In a thesis written using the Author's "We", how do you mark a translation of a quotation as your own?

  • "My translation" violates the pluralis auctoris.
  • "Our translation" also doesn't fit with the spirit of the Author's "We" which is meant to include the reader: it's really the author, not the reader who did the translating.
  • "author's translation" is ambiguous because it could mean that this is the original author's translation (though that wouldn't make much sense).
  • "this author's translation" is clearer but still not completely unambiguous. Also, it is a switch from pluralis auctoris to an impersonal style.

2 Answers 2


What about forfeiting pointing out it's "own translation" and going with generic "Translation by [your name]" same as for all other translations?

  • That's a possibility. However, something like "ceci n'est pas une pipe (This is not a pipe, translation: John Doe)" seems strange because it appears to credit John Doe with this deep and insightful translation where the goal is really just to point out this translation was not done by some authority but by yours truly. Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 7:26
  • @JohannesBauer: If your translation is trivial - short, obvious and straightforward - you don't credit any translators nor point out it's "own".
    – SF.
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 8:13

If you format your manuscript according to the APA Manual, you must not use the pluralis auctoris. Use a plural pronoun only if the manuscript has two or more authors. If it is written by one single author, use the first person singular pronoun.

According to the APA Style Blog, a translation is considered a paraphrase. It is therefore presented without quotation marks and does not need to be marked as being a translation.

If you follow another style guide (MLA, Chicago), please update your question accordingly.

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