The field of…

Major contributions in the field of microbiology… Great commitment to the field of science... When the abstract of your paper is limited to a specific word count and you’ve kept the Dutch just inside, it can be annoying to discover it’s gone up by 5% in the English version.

The Dutch phrases “op (het) gebied van” and “op (het) vlak van” often add absolutely nothing in terms of the semantics.

  • in the field of => zap it: in is enough
  • to the field of => zap it: to is enough

Lots of languages have similar phrases, so non-natives with various mother tongues may all do this. An example of Eurospeak.

Prevalence: high. People seem to want every word of the source – whether in their heads or a translation task – to appear in the target. Even when it’s just filler.
Frequency: high. Often multiple times in the same text.
Native: sometimes. In translations… particularly if it’s the kind of client who’s going to insist you’ve left something out.

Published by Mike Wilkinson

Twenty years of translating and editing Dutch into English, as well as writing and publishing in English.

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