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Tim Drayton

Apartment 201, Kola Court 2, Michail Angelou 4, Agios Athanasios, 4106 Lemesos, Cyprus

telephone   +357 25811108
VAT Reg. No    90003250S
All inquiries welcome
I am British and grew up in the UK in a monolingual English-speaking environment. I graduated with an MA in linguistics from the University of Edinburgh in 1979. Most of my adult life has been spent away from my native country, and I taught English as a foreign language for much of the time that I have spent abroad. A successful language learner in my secondary school days, I have always been driven to acquire fluency in the language of my host countries. I have received formal instruction in a number of languages, and even successfully completed a one-year postgraduate diploma course in Russian language at the University of Strathclyde in 1982-1983, which took me from scratch to honours degree level in a single academic year. However, I am entirely self-taught in main source language of Turkish, which I learned during a lengthy period of residence in Turkey from 1987-1999. For most of that time I lived as a fully integrated member of local society and ran my own business for my final three years there. I have the kind of command of the Turkish language that can only come from lengthy immersion in a Turkish-speaking environment.

I made two earlier forays into the world of translation, and in 2000 - without taking any prior course - I sat the Institute of Linguists Diploma in Translation examination in Turkish to English, and passed with merit in all sections. I am currently a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists.

I settled here in Cyprus in the summer of 2004 shortly after this island nation acceded to the EU, and, taking advantage of the right of free movement within the EU, have been working as a freelance translator here ever since. I live in Limassol, in a part of the island that is under the control of the internationally recognised government, and operate with a VAT number that is valid in intra-EU transactions.

Since that time, a great deal of the work requests that I have received have been in the legal field. Previously a financial specialist, I responded to the demands of the market and resolved to reposition myself as a legal translator. To this end, beginning in 2005, I started to study Turkish university textbooks covering various areas of that country’s legal system. My method has been to understand important terminology in context, then to track down cognate terms in English legal terminology, often requiring me to find and study texts on similar areas in common law, thus gradually compiling a glossary of Turkish-English legal terms (and there are no reliable specialist dictionaries in this field). I have concentrated on civil law, as most of the work that I receive is in this area, and up to now have covered the following areas: Code of Obligations, both general and specific provisions (this is the main statute governing contract law in Turkey), debt recovery and bankruptcy law, civil procedural law and the law of persons and family law within the Civil Code. I am continuing with this process as I find time.

I can claim by now to be fully familiar with almost any legal or official document originating from the Republic of Turkey. I am less familiar with other jurisdictions in which Turkish has official or semi-official status, most notably the de-facto regime in the north of Cyprus. I have been an active share trader for most of my life - and even earned my living as a day trader on the Istanbul Stock Exchange for two years - and I am thus also very familiar with financial topics, including financial statements and accounting terminology. I studied Social Anthropology as an auxiliary subject at university, so I am no stranger to the terminology of the social sciences. I have had a lifelong interest in current affairs and history, so I am also very comfortable with texts in these fields. I often translate certificates and diplomas. Indeed, I can turn my hand to a wide range of different text types with the exception of engineering, the physical sciences and medicine.

When translating legal texts, the main priority is to produce an accurate, verbatim rendering of the source text, using the best accepted cognate terminology. This is no easy matter when translating texts pertaining to a civil law jurisdiction like Turkey - the legal system of the Republic of Turkey is closely modelled on that of a number of civil law jurisdictions in Western Europe, a process that began with the translation of the Swiss Civil Code into Turkish and its enactment as the first statute of the new Republic in 1926 - into English, given that English-speaking countries have common law jurisdictions. The translator must exercise great care in the choice of terminology, only using cognate terms when they are close functional equivalents and, otherwise, endeavouring where possible to find the most widely accepted term used to describe civil law concepts in English and, failing that, to coin an appropriate term. I have honed such skills in the years since 2005 in which I have performed large numbers of legal translations. (I welcome you to examine my sample legal translations on this site.)

Given the above constraints, there is a limit to how natural a legal document translated from Turkish will sound in English. On the other hand, I also take great pride in being able, where necessary, to transform texts written in Turkish into natural English text that flows smoothly. I have a strong track record of translating corporate publicity material, and also the transcripts of recorded interviews for subtitling purposes, and can rise to the challenge of producing attractive copy in English, as is required in assignments of this nature. (I welcome you to examine my sample press translations and sample article and book extract translations on this site.)

I welcome all inquiries and will happily take a look at any material and decide whether I think I can do it justice. I will then supply a price quote and let you know the deadline that I can meet. The decision is then yours.

I AM ALSO A COMPETENT TRANSLATOR FROM GERMAN TO ENGLISH having lived in Germany for three years in the 1980's.