SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

Advanced Translation (Turkish)

Module Code:
Unit value:
Taught in:
Full Year

This course is designed both for students who wish to use their linguistic skills as part of their career choice as professional translators and those who are doing the MA programme before they embark on research. Whilst the first group will benefit from the practical applications utilised in the course, the latter will find the primary sources they need to use for their research much more accessible after taking this course.


The prerequisite is an advanced level of competence in Turkish. A language level test may be given to prospective students of the course to determine their linguistic competence in Turkish.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The course aims to enhance the written and reading skills of the students through the grammatical study and translation of texts from a range of sources. By the end of the course students should be able to produce reliable translations of texts chosen from a wide range of genres (newspaper and journal articles, literary texts (short stories, novels), legal texts etc and in a variety of styles and registers, including highly complex syntactic structures. They shall also gain the skills of doing such translations with reasonable speed. Students should be able to engage with both contemporary and also the more traditionalist style of Turkish employed in such writings.


Total of 22 weeks teaching with 3 hours classroom contact per week.

Scope and syllabus

The course employs a graded system of textual analysis, and starts with structurally straightforward but lexically multi-layered passages. The course progresses to the study of texts with highly complex syntactic and semantic structures. Students are also exposed to different styles of writing on subjects they would not normally be required to read as part of their field of study. In the case of MA students 60% of assessed course work is related to the major component of their study programme.

This course shares teaching hours with the BA course Advanced Turkish/Engish/Turkish Translation. There is one additional hour of Masters-tailored tuition per week.

Method of assessment

One written examination in May/June (70% of the final mark), and two assessed translation assignments of 3000 words each to be submitted latest on the last day of the last week of term 2 and the first day of term 3 respectively (30% of the final mark – 15% for each assignment).

Suggested reading

  • Ataç, N., 1988 [1961].  “Batı Kafası”.  In: N. Ataç, Prospero ile Caliban, Istanbul: Can, pp. 135-138.
  • Berk, Özlem, 2000. «Turkish: Literary Translation into English», In: Encyclopedia of Literary Translation, London: Fitzroy Dearborn, vol. II, p. 1433-1435.
  • Berk, Özlem, 2004. Translation and Westernisation in Turkey: from the 1840s to the 1980s.  Istanbul: Ege. Berk, Özlem, 2006.  "Translating the “West”: The Position of Translated Western Literature within the Turkish Literary Polysystem", Revue des Littératures de l’Union Européenne 4:1 -18.
  • Dün ve Bugün Çeviri, 1. Bilim-Felsefe-Sanat Yayınları, 1985.
  • Even-Zohar, I., 1978. "The Position of Translated Literature within the Literary Polysystem."  In: J. S. Holmes, J. Lambert and R. van den Broeck (eds.), Literature and Translation: New Perspectives in Literary Studies, Leuven: Acco, p. 117-127.
  • Freely, Maureen, 2010. "How I got lost in translation and found my true calling." The Observer, Sunday 28 November 2010.
  • Gencan, T.N., 1975. Dilbilgisi. Ankara: Türk Dil Kurumu.
  • Holmes, James S., 1988. "The Name and the Nature of Translation Studies," Translated: Papers on Literary Translation and Translation Studies. Amsterdam: Rodopi, pp. 66-80.
  • Lewis, Geoffery, 2000. Turkish Language Reform: A catastrophic success. Oxford.
  • Paker, Saliha, 1983. "Çeviride ‘Yanlış/Doğru’ Sorunu ve Şiir Çevirisinin   Değerlendirilmesi," Yazko Çeviri 13, Temmuz-Ağustos, pp. 131-139.
  • Paker, Saliha, 1986. «Translated European Literature in the Late Ottoman Literary Polysystem», New Comparison, n. 1, p. 67-82.
  • Paker, Saliha, 2004. "Reading Turkish Novelists and Poets in English Translation: 2000-2004." Translation Review, 68: 6-18.
  • Paker, Saliha, ed., 2002.  Translations: (re)shaping of literature and culture, Istanbul: Boğaziçi University Press.
  • Popovic, Anton 1970. "The Concept of 'Shift of Expression' in Translation  Analysis," The Nature of Translation: Essays on the Theory and Practice of Literary Translation (ed.) James Holmes. Mouton: Slovak Academy of Sciences, pp. 78-90.
  • Toury, Gideon, 1995. "The Nature and Role of Norms in Literary Translation," Descriptive Translation Studies and Beyond. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 53-70.
  • Türk Dili Çeviri Özel Sayısı, Ankara: TDK.
  • Yücel, H. Â., 1945.  “Yunan Özel Sayısına Önsöz”, Tercüme, vol. 5, n. 29-30, pp. i-iv.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules