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What Does a Turkish Linguist Do?

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  • Written By: Emily Daw
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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There are a number of possible jobs for a Turkish linguist with a solid knowledge of both the Turkish language and the principles of linguistics. The two primary career paths for a Turkish linguist are academia and translation. An academic in Turkish linguistics will likely spend much of his or her time teaching and researching. The exact duties for a translator will vary depending on the setting, but may include translation or interpretation of documents, conversations or media.

A professor of Turkish is one possible job for a Turkish linguist. Like other professors, a Turkish professor would teach courses in his or her area of study, which could include both Turkish language and general linguistics courses. Many Turkish linguists are proficient in several different languages, and so they might be called on to teach one of those languages as well. In addition to teaching, a professor of Turkish would likely also research and write books or papers for publication in academic journals. The relative amount of time that a professor spends on these two tasks — teaching and researching — varies among universities.

Several different tasks might be assigned to a Turkish linguist who accepts a job as a translator. In general, translation refers to converting written documents from one language to another. This can sometimes be done partially by computer through the use of computational linguistics technology, but a person with native or near-native fluency in the target language is needed to check the computer's work.

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Interpretation, on the other hand, refers to real-time interpretation of spoken language. Consecutive interpretation takes place when there is a pause in speaking to allow time for the interpreter to speak. Simultaneous interpretation, on the other hand, is when there is no break in speaking, and the interpreter must listen to what is being said and translate at the same time. Some Turkish linguist jobs will require both types of interpretation.

As of the early 21st century, a number of Turkish linguist jobs were available through the US government related to international relations between the US and Turkey and Turkish-speaking peoples. These jobs often required a high security clearance, because the work could be related to ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. A high level of linguistic sophistication could be needed in such jobs, as translation work might involve nuanced concepts in addition to simple factual information. Extensive knowledge of Turkish culture would also be an asset in such positions.

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