English Translations of Non-English Paleontological Literature
Welcome to The Polyglot Paleontologist. Three issues led me to create this site in 1999 as a means to encourage and collect English-language translations of non-English paleontology papers.
First, although the science of vertebrate paleontology is comparatively new, during the past two and a half centuries it has spread to become a worldwide discipline. Colleagues from Argentina to Zimbabwe have contributed to the paleontological literature, broadening the insights of what was once a predominately European field. As a result, it has become increasingly necessary for English-speaking scientists to avail themselves of an ever-widening range of non-English publications.
Second, this same period has seen English rise as the language of science, in contrast to the more frequent use of French and German during the last century. Many older, often seminal works from this period remain untranslated, and today many English-speaking paleontologists have only a secondhand familiarity with their contents. The commonality of English also meant that an English-language translation could be potentially useful to workers in many different countries.
Third and finally, I knew that in the past, many papers had already been translated, often at significant personal effort and funds. However, by virtue of the physical (rather than electronic) nature of these translations, many have only been distributed among a limited group. Most remain poorly circulated.
So in order to address these concerns, I created this site as a central library for these translations. It serves as a place where people may download existing translations, add their own translations, and post requests of others. These papers range across all topics, time periods, and authorships; they comprise monographs, papers, and abstracts.