ESL authors?

Subject: ESL authors?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 09 Jun 2005 11:13:26 -0400

If I've got the attribution right (didn't see the original message), Yevgen Borodkin remarked: <<On a totally irrelevant note - "ESL authors" and "poor writing" aren't necessarily synonyms, are they? I am wondering if that's a common (mis)perception or just an example to make a point?>>

The two are certainly ***not*** synonymous. In fact, many of my Chinese and Japanese authors (my main clientele) are better writers than many of my English clients because they recognize that they're writing in a second language and work very hard to compensate. In contrast, many English authors are so blasé about their writing that they simply don't care. Both groups also get lazy and come to rely on editors such as me to fix any problems, but the English authors tend to be far less embarrassed by their poor writing and thus are more willing to create lots of work for me than my ESL authors.

The unfortunate reality is that many publishers and journals are outright racist about this: Several of the big names have a standard policy (check their Web sites) that they won't even look at a manuscript by someone with a foreign name or mailing address until the manuscript has been edited by an English pro. Japanese authors come in for particular prejudice for some reason. I've even seen reviewers return review comments about the quality of the English in well-written manuscripts: the comments themselves are often barely decipherable, and the language of the manuscript is fine, but they somehow feel obliged to "put the foreigners in their place". Stupid, but there you have it.

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Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)
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Yet another spin-off: ESL authors: From: Borodkin, Yevgen
Re: ESL authors: From: arroxaneullman

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