Translating and Interpreting Specific Fields: Current Practices in Turkey

by Ayşegül Angı (Volume editor)
Edited Collection 134 Pages


The volume contains pioneering studies by experts in translating and interpreting specific fields. The book makes a notable contribution to this uncharted area of Translation and Interpreting Studies. This collection presents a theoretical perspective and the practical aspects in translation and interpreting of the specific fields of Engineering, Health, Humanities, Service, Social and Behavioural Sciences. It provides guidance for the methodology applicable to translating and interpreting specific fields on the whole as well as clues for the training of translation and interpreting.

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Editorial (Ayşegül Angı)
  • Foreword (Alev Bulut)
  • Interpreting in Diplomatic Contexts (Aymil Doğan)
  • Translation of Technical Documentation for the User of Electrical and/or Electronic Goods (İnönü Korkmaz)
  • Turkish Sign Language and Its Applications (translated by Halise Gülmüş (Zeynep Oral)
  • Exploring Linguistic Phenomena in Technical Translation Discourse (Burak Özsöz)
  • Translation and Interpreting in Sports Contexts (Gözde Begüm Uyanık)
  • Challenges and Suggestions in Medical Translator Training (Mine Yazıcı)

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Assist. Prof. Ayşegül Angı Ph.D.

Marmara University
Department of Translation and Interpreting


As a field of study1 when Translation and Interpreting Studies (TIS) is examined from the interdisciplinary perspective, it interacts primarily with such fields as linguistics, literature, and sociology while constructing its theoretical framework. Its wide-ranging practices in communicating information and disseminating scientific and similar knowledge pertaining to the other (sub)fields of study such as engineering, international relations, law, medicine, and so on, contribute to the expansion of its theoretical realm as well. From the multidisciplinary and/or transdisciplinary point of view, the reciprocal relations with the other fields of study should be fostered in order to serve prospectively for the social ends2. However, when the translation and interpreting studies are retrospectively examined in terms of subject domains, despite the widespread practice regarding the other specific fields, a large number of the studies, surprisingly, focus on the literary translation3. Therefore, the increasing social and sectorial need for transdisciplinary training/research has instigated this preliminary process of gathering the individual studies in a book.

When specific fields are examined in terms of subject domains, it is essential to maintain a standardization since there have been a variety of classifications in practice. Obviously, it is much easier to categorize these domains broadly as ← 7 | 8 → ‘literal’ and ‘non-literal’ (Sager’s classification in Olohan, 2011, p. 40). The latter is also classified, on a general basis, as ‘technical’ or ‘scientific and technical’ [In her doctorate dissertation regarding translation of specific fields, Elif Ertan (2010) remarks that ‘scientific and technical translation’ is also used as a subfield].

Along with this grouping, a further classification is enumerated in accordance with the branches of sciences including Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and so on. In the narrower sense, a similar classification may also be made within the framework of specific disciplines which may be basically and duly identified in accordance with their ‘branches of knowledge or teaching’ and their field-related terminology or ‘Third Code’4.

The classification according to subject domains seems to be a preferred guidance in forming a frame for the training and/or research of specific field translation and interpreting. No matter how clear-cut such a classification is, a more comprehensive explanation or clarification is required for the right perception. For the sake of pursuing a standard approach, the classification of ISCED (International Standard Classification of Education) is taken into consideration herein because Yüksek Öğretim Kurulu [the Council of Higher Education in Turkey] states that this classification has been and is being used at both national and international levels5.

From the perspective of Translation and Interpreting Studies, the difficulty of this discipline-based classification, on the one hand, may fall within the interdisciplinary relations/interactions. For instance, the field of ‘Insurance’ embodies not only the subject-matter and terminology of insurance but also those of other fields such as engineering, health, law (both national and international), and so on. On the other hand, using merely the generic name of the disciplines (such as Business Administration, Economics, Law, and so on) might also be perfunctory; for instance, the classification of activities/texts in terms of the discipline of Business Administration. This field which comprises such subfields as organization-wide accounting, finance, management, marketing, and so forth may sometimes be inadequately addressed as ‘commercial translation’. This usage is likely to limit the scope of the field because ‘commerce’ might be assumed to focus merely on ‘buying and selling goods and services’. Besides, as Olohan states (Ibid., p. 41), the term ‘commercial’ comprehends the idea of ‘advertising’ and/or ‘translation ← 8 | 9 → services rendered for payment’ as well6. In addition, ‘Business Administration’ might sometimes be confused with ‘Economics’. Nonetheless; both fields are listed separately in ISCED’s classification of ‘Narrow Fields of Education and Training’7. Likewise, employing ‘Philosophy’ as a part of Social Sciences may be accepted as another oversight according to ISCED’s classification since it is considered within the field of ‘Humanities’.

Briefly, ISCED’s classification may primarily provide a standardization in categorizing the specific fields in TIS. This classification may easily be attained and while the narrow or detailed fields are used consistently, such confusions as using an application of a relevant field instead of the field name and the like could be prevented.

As academics, we should try to improve our programs in line with the global expectations and new orientations and it is of utmost importance to take the humanitarian, social, and sectorial needs into consideration. Therefore, the following suggestions may be made to meet the demand for specialization at different levels:

practising communicative and pragmatic functions of specific field translation and interpreting in undergraduate programs,

offering graduate and/or post-graduate translation and interpreting programs (involving courses on sign language interpreting as well) designed for the specific field specialists who are expected to deal with highly specialised texts/high contexts8 (in the fields of health, international relations, and law, for example) where well-formedness should be assessed for the translation quality while it is vital to transfer the meaning accurately/precisely and free of error [which may cause devastating (even fatal) consequences otherwise].

Apart from the universities, such collaborative practices are already being encouraged in different sectors. For example, in the insurance sector, one major ← 9 | 10 → reinsurance company based in the European Union employs experts specialized in the field of linguistics and terminology (Angı and Kerç, 2017).

This collection named ‘Translating and Interpreting Specific Fields: Current Practices in Turkey’ could be presented to our academic world thanks to the contribution of six distinguished academics, who have conducted the studies on the (sub)fields of engineering, international relations, medicine, sports in different modes as well as the linguistic approach to technical communication, which also provides an insight into the current practices on specific field translation and interpreting in Turkey. To raise more awareness in Turkish practices from the transdisciplinary perspective, it would have been a miss if ‘Turkish Sign Language’ were not included in this collection. This part has been translated into English by one of the Ph.D. candidates.

As a final note, it is hoped that this academic effort will serve as a compass leading to further studies on specific field translation and interpreting.

Wishing that this collection will serve to meet the social need for the improvement of our native country as well as our native language which deserves to be used more extensively with its rich and expressive vocabulary…


Angı Ayşegül and Kerç Elif. (2017). Çeviriye İlişkin Eylem Kuramı ve Skopos Kuramı Çerçevesinde Özel Sigorta Poliçelerinin Çevirisi [Translation of Insurance Policies from the Perspectives of Translotarial’s Theory and Skopos Theory]. Çeviribilim ve Uygulamaları [Journal of Translation Studies]. Sayı 23 [Volume 23]. Ankara: Hacettepe University (published soon).

Biographical notes

Ayşegül Angı (Volume editor)

Ayşegül Angı is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Translation and Interpreting at Marmara University, Istanbul; founded in 1883. After graduating from the Department of English Literature and Language and earning a master’s degree in Public Relations and a doctorate in Business Administration, she conducts multidisciplinary studies.


Title: Translating and Interpreting Specific Fields: Current Practices in Turkey