OLGA TOLSTYKH
Associate Professor, PhD in Philology, Department of Linguistics and Translation Studies, South Ural State University | Chelyabinsk, Russia
Translator and Tutor, Academic Writing Office, South Ural State University.
Linguistic and Cultural Barriers in Russian-Language Academic Texts

The paper focuses upon linguistic and cultural barriers which are common for
Russian-language academic texts and ways to overcome them while translating
into English. Academic texts here are research papers prepared for publishing in
high-ranking scientific journals. The barriers leading to communicative
misunderstanding and failure can be classified into explicit (visible and easily
detectable) and implicit (hidden and inherently connected with culture). The author
illustrates explicit and implicit barriers on the example of 10 Russian-language
articles written by SUSU academic staff and their translations into English
performed by the translators of SUSU Academic Writing Office.
The articles under analysis are taken from various fields of science: biology, chemistry, history, international relations, education and methods of teaching, economics and
management, cultural studies and mechanics. The study considers the key points in
dealing with linguistic and cultural barriers in Russian academic texts, such as
IMRAD format, translating or formulating the title in English, translating Russian
culture realia, clichés, set expressions etc and illustrates the most common
mistakes. Explicit linguistic and cultural barriers can be overcome by means of
linguistic dictionaries and numerous on-line tools available in the Internet. Implicit
barriers require more detailed analysis and high linguistic and cultural competence
of a translator. The conclusion suggests the recommendations for authors and
translators.
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