Drop That That

Posted Posted in Sentences

Using too many ‘thats’ will rob your sentences of their pace and spontaneity. This is especially true for verbs of speech or thought such as say, think, know and so on. Read or listen this example carefully: Bolton said that he will make a statement about the share repurchase plan on Monday. Better:    Bolton said he will make a statement about the share repurchase plan on Monday. But not all thats are the same. Although some thats sound superfluous, not all […]

Avoiding Long Sentences

Posted Posted in Sentences

Writing long sentences will alienate your readers and would even cost you your customers. Try to shorten your sentences whenever possible: Long:       The company will invest $2billion in a new semi-conductor manufacturing plant in San Jose, California, which will have living quarters for engineers, a school, a swimming pool and a  recreation center. Better:    The company will invest $2billion in a new semi-conductor manufacturing plant in San Jose, California. The plant will have living quarters for engineers, […]

On Varying Sentence Length

Posted Posted in Sentences, Transcreation, Translation_Tips

This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. This writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like struck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use the sentences of medium length. And […]

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 […]

The weakest sentence starter: “It is”

Posted Posted in Sentences, Transcreation, Translation_Tips

“It is considered that (…),” “it is probable that (…),” or even worse “it is of utmost importance that (…)” Do we really need these clunky phrases? Dragoman encourages translators to avoid one of the weakest sentence openers: “it is (…) that/to.” By doing so, you will not only eliminate redundancy but also have smooth and creative sentences. Let’s accept, it is a bit lazy to overuse “it is.”   Wordy: It is critical not to enter into arguments with […]

Translating content back to its original language – Notes from the Editor

Posted Posted in Editor Notes, Sentences, Translation_Tips

Notes from the Editor – January 2016 Could you be translating content back to its original language? When you are translating into English for a multinational company, make sure to check if the content was originally created in English. Because, without knowing it, you may be translating content back to its original language. In a globalized world, this is the case more often than not. The text you are translating into English could be about the products of the lighting […]

Address your audience

Posted Posted in Sentences, Transcreation, Translation_Tips

If you wish to address your readers directly and captivate them, you should use pronouns, instead of using passive voice or “there is/are.” By using “you,” you make your sentences more relatable to your readers. Besides, they easily understand your point—and what should they do. Here are some examples: Source: Bir şirketi satmak için optimum tarihi şöyle belirlemeniz mümkün: Satış ve kar rakamı yüksek olmalı. Geçmişe dönük birkaç yıl boyunca büyüme trendi sergilenmiş olmalı. Translation: This is how to determine the optimal date […]

Eliminating redundancy

Posted Posted in Editor Notes, Sentences, translation, Word Usage

Eliminating redundancy is one of the key skills to fluency, but what is redundancy or a redundant word/phrase? If you can remove a word from a sentence without changing its core meaning, that word is redundant or unnecessary. Not every redundancy is a flaw, sometimes it is helpful to add variety to your sentences. The safest way to get rid of redundant phrase is to hire a professional copy-editor. Check out the following example, it is not only redundant but […]

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, […]