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Translators Who Translate English-Turkish Do Not Know Turkish!

Translators Who Translate English-Turkish Do Not Know Turkish!

What does this title say?!

Yes, you heard it right! Many people translate English to Turkish in Turkey; however, few of them actually read in Turkish.

The more you read, the more you know!

Learning can be unintentional, and we can obtain information not only from a school, a course or a book but also from a crossword. Nonetheless, understanding and experience are cumulative.

That is why someone who wants to translate English to Turkish well must first read their own language effectively and then read the target language.

We already know Turkish!

Knowing Turkish is essential, but knowing Turkish well is even more important.

Every language has its own emotion. Therefore, it is critical to express the feeling of the source text when translating into the target language to convey this information to the reader accurately and have them fully understand what we have translated.


Perhaps one of the most challenging concerns in English-Turkish translation is not taking the type of text that will be translated into account.

For instance, if we translate one of John Keat’s poems as if it were a business contract, it means we are not showing enough concern for the poet, the poem, and the language.

It is also wrong to translate a business contract with the emotion of a poem.

The type of text that will be translated should be known well!

Expressions in a theater text are not the same as in a lease. So, a translator who will translate English to Turkish should know the context of the text and what they are translating.

A few questions can be asked to create a good translation system:

– What type of text is it?

– Who and what is the text being translated for?

– Where and when do the event/events take place?


The direct relationship between translation and culture is one of the most ignored issues in translating.

Culture consists of beliefs, thoughts, language, literature, and a life system that emerge from human interaction. A mechanical translation that ignores cultural elements will destroy the language and culture.

For example, heavy rain can be expressed by saying, “it is raining cats and dogs”.

The sentence might be translated in Turkish by saying “kedi ve köpek yağıyor”, but it is nothing more than writing the dictionary meaning of these words.

How did this idiom become part of the culture, and how did such a great expression come about?

The roofs of houses in England were made of reeds in the 1500s with no wood between the reeds for protection. So, cats, dogs, and insects would find shelter there. When it rained heavily, the reeds became slippery, holding on was hard, and the animals would slip and fall.

British people who saw cats and dogs falling with the rain in front of their windows expressed this situation.

This is just one example of how English-Turkish translation is not just a translation of words and sounds but also cultures.

Translators Who Translate English-Turkish Do Not Know Turkish!

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