Thread: Promising Practices

The translator as a back-translator and self-editor in public relations translation processes

Taner Karakoç – Istanbul, Turkey

My paper will analyse the role of the freelance translator as both a translator/back-translator and an editor/self-editor in the launching of products on the market through press releases in the public relations (PR) environment in Turkey. PR companies represent foreign businesses in local markets. They are mainly responsible for launching of new products to the marketplace through press releases. PR companies employ in-house translators or work with a freelance translator for the translation and preparation of press releases. Press releases are produced either by the employing foreign company and translated into the local language – or by the PR company originally in the local language based on activities and events organized in the local market. In the latter case, the text appears in daily newspapers or on TV channels, and is then translated into English. Throughout the process, the translator cooperates with the PR company to produce the final text. This involves translation proper, back-translation (translating the text of the press release that has already been translated, edited and produced, back into the original language), editing and self-editing. Press releases are ‘hybrid’ in nature, as they use both advertising language and informative discourse. The translator thus has to focus on the hybridity of the discourses employed in such press releases.

The descriptive study of the press releases that aims to compare examples of such texts and their translations will cover products such as mobile telephones, white goods, shopping centres, and insurance. After the introduction of press release as a text-type, its hybrid nature and its role in the PR environment, my presentation will cover the following:

  • a description of translation and back-translation process of press releases and ads,
  • practical examples of press releases at each stage of the translation process,
  • the contribution of the translator to the editing process as a self-editor within the PR company.

Taner Karakoç teaches Translation-Oriented Text Analysis, Discourse Analysis, Stylistics, and Comparative Literature in at the Department of English Translation & Interpreting at Istanbul University. Taner received his MA in Translation at Bogazici University in Istanbul. He is a freelance translator and mainly translates for PR companies, architecture companies, and academics.