Say I'm about to publish a scientific paper and it's currently still "under review", i.e. it has not been published yet. How would I translate that phrase into "academic" German? And in the same context, how would I translate the associated status indication "minor/major revisions"?

EDIT: I'm interested in this because I would like to include this point on my CV (I'm German and applying to jobs in Germany).

  • What science are we talking about here?
    – Berend
    May 6 '21 at 19:13

The international language of science is English. And for this reason most scientific papers written by German native speakers are written in English, because all important scientific magazines publish in English and also all international conferences are held in English. Also all reviews you receive are written in English, and any communication about reviews is made in English. And as a consequence the terms "under review" and "minor/major revisions" normally are not translated. They are used as they are: in English.

But when you still need to translate these terms, then you can use these German expressions:

  • under review

    in Begutachtung

    literal: "in appraisal", "in evaluation", "in assessment"

    • »Das Gutachten« is: expertise, survey, expert opinion, report, certificate etc.
    • »Die Begutachtung« is the process of creating a Gutachten.
  • minor revison

    geringfügige Überarbeitung

    This is a straight translation of the words minor and revision

  • major revison

    größere Überarbeitung

    literal: "bigger revision"

But all these German terms don't have the same status as standard-terms like the English originals. The standard is still the English version.

  • 2
    It is true that English is by far the dominant language in science. However, it is not true that all important scientific journals are published in English. A heavyweight journal in mathematics is Успехи математических наук, see mathnet.ru/php/journal.phtml?jrnid=rm&option_lang=rus which publishes in Russian. Moreover, there are also journals where it is still possible to publish in German, e g in Mathematische Semesterberichte, springer.com/journal/591 . Hence, I think that the question is a very reasonable one. May 5 '21 at 10:17
  • @MartinPeters: Yes there are non-English magazines (the biggest non-English magazines are Chinese, as far as I know), but they become more and more ignored by the international community. If you publish your paper in a non-English journal, the chance of being cited by others is quite low. Btw: Успехи математических наук isn't even listed here en.wikipedia.org/w/… although this list contains non-English journals too. Only the English version of it (Russian Mathematical Surveys) is there. May 5 '21 at 11:56
  • 2
    They are not called magazines but journals. And if you manage to publish something in Успехи, it means that your work is of the highest international standard. That is why this journal, as several others, is being translated cover-to-cover. This list in wikipedia is of low quality. For such information the places to look for are zbmath.org and mathscinet.ams.org . May 5 '21 at 13:02
  • Publications mathématiques de l'IHÉS probably accepts German and French (it used to at least). But who would like to restrict the readership if she or he has something to say there.
    – c.p.
    May 6 '21 at 16:41

Academically correct and academically functional are two different things here. For the sake of being correct or even respectful, you would want to translate into German. Germans liking being addressed in German.

The risk of having a translation bounce back and forth into oblivion is not that big, but it doesn't guarantee understanding. For the sake of that, you should stick to the English term, because that really only paints one single picture, for reasons mentioned in other comments.

The more important question is, what you would say if you would have to say it right now. This is a fore foot on your CV. Don't fake yourself for anything. Choose what feels like you, regardless whether in English or in German.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.