to blaze a (new) trail

Are you as old as I am and therefore able to name the NBA team the legendary basketball player Clyde Drexler is most commonly associated with?

If you are getting somewhat on in years and you also follow NBA basketball, then you would answer: Portland Trail Blazers. What I will focus on throughout the rest of my entry is the verb “to blaze a (new) trail.”

If you set an example by being the first to do something, you blaze a (new) trail (Oxford English Dictionary), and you are called or regarded as a trailblazer.

This is where the name of the Portland Trail Blazers, a professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon, originates (derived from the trail blazing activities of explorers making paths through forests).

In Turkey, it is a common practice for companies to describe their innovative spirit by using expressions such as “bir ilke daha imza attı” or “yeniliklere imza attık.” This is where “to trail a new blaze,” “trailblazing” or “trailblazer” come in handy. Here are some examples:

Türkçe: Sektördeki faaliyetlerini 46 yıldır başarıyla sürdüren Sağlam Makine, cam işleme teknolojisi alanında yeni bir ilke daha imza attı.

English: Marking its 46th year in the industry, Sağlam Makine blazed yet another trail in glass processing technology.

Türkçe: İlklere imza atmayı iş anlayışının merkezine koyan Albatros Havayolları, Türkiye’nin ilk kabin içi internet hizmetini geçtiğimiz ay yolcularına sunmaya başladı.

English: Having set itself the goal of becoming an industry trailblazer, Albatros Airlines launched Turkey’s first on-board Internet service last month. In other words, blazing a (new) trail makes you a trailblazer, and as a trailblazer, you blaze ahead as a trailblazing person.

 

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