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 […]

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:  […]

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 […]

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 […]