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1. Post-edition at Unbabel
At Unbabel we have a unique approach to translation: each text submitted by a customer is translated by our Machine Translation system, and then corrected by our community of editors in an online platform. By editing the output of the software, the editors ensure the quality of the translations and confirm that the message is accurate (i.e., has the same meaning as the original), fluent (i.e., can be easily understood and sounds natural) and is in line with the style requested by the clients (i.e. respects their register and terminology). In order to help editors do the best job possible, we provide various types of information:
- Customer instructions, which include the identification of the client and his requests to personalize the translation, such as the register that must be used to address the recipient of the message. Following these instructions is vital to deliver translations that match the client’s expectations.
- Glossaries, which correspond to specific vocabulary and expressions used by the client, and that must be respected by the editors.
- Translation Memories, which correspond to stored segments (expressions, sentences or paragraphs) that have previously been translated and accepted for customer usage. They are useful for ensuring consistency across translations.
We also have Smartcheck, which is an application that checks the grammar, morphology, orthography and style of the translations while being edited. By using a large set of rules, Smartcheck flags words or groups of words that may present some kind of issue.
Finally, in order to deliver the best possible translation, we also provide these guidelines about your language specifications. Please, read them carefully and always follow these instructions in your editions.
2.1.1. Tense, mood, aspect, person (for verbs)
Tense, mood and aspect are grammatical categories that are affecting the verbal predicate of the sentence. These features should be natural in all cases. When the text in English uses a specific tense, aspect or mood feature, the best equivalent for the target language should be found.
Source text: … and why not check out our official Facebook page for …
✘ … neden … resmi Facebook sayfamızı ziyaret etmeyin …
✓ … neden … resmi Facebook sayfamızı ziyaret etmiyorsunuz …
Apart from the verbal predicates in the sentences, temporal information can be conveyed in nouns (i.e. verbal nouns) and adjectives (i.e. verbal adjectives) derived from verbs. For example, the source text below contains a modal verb (may) with a perfective aspect which conveys the meaning of ‘completeness’. When translated with “olabileceği” into Turkish, the text changes its meaning to contain ‘incompleteness’. Instead, a plain translation with “olduğu” or a more complex translation with “olmuş olabileceği” should be preferred.
Source text: Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.
✘ Bu durumun neden olabileceği herhangi bir rahatsızlıktan dolayı özür dilerim.
✓ Bu durumun neden olmuş olabileceği herhangi bir rahatsızlıktan dolayı özür dilerim.
In addition to the points made above, special attention should be paid to the phenomenon called ‘suspended affixation’. Some markers in Turkish can cover more than one word. This is frequently observed with person markers. When a person marker is shared between more than one verbal predicates, tense markers on the verbs should be kept uniformed. See the example below:
Example: Source text: We understand your issue and we accept your reasons.
✘ Sorununuzu anlamakta ve sebeplerinizi kabul ediyoruz.
✓ Sorununuzu anlamakta ve sebeplerinizi kabul etmekteyiz.
✓ Sorununuzu anlıyor ve sebeplerinizi kabul ediyoruz.
2.1.2. Number Agreement on Noun Phrases
There are two kinds of number constructions on nouns: singular and plural. Some special cases should be taken into consideration while evaluating the target text. These are: a) when the noun phrase is used after determiners; b) when the noun phrase is used after cardinal numbers.
Source text: We use some elements such as ...
✘ … gibi birkaç unsurlar kullanırız.
✓ … gibi birkaç unsur kullanırız.
✓ … gibi bazı unsurlar kullanırız.
Source text: I have sent 100 gems.
✘ 100 mücevherler gönderdim.
✓ 100 mücevher gönderdim.
2.1.3. Case Inflected Noun Phrase
Case markers are suffixes that can be attached to any noun phrase. They are easy to confuse especially in complex structures, and wrong case marking can change the meaning from its origins in the source text. Apart from caseless nominal structures, we can include five inflections under case: accusative (-(y)ı/-(y)i), ablative (-den/-dan/-ten/-tan), dative (-(y)e/-(y)a), locative (-de/-da/-te/-ta) and genitive (-(n)ın/-(n)in).
There are some special cases where utmost attention is needed regarding case inflections.
When an object or any other element of a sentence is shared with another predicate, the element in question should be checked if it fits all the verbs that are sharing it or not. See the example below:
Source text: We protect ∅ and obey you.
✘ Sizi koruyor ve ∅ itaat ediyoruz.
✓ Sizi koruyor ve size itaat ediyoruz.
Additionally, when there are more than one element case-inflected by the same verb, these elements should be double-checked if they are inflected correctly. As can be seen from the examples, wrong case inflections can lead to a meaning change - the meaning changes from assure to provide.
Source text: I can assure you that the level can be beaten.
✘ Size seviyenin yenilebileceğini temin ederim.
✓ Sizi seviyenin yenilebileceğine temin ederim.
Determiners precede the head in a noun phrase in Turkish. As specified in Number Agreement on Noun Phrases section, number constructions on the noun phrases affect which determiner to use. For more information on determiners and their types, please check Göksel (2004). 
Most prepositions in English have their equivalent postpositions in Turkish. However, this is not the case for all English prepositions. Some can simply be translated into case inflections and using an extra overt postposition might add redundancy to the text.
Source text: … last level in Candy Crush Saga.
✘ Candy Crush Saga içindeki son seviye.
✓ Candy Crush Saga’daki son seviye.
One other issue that needs attention is the compatibility of postpositions and case inflection of the noun phrase which is the complement of the postposition phrase.
Source text: a payment pin code to protect against accidental purchases.
✘ Kazayla yapılan satın alımlar karşı koruma sağlamak için bir ödeme PIN kodu.
✓ Kazayla yapılan satın alımlara karşı koruma sağlamak için bir ödeme PIN kodu.
Turkish mainly employs two kinds of pronouns: overt and null. Deciding on which one to use strongly depends on the discursive features of a given text. Even though there are no strict guidelines on when to use which one, Centering Theory gives a clear idea about the function of naturally occurring overt/null pronouns in a text. For more information, have a look at Turan (1996) . The thumb rule is that the text should be as natural as possible in order to avoid a word-for-word translation. Please keep the following examples in mind:
Source text: That requires your full legal name.
✘ Bu sizin tam yasal adınızı gerektirir.
✓ Bu ∅ tam yasal adınızı gerektirir.
Source text: All you need to do to distribute this release with the credit you purchased is to …
✘ Bu sürümü sizin satın aldığınız krediyle dağıtmak için ∅ yapmanız gereken tek şey ...
✘ Bu sürümü ∅ satın aldığınız krediyle dağıtmak için sizin yapmanız gereken tek şey ...
✓ Bu sürümü ∅ satın aldığınız krediyle dağıtmak için ∅ yapmanız gereken tek şey ...
As can be seen from both examples, all Turkish equivalents are grammatically correct. Unless the text makes a distinction between the reader - which is addressed with “you” in the texts - and another subject, please go for the null pronouns. In case the pronoun “you” is strongly focused, overt pronoun should be selected.
Source text: You sent your friend’s name but that requires your full legal name.
✘ Arkadaşınızın adını göndermişsiniz ama bu ∅ tam yasal adınızı gerektirir.
✓ Arkadaşınızın adını göndermişsiniz ama bu sizin tam yasal adınızı gerektirir.
Besides tense, aspect and modality (discussed above), what needs attention is the equivalent of the English verb to be. Take the example below:
Source text: We are always happy to help you.
✘ Size yardım etmekten her zaman mutluyuz.
✓ Size yardım etmekten her zaman mutluluk duyarız.
✓ Size yardım etmekten her zaman mutlu oluruz.
Also, please keep in mind that person agreement can be a bit tricky when the subject is non-human plural nouns.
Source text: Boosters may be lost during this process.
✘ Güçlendiriciler bu süreçte kaybolabilirler.
✓ Güçlendiriciler bu süreçte kaybolabilir.
In addition, please keep the main predicates at the end of a sentence unless focused otherwise.
Source text: Please can you forward your booking confirmation email to me?
✘ Lütfen iletebilir misiniz rezervasyon onayınızı e-postayla doğrudan bana?
✓ Lütfen rezervasyon onayınızı e-postayla doğrudan bana iletebilir misiniz?
Abbreviations can be a little confusing in Turkish. As a general rule, if there is a Turkish convention for the abbreviation in the source language, then use it.
Source text: etc.
A dot is used after lower-case abbreviations . Some examples include C. (cilt), s. (sayfa), bkz. (bakınız), vb. (ve benzeri), vs. (ve saire), is. (isim), sf. (sıfat), hz. (hazırlayan), çev. (çeviren), ed. (edebiyat), fiz. (fizik), kim. (kimya), sn. (saniye), dk. (dakika).
There are exceptions to this rule. For units of measurements, international conventions are accepted in Turkish and a dot is not used:
Source text: After running 3 km, you will reach the destination.
✘ 3 km. koştuktan sonra hedefe varacaksınız.
✓ 3 km koştuktan sonra hedefe varacaksınız.
Please refer to TDK’s official website in case of doubt .
How apostrophes are used is listed under “Kesme İşareti” on TDK website . Though, it is mainly used for case markings on proper nouns.
Source text: You can make WoWs Blitz better.
✘ WoWs Blitzi daha iyi hale getirebilirsiniz.
✓ WoWs Blitz'i daha iyi hale getirebilirsiniz.
Note that proper nouns with a derivational marker do not need to be used with an apostrophe if the derivational marker is followed by an inflectional marker.
✘ Türkçe’nin önemi
✓ Türkçenin önemi
An exhaustive list specifying the use capital letters is present on TDK website . The most frequent ones are listed here:
- Capital letters are used for the word starting a sentence.
- Capital letters are used for proper nouns.
- Capital letters are used for month and day names in specific dates.
✘ 28 aralık 1982’de göreve başladı.
✓ 28 Aralık 1982’de göreve başladı.
Compound nouns are highly frequent in Turkish. As long as you can find them as one word in the dictionary of TDK , please write them together. Otherwise, they should be separated.
3.5. Foreign words
In case a foreign word should be kept in the text, please try not to inflect it with case markings and write it in quotation marks. Please assume that we shouldn’t translate the word “Search” for the following example.
Source text: Click on Search.
✘ “Search”e basın.
✓ “Search” düğmesine/butonuna basın.
If you are unsure if “Search” is a button or another thing, you can inflect it with case marking.
Regarding numerals format (written in numbers or words), you must always respect the source text: if they are written as digits in the source text, this should be maintained in the translation; on the other hand, if they are written as words, they should be translated to the target language.
- In Turkish, groups of thousands are indicated with a dot.
Source text: 2,000
- Decimals are indicated with a comma.
Source text: 38.6
There should be no whitespace between numbers and the symbols ‘%’ and ‘‰’.
✘ % 10
The symbol ‘/’ between numbers should not be preceded or followed by a whitespace.
✘ 100/ 10
✘ 100 / 10
✘ 100 /10
4.1. How to use punctuation marks
General rules for punctuation and symbols can be found on TDK website . As a general note, there shouldn’t be any whitespace before sentence-final punctuation or comma.
Source text: Hello,
✘ Merhaba ,
Also, if a phrase within quotation marks is inflected with case, leave the case marking outside and please don’t use an apostrophe.
Source text: You will see “My Messages”.
✘ “Mesajlarımı” göreceksiniz.
✘ “Mesajlarım”’ı göreceksiniz.
✓ “Mesajlarım”ı göreceksiniz.
|Comma||AB Evolution SSS sayfası, AB Evolution Facebook, AB Evolution Forum|
|Colon||Lütfen aşağıdaki bilgileri sağlayın:|
|Semicolon||Erkek çocuklara Doğan, Tuğrul, Aslan, Orhan; kız çocuklara ise İnci, Çiçek, Gönül, Yonca adları verilir.|
|Period||Facebook uygulamasını telefonunuzdan silin.|
|Exclamation point||İyi şanslar!|
|Question mark||Hata mesajı alıyor musunuz?|
|Hyphen||1-3 iş günü|
|Quote marks||İsminizin yanında "aboneliği yeniden etkinleştir" yazdığını göreceksiniz.|
|Parantheses||Kredi kartınızın (ön ve arka) kopyası|
4.2. Punctuation in greetings and closings
For greetings, please use the comma after the name as exemplified below.
Source text: Hi Cem,
✘ Merhaba, Cem,
✘ Merhaba Cem
✘ Merhaba Cem.
✓ Merhaba Cem,
For the closings, please use comma afterwards, again.
Source text: Kind regards,
Closing can be more dependent on the context. If the closing is a sentence like “Have a great day!”, the source text must be taken as a reference.
Source text: Good luck!
✘ Bol şans,
✓ Bol şans!
5.1. Grammatical and Lexical Registers
Register refers to the level of formality used in the text. It shows how our clients address their customers and contributes to the voice of the brand itself. Register may vary depending on the company, the brand, the service they offer, the customers, and the target language. We make a first main distinction between grammatical and lexical register: the first one regards the the use of pronouns and verb person (for the languages to which this morphological feature is applied), while the latter is related to lexical choices, since some words and expressions also have a degree of formality or colloquialism. Both these registers are also divided into formal and informal, as shown below.
5.2. Formal Register
Formal register is widely used in Turkish. Detailed usages are provided below.
- Pronouns: To address the reader, second person plural is used in formal register. This is valid for all pronouns in all noun cases.
Source text: Thanks for contacting us!
✘ Bizimle iletişime geçtiğin için teşekkürler!
✓ Bizimle iletişime geçtiğiniz için teşekkürler!
Source text: If your issue still hasn’t been resolved, …
✘ Eğer (senin) sorunun hala çözülmediyse, …
✓ Eğer (sizin) sorununuz hala çözülmediyse, …
- For greetings and closings in formal register, please use formal words. Please see the table below.
- For overall structure of a sentence, Turkish doesn’t specify the degree of level with strict rules. However, as all native speakers can understand, some words and structures are more formal than others. Please note the following example.
Source text: You can send me an e-mail or you can directly get in touch with them.
✘ Bana e-posta da atabilirsiniz, onlarla direkt iletişime de geçebilirsiniz.
✓ Bana e-posta atabileceğiniz gibi onlarla direkt iletişime de geçebilirsiniz.
- One aspect of Turkish to be careful about is that Turkish has one other grammatical formality structure which can be seen in the verbs such as “yapınız”. This structure is again second person plural and can be used in formal register. However, depending on the situation, e-mail and the company, this kind of structures can be over-polite. Also, the text should be consistent within itself. So, mixing two formal register in one text would affect the style.
|Category||Examples||Type of Register|
|Personal pronouns||Sizi temin ederim ki …||Grammatical|
|Verbs||Oyunu açmayı deneyebilirsiniz.||Grammatical|
|Possessive pronouns||Bu yüzden (sizin) hesabınız dondurulmuştur.||Grammatical|
5.3. Informal Register
Some companies specifically want the text to be translated in informal tone. In informal register, the reader is addressed with second person singular pronouns and inflections.
- Pronouns: To address the reader, second person singular is used in informal register. This is valid for all pronouns in all noun cases.
Source text: Thanks for contacting us!
✘ Bizimle iletişime geçtiğiniz için teşekkürler!
✓ Bizimle iletişime geçtiğin için teşekkürler!
Source text: If your issue still hasn’t been resolved, …
✘ Eğer (sizin) sorununuz hala çözülmediyse, …
✓ Eğer (senin) sorunun hala çözülmediyse, …
- For lexical register, please avoid using archaic words which sound too formal. Also, for grammatical structure of the sentence, form the sentence in the everyday language way but don’t let the text be too intimate.
- For imperative structures, please use “lütfen” even the source text lacks it.
Source text: Open the app and login.
✘ Uygulamayı açıp giriş yap.
✓ Lütfen uygulamayı açıp giriş yap.
- Regarding spelling, even in informal register, we are still using standard spelling of the words.
- For greetings and closings in the informal register, please use informal words. Please see the table below.
|Category||Examples||Type of Register|
|Personal pronouns||Seni temin ederim ki …||Grammatical|
|Verbs (person used to conjugate the verb)||Oyunu açmayı deneyebilirsin.||Grammatical|
|Possessive pronouns||Bu yüzden (senin) hesabın dondurulmuştur.||Grammatical|
6. Localization challenges
6.1. Proper nouns
Proper nouns refer to unique entities, such as persons, places, organizations, brands, events, etc. As foreign proper nouns are concerned, languages may adopt different rules regarding whether they should be translated or kept in the original language. When editing a text, you should follow your language rules for all different types of proper nouns listed below. However, please note that if there is a glossary provided by the client that includes these types of units, you should always apply the glossary items.
People’s names are not translated.
Source text: David
Place names should be translated if their Turkish equivalent is widely used.
Source text: London
A quick online search would give you the rough idea if there is a Turkish equivalent of a place name. Also, you can find exhaustive lists on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Again, the decision of translation of organizations’ names depend on their usage in Turkish. This can be searched online. Even when an online resource gives a good idea about this, some other resources must be found before using.
Source text: University of Birmingham
✘ University of Birmingham
✓ Birmingham Üniversitesi
6.1.4. Brands and products
Brand and product names are kept in their forms in the original text.
Source text: PlayStation
6.1.5. Other entities
Translation of proper names depends on the decision made by observing the majority's language usage. The best way to do is online searching (i.e. forums, etc). If you are indecisive about what to use, you can use online English-Turkish dictionaries. If you still can’t find any Turkish entries for an English proper name, you can leave it as shown in the source text.
6.2. Acronyms and initials
If acronyms in the source text have an equivalent in Turkish, it should be translated. If you can’t find any equivalent widely used in Turkish, the original form should be kept.
- Check the company glossary as they might include the equivalence of the acronyms.
Source text: WoWs Blitz
✘ Wordl of Warcraft Blitz
✓ WoWs Blitz
- Try to find Turkish equivalence of an acronym .
Source text: WHO
- If no equivalence is present in Turkish, keep the acronym as it is but try to translate the words in it.
Source text: FFBT
✓ FFBT (Fédération Française de Ball-Trap veya Fransız Güvercin Atışı Federasyonu)
- If the acronym does not contain dots in the original text, do not use them.
6.3. Date format
While translating dates, please use dd/mm/yyyy format unlike English, which uses mm/dd/yyyy.
Source text: 12/23/2017
Also, while translating dates with a month name in it, use the most conventional one in Turkish.
Source text: May 12th, 2017
✘ Mayıs 12, 2017
✓ 12 Mayıs 2017
6.4. Time format
When it comes to time format, as a convention in the culture and language, 24-hour format is used.
Example: Source text: at 3 pm ✘ öğleden sonra 3’te ✓ saat 15’te ✓ saat 15.00’te
Although this is the formal way to write, the example which is shown as incorrect example is still understandable and acceptable in Turkish. In spite of this fact, consistency is important. Thus, we should go for the standard way, which is shown as the correct example above.
Measures should always keep the format of the source text and should never be converted. You should only translate them when they have an equivalent term in your language.
Source text: 2 inches
✘ 5.08 santimetre
✓ 2 inç
Source text: 2 cm
✘ 2 sm
✓ 2 cm
Source text: 2 centimeters
✘ 2 centimeters
✓ 2 santimetre
Currency values should be translated to their Turkish equivalent. Please use bilingual and Turkish dictionaries to double check.
Source text: 15 euros
✘ 15 euro
✓ 15 avro
Currency symbols (€, $, £, etc.) are written in front of the number. However, as Turkish is an agglutinative language, this might lead to some problems regarding vowel harmony and consonant changes. There is no unified method on how to inflect “$15” with case markings. If the case is inflected depending on the spelled-out currency, which is “dollar”, it should be “$15’a” with dative marking. But, as said, there is no unified method on how to do this. Thus, when in conflict, please use currency initials to convey the same meaning and to inflect the currency without any problems.
Source text: You bought it for $15.
✘ $15’e satın almışsınız.
✓ 15 USD’ye satın almışsınız.
When the noun phrase with money expression is not inflected, currency symbols can be used without a whitespace between currency symbol and number.
Source text: $15 is deduced from your account.
✘ 15 USD hesabınızdan düşülmüş.
✓ $15 hesabınızdan düşülmüş.
Currency (USD, GBP, RUB, INR, DKK, NOK, etc.) initials should not be translated as they are a convention accepted worldwide. They follow the number and vowel harmony and consonant changes happen based on the initials pronunciations. According to TDK website , the pronunciation of upper-case initials is made letter by letter.
Source text: You bought it for 15 USD.
✘ 15 USD’na satın almışsınız.
✓ 15 USD’ye satın almışsınız.
For these cases, there is a whitespace between number and currency initials.
7. Tricky cases
- Relative clauses: Turkish has two types of relative clause: subject and object clauses. The derivational morpheme used to form each type is different.
Source text: The screenshot that you will send to us should include your full name.
✘ Bize gönderen ekran görüntüsünde tam adınız bulunmalıdır.
✓ Bize göndereceğiniz ekran görüntüsünde tam adınız bulunmalıdır.
- Noun deriving morphemes: There are a lot of options in Turkish when it comes to derive a noun from a verb. These include -ma, -mak, -ış etc. Choosing the right deverbal nominal form depends on other elements in the sentence.
Source text: Do you want to reactivate your account?
✘ Hesabınızı tekrar etkinleştirme mi istiyorsunuz?
✓ Hesabınızı tekrar etkinleştirmek mi istiyorsunuz?
8. Most frequent errors
- Case markings: Noun case inflections have an important role in comprehending sentences. Wrong case inflection can lead to critical errors. Please make sure you are using the right case inflection depending on the meaning and the verb you are using.
Source text: $15 is deduced from your account.
✘ $15 hesabınızda düşülmüş.
✘ $15 hesabınıza düşülmüş.
✓ $15 hesabınızdan düşülmüş.
- Grammatical register: Grammatical register depends on the tone of the text specified by the company and should be consistent throughout the text.
Source text: Please take a screenshot and send it to us.
✘ Lütfen bir ekran görüntüsü al ve bize gönderin.
✘ Lütfen bir ekran görüntüsü alın ve bize gönder.
✓ Lütfen bir ekran görüntüsü alın ve bize gönderin.
✓ Lütfen bir ekran görüntüsü al ve bize gönder.
- Lexical selection: Please obey the company glossary words unless you encounter a wrong definition in them. In that case, please get in touch with your point of contact in Unbabel. Please use vocabulary that reflects the meaning of the source text in the most natural way.
Source text: We will do our best to deliver a fix as soon as possible.
✘ Mümkün olan en kısa sürede bir düzeltme ulaştırmak için elimizden geleni yapacağız.
✓ Mümkün olan en kısa sürede bir düzeltme sağlamak için elimizden geleni yapacağız.
9. Useful online resources
 Kerslake, Celia. Turkish: A comprehensive grammar. Routledge, 2004.
 Turan, Ümit Deniz. "Null vs. overt subjects in Turkish discourse: A centering analysis." IRCS Technical Reports Series (1996): 95.