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Translating an EGU Planet Press text

Young children in the various European countries don’t usually have a level of English that allows them to understand the original Planet Press texts. This means translations are the only way to ensure Planet Press reaches a wider audience. We are very grateful to everyone who promotes this project by translating texts into various European language, as this ensures they can be used in classrooms around Europe, as well as in other parts of the world.

Remember that your primary audience is 7–13 year olds but Planet Press releases can also be read and used by anyone, so try to make your translation as easy to understand as possible. We recommend you follow these four key pointers when translating:

1. Keep it simple, but accurate

Scientists and educators review the original, English-language Planet Press texts to ensure they are scientifically accurate and suitable for their target audience, but translations do not receive similar checks. As such, translators have an extra responsibility to ensure their translations are accurate and clear. If you are translating an existing Planet Press release, it may be hard to translate the exact wording used in the original into your native language, meaning that you will have to reinterpret the content into something that makes sense to kids from your native country. Please try to make sure the overall message of each sentence is the same, and that the language used in the translated text is simple and clear.

2. Stay within 300 words

For each translation, we create a print-friendly PDF file with a strict template (follow the links for an example of the original PDF and the translated version). The template has a strict format because it is important to keep the texts short, as kids are more likely to read a shorter document than a long one. In both the original files and the translations, the image and main text should not take up more than a page, which means the translated text should be about 250–300 words long. Even if you can’t quite stay within 300 words in your translation, please try to keep the same number of paragraphs as in the original Planet Press.

3. Translate (almost) everything

Since we create a print-friendly PDF file for each translation that retains the format of the original PDF, we will need you to translate nearly everything in the document. Namely, you should translate the date at the top of the page, the image credit and caption (if applicable), the title and main text, as well as the acknowledgments paragraph, in italics, at the end of the document. Some Planet Press documents include a second page with a Find out more section – you’d need to translate this as well. You don’t need to translate the words ‘Planet Press’ or ‘Fun Facts’. In the credits paragraph, you also don’t have to translate the title of the original press release.

4. Credit yourself!

Translating Planet Press documents is a lot of work, and we are very grateful for the effort and time our voluntary translators put in to this project. To acknowledge their work, we ask all our translators to add a credit sentence, in the translated language, in the acknowledgments paragraph of their translated text. The sentence should be along the lines of: “Translated by Jane Doe.” or “Translated into French by Jane Doe (teacher at Paris Secondary School, France).”

Interested? Contact Bárbara Ferreira, EGU Media and Communications Manager at