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It occurred to me, while reviewing a paper submission for an academic journal, that I'm quite lucky to be a native English speaker in a world where almost all major scientific publications have standardized on English. It saddens me that the authors of the submission, who are clearly not native English speakers, have to struggle so much with basic writing skills, because despite the interesting things they have to say in their paper, almost none of it is properly conveyed. What should be a fun and easy to read paper has become an unnnecessarily voluminous document whose flow is hampered and constantly interrupted by glaring grammatical and stylistic errors that jump out of the pages and divert my attention away from the actual content. Against my own will, I find myself irritated at these distractions and annoyed that such material could be so aggravating to read. I want to scream, "Go take some English classes!" but then I realize how awful it is of me to think that. Then I get annoyed that the Natural Language Processing people down on the third and fourth floors haven't gotten their automatic text translation act together yet ;)

Re: native english speaker
Posted 15 years, 8 months ago by jack foreman • wwwReply
yes, it is harder for non-english people to start, but in my expereince they normally catch up and their english becomes better than most native speakers
Re: native english speaker
Posted 15 years, 8 months ago by ali mohammad • • Reply
Sorry, man... I'll keep working on machine translation, but it's really hard mostly because of the diverse and interesting things people want to say, anyway :-)

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