The publications, conferences, and exhibitions of the contemporary art world bring together artists, critics,
and academics who are from a variety of countries and who speak and write in a variety of languages. And universities, of course, host students from all over the world. English is the current lingua franca of the world, and oftentimes English-language publications come out of non-English speaking countries in order to reach an international audience.
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In short, a lot of writing in English is by second-language writers or undergoes translation.
Much of my work involves editing writing by people who don’t have English as their primary language, and I believe it’s important to avoid bulldozing a text into a generic and formal English. Rather, my goal is to ensure correctness, readability, and comprehensibility while firmly retaining the writer’s voice.
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For translations or writing of non-English primary writers, this means correcting things like grammar errors (such as dropped articles or overly complicated sentence structure) while retaining unique characteristics (such as idiosyncratic turns of phrase).