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Frequently Asked Questions

about the Turkish Language
and Turkey and the Turkish people...

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LPT's 'Frequently Asked Questions' about the Turkish language...

  • Where can I find a translation software-package that will translate between English-Turkish and Turkish-English?

    We've tried a few that make such claims, but, in our opinion, none of them are very effective. And some are downright poor. [There is one, for example, called 'Universal Translator -- Deluxe' that purports to do bilingual translation for some 30+ languages, but it... is... a... bad... *joke* !! It doesn't even have a reliable Turkish dictionary embedded in it.]

    Even the half-way decent English to Turkish (only) 'Çevirmen' translation software [that we are re-researching after we gave up on an earlier version of it 2 years ago] is (still) problematic. When we first tried it in 1999, we had this to say about it:

    "The only 'serious' English to Turkish (only) translation program we know of is Çevirmen -- which is touted as a translator of technical English-language documentation into Turkish. [If you don't know of it already, you can find out more at: http://www.bilsag.com.tr . The listed e-mail address is: bilsag@bilsag.com.tr ].

    And although our Turkish friends scoff at the 'bad' Turkish translations this software makes, they seem [with a stretch] to [generally] understand the intended meaning of the translations...

    LPT researched both versions of it -- one version of it was called Cevirmen and another version of almost-the-same program was called Translator. The original Turkish author/partners of the product had a business argument, broke up, and were competing against each other with virtually the same program -- although Translator's dictionaries were more complete than the ones found in Cevirmen.

    We would have bought it, despite our scoffing Turkish friends, except it was pretty expensive (around $250) and it had one of those damned hardware locks on it -- that interfered with the smooth running of our computer configuration...

    Recently, we saw a newer 'trial' version of it on one of those free CDs that come with Turkish computer magazines (PC World?). But when we tried it, it didn't work -- we couldn't get it to translate anything at all. And when we wrote the distributor 'Bilsag' asking for help, we got no reply...

    Lately, we've heard (but don't know for sure) that you can download a full working version of it from one of those 'Warez' websites..."

    Update April/May 2001:

    We are currently re-trying Cevirmen [Version 4.5]. It's pricing is better at around $70 -- and the hardware-lock is 'history'. But it *still* has great difficulty translating some of the simplest of English sentences. For example, a lot depends on the word order of your English -- it doesn't take more than a split infinitive or an 'assumed' preposition to tie the program in knots. Not surprisingly, the best translations result from English sentences that are 'short and sweet'.

    And while the user interface is 'good looking', it's also weak in places (e.g., changes that you make to your English text aren't recognized by the 'translator' until you save those changes to file, close the file, and then re-open the file.)

    We suppose the more you massage, modify, and enhance the interactive dictionaries, the better your translations will get.
    How much better? Who knows...?

    At any rate, improving the dictionaries using Cevirmen's somewhat intricate syntactic coding-system could take quite a bit of effort on your part. Especially since all the menus and help files are in Turkish.

    Still, if you have the patience to work with it, the program might well pay dividends. And besides that, it's kinda fun to watch it struggle to make Turkish sense out of your English sentences...


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