Military terminology and language are constantly changing due to the rapid development of new military and defense technologies. Military translators must keep pace with this speed of change. This constant change in military terminology results from the restructuring of military forces, the emergence of new weapon systems and evolving military tactics and strategies, and the trial of new warfare methods. Military translation is a specific discipline that requires a full grasp of the hierarchical structure of militaries and extensive military knowledge and experience. In some cases, the target group consists of various national militaries and personnel with different educational and cultural backgrounds, meaning the translator needs to consider this issue and accommodate this multiculturalism.
In addition, the military translator must work with a strong sense of responsibility. Mistranslation of even a single word could lead to serious misunderstandings. Mistranslation of military technical user guides could lead to the misuse of weapons and military technologies or even undermine an entire defense strategy. This means that military translators should be specialized in the fields of technical and legal translation.
Comprehensive knowledge of military terminology is essential for a military translator. All military texts are full of specific military and technical terms, abbreviations and idiomatic expressions. Different branches of the military have their own distinct terminological preferences, particularly in military rank names. Military acronyms are also an important challenge for a translator. NATO texts are full of military acronyms, and the translator may find themselves lost among the great number of these.
Besides the wide range of terminology used, another issue specific to military translations is that there are no figurative or emotional expressions. Military translations therefore require not only a full command of the target language, but also military experience and knowledge. Translators should be familiar with the organizational structure, strategies and tactics, weapon systems and defense techniques of the armed forces in the relevant countries.
With the globalization of military training and operations, military knowledge and military language fall within a dynamic environment. As the field of military translation requires a knowledge of the structures of armies around the world, it is important that military translations are done by experts. Having a grasp of classical doctrines as well as contemporary military literature, makes it easier to understand the militaries of today.
Translations for the defense and military field are a matter of life and death. Vital decisions will be made when these translated documents are delivered to command centers and policy makers. Military translations require high levels of confidentiality and accurate understanding of military terminology. There is absolutely no room for error since these documents are used for risk assessment and to determine courses of action.
Defense operations include both civilian and military actions. Militaries interact with international companies that supply telecommunication systems, fighter aircraft, submarines, tanks and a broad range of military vehicles, weapons and equipment. Protocols and agreements signed between the defense ministries of many nations are involved in the process. Avoiding misunderstandings between these nations is a very sensitive issue, so translators who work on these translations need to know the field of defense and its jargon very well.
In this dynamic environment, which requires a high level of secrecy, translators must be experienced and have an excellent understanding of military operations. Language proficiency alone will not suffice. Translators of military material must also have knowledge, skill and experience in various areas, such as anti-terrorism, humanitarian relief and peace-keeping.
There are only a limited number of translators who have this extent of knowledge. Kalite Tercume’s team of military translators is experienced and has knowledge of their relevant branches, a strong understanding of Turkish and English military terminology, and a military background.
We understand the need for information security and privacy in the defense field and therefore sign confidentiality agreements for the military documents we translate, if needed.
While we perform military translations in specific fields, we also translate texts that discuss chemical, mechanical, nuclear and electronic processes and combinations thereof. We translate texts that examine the methods used by military personnel, technicians, engineers and support staff and offer language support to the defense industry’s land, sea and air logistical services. The technical dimension of these documents is handled with a high level of professionalism, and the originality of the information presented in the document is preserved.