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Journal papers in a foreign language

  1. Aug 10, 2008 #1
    Any suggestions on how to cope with foreign languages in journal papers? Say you want to read a proof of a certain theorem. But the ONLY published proof of that theorem is in Russian, and it has never been translated in English. Other than learning Russian, any suggestions on how to learn the proof? I cannot get by by just reading the symbols and guessing their meanings.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 13, 2008 #2
  4. Aug 13, 2008 #3
    That site, from experience usually does a poor job. If you are at a university, you can try to find a math professor that speaks Russian. At my school there are plenty of Russian Math Professors. Or you can try the foreign language department of your school.

    Or you can call some local high schools, there should be some that teach russian or have someone the foreign language department who has some experience with it.

    Or that site might actually work for you, it might be a question of ease of translation versus accuracy to determine what you have to do.
  5. Aug 13, 2008 #4
    You learn 'enough' Russian (or whatever language) by using a dictionary. Fortunately mathematical papers often read the same irrespective of language, and indeed the words are often the same. The only difficulty with Russian is the alphabet.

    It is often (always?) a requirement of an American PhD to translate a paper from a foreign language (not one's first) into English.
  6. Aug 13, 2008 #5
    No, the cyrillic alphabet it is very easy, it borrows some stuff from the greek alphabet that you are already familiar with. I like the alphabet better than all the other alphabets I use (including arabic).




    See? which one do you find the most straightforward?
  7. Aug 14, 2008 #6


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    Erm.. the top one?!
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