The basic principle of translation requires that experience and stimuli be used, so that the translator has a broad knowledge of all things. I learned about that principle right at the outset of my school, and the lecturers never stopped stressing it to us right up until the time of graduation. In this context, general knowledge about politics, geopolitics and the economy was of major importance and played a central role in our curriculum.
Translation of political articles is therefore one of my favourite specialisations. Political analyses have always been of interest to me. However, in the context of translation, they present particular challenges, since frequently understanding and correctly performing them requires knowledge of a country’s history, political turning points, economic situation, internal problems and social fabric.
SPECIAL TRAINING ON POLITICAL TOPICS
My training on political issues involves ongoing effort to study the relevant academic publications, monitor analyses in the press and on television and attend the relevant events, talks and conferences. More organised efforts to gather information also include systematically attending seminars on these topics.
Take for example the seminars I attended for 2 semesters at the Istanbul Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA). Just some of the subjects covered were:
- Analysis of the attempted coup of 15 July 2016 in Turkey
- Reforms in the army following the coup
- Relations between the army and politics
- Coups in Turkey’s history
- US policy on the Middle East and Syria
- Separatist terrorism: framework for action, reasons for emergence and examples
- Anti-terrorism policy
- Communication strategies of the political parties in Turkey
- Relations between Turkey and the USA
- Relations between Turkey and the EU
- Relations between Turkey and the Middle East
- The 4th industrial revolution
- The rise of the far right in Europe / Islamophobia
- Discussion on constitutional changes in Turkey
- Analysis of the economic crisis in Europe
- The development and democracy in the Middle East
- The challenges facing the Turkish economy
- The history of the Hürriyet newspaper logo
- The refugee crisis
- Minority identities
- Iran’s role in the Middle East, etc.
My involvement in the translation of political articles includes my participation in the Editorial Monitor project. This project is aimed at Austrian officials and seeks to provide them with daily translations of political analyses from the domestic press in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. So far the pilot phase of the programme -which lasted 4 months- has been completed. My contribution to the programme was to monitor the Turkish press and translate selected articles from Turkish into English.