Topic: Advice for German Writers of English Scientific Prose

It is often easy to tell whether a paper (or referee report) has been written by a native German speaker. There are some typical mistakes frequently made by German writers of English. I am pretty sure this applies to other languages, too, but since my native language is German I only dare to correct native German speakers (with one exception, see below).

There are several resources on the web pointing to these errors. They are also interesting for german speaking students who start writing in English.

- This website by Tristan Miller incidentally carries the same name as this post. It is quite exhaustive in its advice. (If it is not accessible, here is the PDF file with the advice.)

- Common inaccuracies in the written English of German-speakers by Mark Rodgers includes a list of incorrect translations of words and phrases (and the PDF file is here).

- Scientific English as a Foreign Language by Nancy A. Burnham and Frederick L. Hutson is aiming at German and French speakers, giving a lot of funny examples for the correct and incorrect use of certain words and phrases. Finally I understand the difference between "that" and "which". And French people may finally realize the difference between "experiment" and "experience". (Here is the PDF file.)

- A Small Guide to Avoid Mistakes in Writing Technical Papers by Michael Aufmkolk focuses on the use of tenses and adverbs. It seems to be written by a German...

There must be numerous other resources like that (focusing on writing scientific or technical papers in English). I may add some more later.


Re: Advice for German Writers of English Scientific Prose

Astronomy & Astrophysics also has a nice summary page of frequent corrections required in scientific texts. This is not only interesting for native speakers of German but for anybody writing a scientific text in English. (Here is the PDF file.)