Translation Source Translator Spotlight: Hazal Kaya -Turkish
April 1, 2015
To most people translations can be a mysterious thing. Where do your documents go when you need something translated into a language you know little about? Who are these people who see thousands and thousands of pages of sensitive materials every year? Our Translator Spotlight series serves to strip away this sense of mystery and introduce you to the professionals on the other side your translation projects.
Q: Where are you from and where do you live now?
A: I’m from Turkey and I live in Istanbul.
Q: What languages do you speak?
A: Turkish, which is my native language, and English, which is my second language.
Q: When and how did you begin to learn the languages that you speak?
A: I studied English Philology at University and acquired most of my knowledge there.
Q: What languages do you translate to and from?
A: I translate only from English into Turkish.
Q: What are your areas of specialization in translation and how did you get interested or involved in these areas?
A: Medical (general, devices, pharmaceuticals, trials, scanners, forms, etc.) and IT (Software and Hardware). The first agency where I worked as a full-time professional translator was focusing on the medical areas, which gave me a foundation in Medical translation from the start of my career. And as I gained experience working on this area for several years, it was just natural to continue specializing in it. And the demand was high. The second translation agency where I worked intensely as a freelance translator was focusing on both Medical and IT areas, which enabled me to gain more experience in Medical fields, along with Software and Hardware. I realized I liked working in both of these fields, and decided to focus mainly on them as they were main areas of interest.
Q: How has your personal, professional, or educational background prepared you for the specialized work you do as a translator?
A: I studied chemistry at high school and I liked it. Also I was interested in scientific areas, especially medicine. I translated medical material when I was studying at college, though a different branch (psychiatry). Still I loved it, loved getting involved in scientific material. An interest in IT developed later. I just found myself in this new area and it was exciting to me; I began to like it more and more. So I was eager to learn, including all the new CAT tools and the technical jargon. It wasn’t about preparation but as a result of my interest.
Q: What is your favorite word or phrase across any language?
A: Joy and Passion are my favorite words.
Q: Are there any words or phrases which you find difficult to translate?
A: Yes, the word “challenge” (as a noun) doesn’t have a direct translation in Turkish. A literal translation doesn’t quite capture the meaning. I always find it difficult (a challenge) to convey the exact feeling and meaning of this word.
Q: Can you tell us about a project that was especially difficult to complete (short time frame, challenging terminology, etc.), and how you were able to rise to the challenge and deliver?
A: I remember translating a corporate contract that had very formal legal language. The difficulty wasn’t in the deadline or the terminology, but in the unfamiliar subject matter. I can rise to the challenge and complete any job in a short time frame in my specialty areas which I am passionate about, but from that legal translation job I learned to stick to my areas of expertise.
Q: What advice would you give to someone looking to have something translated?
A: Make sure to entrust the job to someone who specializes in the field in question.
Q: What is the hardest part of your job as a translator?
A: Not enough social life and sitting at a desk all day; you also use a ton of mental energy, it can be exhausting.
Q: What is your favorite part of your job as a translator?
A: The freedom is my favorite part; the ability to work wherever and whenever I choose is great.