Good translation is a fine instrument, it’s not a blunt tool. It’s also a process that has an awful lot riding on it, as the slightest mistake or misunderstanding can potentially have drastic consequences. If something is missed or incorrectly interpreted early on in the translation, it throws the validity of everything else into question and can have serious consequences. This is why so many people who need translation services invest in back translation: because there is so much riding on getting everything word perfect. But what is back translation, and why should you pay for it?
Back Translation Is A Process Of Double Checking
In essence, back translation is a very simple process but an absolutely crucial one. It is the process of double-checking a piece of translation to ensure that it is 100% accurate. Say you’ve paid someone to translate Italian into English, and you now have a block of translated text. If you want to have it back-translated, you would hire an independent translator to translate it back into Italian and to compare the original material with this back-translated piece. Simple enough, right?
Why Is Back Translation Important?
First of all, it is important to note that the original and back-translated pieces will never be completely identical, thanks to all the wonderful nuances of language. However, what the process will show is whether or not the translation is technically accurate, and it will also show you whether anything has been misunderstood in the tone or style of the interpretation. As we mentioned, translation is not a blunt tool, it is something that requires a knowledge of the culture and tradition of the target language, and back translation can highlight any glaring errors. Back-translation offers complete peace of mind that the content is accurate, and a service like London Translations uses native speakers to make sure none of that cultural context or nuance is missed.
Who Needs To Use Back Translation?
While some translation services are clearly geared towards one sector in particular, back translation is an invaluable tool for anyone who wants to make sure that their content is free from errors. It is often a legal requirement for any industries dealing with information that may be sensitive. Medical and pharmaceutical companies, for example, will make sure that their higher risk materials, such as assessments and surveys, have been back-translated to ensure that there can be no misunderstandings in a potentially high-stakes situation.
It’s also very common in the legal profession, where clients cannot afford to have any room for interpretation in their, well, interpretation. But as we mentioned, back-translation is a service that many businesses and sectors can benefit from. With the return to offices imminent and all the chaos that will bring, it’s more important than ever that we don’t let small mistakes slip through and create bigger problems down the line. Back translation can help you feel better about that academic proposal, work pitch, or anything where you need to know that there’s no chance of a misunderstanding.
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