Translating the CEFR Companion Volume (2020) into Turkish: The real experience unraveled

Çelik, Servet
Kırkgöz, Yasemin
İrgin, Pelin
Çopur, Deniz
Erbay Çetinkaya, Şakire
Kurt, Mustafa
Makaroğlu, Bahtiyar
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is one of the most widely consulted reference works that define international standards for the learning, teaching, and assessment of languages. Since its appearance in 2001, the CEFR has been translated into more than 40 languages, including Turkish, making it the second most-translated document of the Council of Europe (CoE) after the European Convention of Human Rights. The CEFR was complemented by the Companion Volume with New Descriptors in 2018. This provisional version was later replaced by the CEFR Companion Volume (CV) in 2020, which includes added descriptors for mediation, online interaction, plurilingual/pluricultural competence, and sign language competences, ensuring modality-inclusive formulations in adapted illustrative descriptors for sign languages and gender-neutrality in all descriptors. The CEFR CV has already been translated into French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, and Turkish, and translations to several other languages are underway and expected to become available shortly. The Turkish translation was completed in October 2021 by a committed team of scholars with the initiative and coordination of the Turkish Ministry of National Education (MoNE) in cooperation with the CoE. The translation of the CEFR Companion Volume into Turkish is an excellent example of how hard work and perseverance pay off. The translation team and others who have contributed to the work have demonstrated a fine example of sheer dedication, patience, and multidisciplinary collaboration to create a reader-friendly text to guide anyone involved in language teaching and testing—from teachers, learners, and material developers to educational institutions, researchers, and employers. This paper uncovers the background story, events, and actions behind this text for users to better understand its intricacies, nuances, and complexities. It is anticipated that the “backstage information” shared here will provide insights for prospective translators of the CEFR CV into other languages.
Educational Policy Analysis and Strategic Research


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Citation Formats
S. Çelik et al., “Translating the CEFR Companion Volume (2020) into Turkish: The real experience unraveled,” Educational Policy Analysis and Strategic Research, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 274–293, 2022, Accessed: 00, 2023. [Online]. Available: