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:  […]

Translating Turkish: 5 More Common Mistakes

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Sentences, Translation_Tips, Word Usage

Author: Benjamin Browett As with any writing, it’s important when translating to remember who your audience is. A good translation should be true to the message of the source text, yet read naturally to a native speaker of the target language. If the reader detects they are reading a translation, they will be distracted from the message of the text. The goal is to create an end product which is undetectable as a translation. When editing, we often spot certain words and phrases […]

Branching – Editor Notes

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Notes from the Editor – May 2016 Branch to the right English is a subject–verb–object language. And it is considered a right-branching language. In right-branching sentences, the subject is described first, and is followed by modifiers that provide additional information about the subject. The prince raised the sword, clutching the hilt in both hands, grinning with madness. In left-branching sentences, however, modifiers are presented before the introduction of the subject and verb. We are kept in suspense. We get the […]

Passive Voice in Journals – Dragoman Style

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The passive voice is used more frequently in journals. 1. Follow these examples when using the passive voice: The patients were tested for asthma. Tissue samples were taken from each patient. 2. Avoid the following type of passive voice constructions, whenever possible: It was shown in the report that patients responded negatively to treatment. The report indicated that patients responded negatively to the treatment.   It was observed in the clinical trial that 10 percent of males tested positive. As […]

How not to use a relative clause

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One of the key elements of writing well is to understand the use of relative clauses. For non-native speakers, and especially for my fellow Turkish colleagues, abuse of relative clauses is common and easy to overcome mistake. Here is an example from Izmir Train – the IZBAN. We recently opened a branch office in Izmir and I enjoy the laid-back mood of this beautiful town. I resumed blogging, which is a very good sign. English: “Halkapınar station is the transfer station for […]

Plus Translation – What does it mean at Dragoman?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Localisation, Sentences, Transcreation, Translation_Tips, Word Usage

As many of you already know by now, “Translation quality is not an absolute!” It depends on the client’s requirements, job type, intended audience, and above all the content itself. To manage quality expectations, Dragoman offers several service levels addressing unique needs of our customers. We require our translators to understand these service levels and adjust their skills & output accordingly. Dragoman project managers recommend Plus Translation for non-sensitive public documents where clarity and fluency is more important and a […]

Sentence Branching (Or How To Avoid Brain Strain)

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The use of left-branching sentences is a common problem in translations. Yet many translators are unaware that they are even writing them. In most cases, right-branching sentences are more appropriate and easier to read. So what’s the difference? Left-branching sentences Left-branching sentences can resemble a magic trick. This is as they keep the reader in suspense by only revealing at the end of the sentence what it is that’s being discussed. This becomes particularly problematic (and infuriating for the reader) in long sentences […]

Sentence Splitting Part 2

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Editor‘s note: first read the guide to the basics of sentence splitting (Part 1). The below example is based upon an actual translation but is not unique. It is typical to Turkish English translations and not rare in other Eastern languages. Original translation:  Located in Peru, Machu Picchu, which is 2,430 meters (7,970 ft) above sea level and can be reached by train or by foot, via the legendary Inca Trail, is a 15th-century Inca site that has been called […]

Sentence Splitting Part 1

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Localisation, Sentences, Transcreation, Translation_Tips

One of the most common issues we deal with when editing texts translated from Turkish is overly long sentences. The trait is often carried over from the source text, as Turkish texts tend to use what are – to native English speakers – improbably long sentences. Long sentences make it difficult for the reader to comprehend the text. Breaking up a sentence can make text easier to digest and less tiring for the reader. When should a sentence be split? […]