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Any academic copy-editors about? Need a second opinion

(5 Posts)
64sNewName Wed 17-Apr-19 14:58:07

Ridiculously niche problem, but maybe it’ll help just to describe it here.

I’m working on a book that cites lots of French, Italian and German material as well as English. I’ve been briefed to anglicise the city names in the bibliography (Milan rather than Milano, etc.), but nothing was specifically said about what to do with terms like ‘a cura di’ or ‘éd.’ or ‘herausgeber’.

Time is tight and the bibliography is really messy in lots of ways, so I’m reluctant to open a discussion about this point with the author.

I initially decided to anglicise terms like the above to ‘edited’, and ‘traduit’ to ‘trans.’ and so forth, just to keep the bibliography simple and usable. If I hadn’t done that, I would have had to standardise them all in some other way - there was just so much variation that it was a real jumble of presentation styles even within a given language - and I am not multilingual, so I would have been guessing at a system. I justified the decision to myself on the basis that it was in keeping with the request in my brief to anglicise all the city names.

Doubting myself now though, halfway through. It’s a 100-page biblio so there are lots of changes! The more I do, the more conscious I am that I may be ironing out shades of meaning - for instance, I’m not really sure that ‘a cura di’ = ‘edited by’ in every case. I half think it’s close enough and there are limits to what one underpaid editor can do in a short time; but then I have visions of the author being furious at my changes.

If anyone has done this before I’d welcome opinions.

pennycarbonara Wed 17-Apr-19 20:50:06

Do you know what journal it's for? Can you look at other papers in it that use sources from multiple languages?

64sNewName Thu 18-Apr-19 02:12:50

It’s a book!

The publisher has a house style guide; I edit for them regularly, but this issue has not come up before. Style guide doesn’t cover it, and I can’t find anything relevant in my own manuals.

Feel a bit more certain of myself now. It’s a pain but I think it will be OK as long as I go over it a couple of times and make it as consistent as possible.

Bittern11 Sat 20-Apr-19 23:16:29

I’d ask the client, especially as the points come up several times.

TheCanterburyWhales Sun 05-May-19 12:31:04

You need to ask the client, definitely.
"a cura di" could be: written by/translated by/published by or simply "managed by" so the differences for something to be published are important.

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