, if I am ...


42

The old adage is: "the language of science is bad English" (and at least in computer science it is 100% true). That being said, I have known PhD students who have failed mainly because of their lacking English language skills – they had ideas, but they could not communicate them to anybody, and they could not write them down in a paper for the life of them. ...


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