In Search of Patient Zero: Pseudo-Retranslation in Turkish Academic Works

Yıldız M.

JOURNAL OF ACADEMIC ETHICS, vol.19, no.2, pp.253-278, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10805-020-09371-4
  • Page Numbers: pp.253-278
  • Keywords: Academic works, Intertranslational similarity, Novel conceptualization, Patient zero, Pseudo-retranslation
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


This is the first academic paper concerned with the description of intertranslational appropriations across non-literary works and to discuss this phenomenon from a novel conceptual perspective by suggesting the term "pseudo-retranslation". "Drmrod", a misspelling of (Jeanne Ellis) Ormrod, served as the benchmark of the preliminary analysis to judge on the existence of pseudo-retranslations across the works. The corpus consists of one unreviewed article, two dissertations, five master's theses, and seven articles. To identify the initial Turkish translation, Patient Zero, to detect the pseudo-retranslations and to arrange them chronologically, "textual overlap" was operationalized as the primary parameter, while "erroneous referencing", "typographical errors", "publication year", "publication media", and "relationships between authors" to triangulate the findings concerning the primary parameter. A program, WCopyFind, was used to detect intertextual similarities and to harvest quantitative data by percentage and word count. A textual similarity of 70% (Turell The International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law, 11(1), 1-26, 2004) was set as the threshold of significance. The author suggested a threshold of 30% to describe pseudo-retranslations in academic works and of 20% in Turkish academic papers. The unreviewed online article (Kalafat 2004) was revealed to be the first to misspell "Ormrod" as "Drmrod" and to translate Ormrod's six metacognitive skills and the other 14 works to include its pseudo-retranslations.