Avoid “There” As a Subject

Posted Posted in Sentences, Translation_Tips

Turkish source texts often end with “vardır, sahiptir, olmaktadır, bulunmaktadır, bulunur” etc. Some translators tend to start their translations with “There is…” which is usually unnecessary. We expect Dragoman translators to not to use “there” as a subject in order to avoid verbosity. The word “there” in the beginning of a sentence, almost always makes our sentences sloppy and wordy. Wordy:     There is a 45 percent likelihood your store will be broken into. Better:      Your store is 45-percent likely to be […]

Converting Passive to Active – Translating Audit Reports into English

Posted Posted in Sentences, Transcreation, Translation_Tips

Auditors are tasked to identify non-conformances and share their findings and observations in a clear and understandble report. Writing an impactful report is a challenge. Translating a poorly written report into English is sometimes a bigger challenge. Converting passive sentence forms to active sentences is an important skill for Turkish to English translators. This skill plays a critical role when translating audit reports. Despite my best efforts to train as many auditors and bankers as possible in the past decade, […]

Using However Correctly

Posted Posted in Literature, Sentences, Transcreation, Translation_Tips

We must always insert a semi-colon before and a comma after however to connect two independent clauses. Incorrect:    Japan was an expanding giant however it could not generate enough capital to support its rapid industrial development. Correct:       Japan was an expanding giant; however, it could not generate enough capital to support its rapid industrial development. Using however instead of ‘but’ or in the meaning of ‘no matter how’ or ‘not matter how’ may or may not require a comma. You can […]

Consist Of vs. Consist In

Posted Posted in Sentences, Word Usage

Consist in something and consist of something have entirely different meanings. Consist in means to be based on or depend on something. Incorrect:   Patriotism does not consist of blind obedience of the ruled to their rulers. Correct:      Patriotism does not consist in blind obedience of the ruled to their rulers. Consist of means to be formed from two or more things or people. Incorrect:   The students consisted in private school graduates. Correct:      The students consisted of private school graduates. You can […]

Not Only … But Also

Posted Posted in Sentences, Translation_Tips

Dragoman expects its translators to use correlative conjunctions correctly. The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar defines a correlative as a pair of elements that join two similar parts of a phrase, clause, or sentence. “Not only … but also” is one of the more frequently used correlative conjunctions that Dragoman translators use to translate Turkish copy into English. What you have to keep in mind is that a verb that applies to both phrases must come right before “not only.” […]


Posted Posted in Sentences, Style, translation, Translation_Tips

The AP Stylebook recommends avoiding excessive use of contractions. Yet, it all depends on the context. If we are translating formal documents such as contracts, financial reports, user guides, journal articles and so on, we must never use contractions. Incorrect: The Parties agree that they shan’t discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, sex or national origin. Correct:     The Parties agree that they shall not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because […]

Starting a Sentence With a Number

Posted Posted in Sentences, Style, Translation_Tips

Never begin a sentence with a numeral. There is one exception: a numeral that identifies a calendar year. When translating press releases or annual reports, we occasionally come across situations where we have to place the percentage at the beginning of the sentence. E.g.: Twenty-eight percent of the participants passed the test last year. Although this sentence is correct, it looks odd. Where possible, recast the sentence so that the numbers are expressed in figures. Better: Last year, 28 percent […]

Use Alliteration for Impact

Posted Posted in Sentences, Style, Word Usage

Transcreation or translating creative copy is one of Dragoman’s strong suits. We occasionally translate brochures, promotions, campaigns, slogans, hotel websites, and so on. Alliteration, or the use of several words together that begin with the same sound or letter in order to make a special effect, especially in poetry, is a literary device that comes handy when translating creative copy. Drive Your Dream Drive a Dream We offer you the solitude and stillness I had always craved. Freedom For Your Feet […]

Hyphenating Compound Modifiers with Words Ending in -ly

Posted Posted in Sentences, Style

Wikipedia defines a compound modifier (also called a compound adjective, phrasal adjective, or adjectival phrase) as a compound of two or more attributive words: that is, two or more words that collectively modify a noun. We frequently come across compound modifiers like “çevre dostu bina,” “kullanıcı dostu arayüz” and so on. What we should keep in mind is that we are not supposed to hyphenate these compounds formed by an adverb ending in ly plus an adjective. Both the Associated Press Stylebook and the […]

Nominalizations and How to Avoid Them

Posted Posted in Sentences, Style, Translation_Tips

The Free Dictionary defines nominalization as the creation of a noun from a verb or adjective. Although they sound fancy and sophisticated, their overuse will actually create weak and pretentious sentences. Dragoman prefers avoiding nominalizations wherever possible. Weak:        We will have to make a decision by 10 p.m. tomorrow. Stronger:  We will have to decide by 10 p.m. tomorrow. Weak:        The world leaders will hold discussions on the Syrian refugee crisis at the summit. Stronger:  […]