I do some technical proof reading for a local textbook company. Initially started out as a favour for a friend, who is a senior editor and needed a Biologist to proof read a secondary text book after it had been translated from Bahasa Indonesia to English before it was published, but has since grown to 1 or 2 books each year, ranging from a grade 5 science book to pre-university level Biology texts.
Currently I am working on a two book publication for year 12. The final chapter I have been sent is titled Evolution, in fact, a warning sign should have been when the subeditor mentioned to me that the chapter needed some updating because some of the information was out of date. I naively replied that’s fine, I have plenty of knowledge and am quite up to date with current evolutionary thinking, no problem.
Huh! Was I in for a shock! I had forgotten that the translator is currently a Doctoral student at University of Pelita Harapan, an excellent University in many respects. But. They are a ‘faith based Christian university’, which means no evolution.
So how can a Christian Scientist translate a chapter about evolution? By rewriting the chapter, that’s how. Suddenly I’m involved in the evolution vs creationist debate.
Entire paragraphs have been added, others removed, footnotes and links scattered throughout the text. I complained to the sub editor that the translation was not true and her reply was but she has added links and proofs. Links? Links to blogs, links to christian science web pages. Aduh! What a headache.
The subeditor wants me to provide equal amounts of evidence to back up my claims, and replied “well there are pros and contras (sic) to each side, so shouldn’t we include it in the text?”
I don’t know if I should play the game or tell them to get nicked, I won’t do it or just proof read the nonsense the translator has written and let the text book company do what they want. Which would be the path of least resistance, but something sticks in my caw about that, I don’t think I can just leave it.