What is Back Translation and Why is it Necessary?

Quality in Translation
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Quality means something different to everyone. It is the same in industries. In some industries, it is the reliability of the product that determines their quality. In others, it is the usefulness of the product that helps people in figuring out the level of its quality. For some people, the longer a product lasts, the higher its quality will be. For others, the life of a product does not matter as long as it can provide them with satisfactory results. In the language industry, quality is determined by accuracy. Every translation has to be 100% accurate for it to be considered high-quality.

Quality in Translation:

Quality matters a lot in translation. If a linguistic solution is not a hundred percent accurate, then it is of no use to the client. Many problems have been caused over the years because of incorrect translations. In some cases, they have ruined the chances of a company to succeed in a foreign country. International relations have also been affected because of inaccurate translations. This is why it is important to make sure that linguistic solutions are accurate and of high-quality. They should not only be linguistically accurate but also fulfill the cultural needs of the target audience.

Measuring the Quality:

The quality of a translation can be measured in a number of different ways. It is through these measurements that agencies and businesses can evaluate the accuracy of a linguistic solution. Many businesses employ these techniques before they make a translation public. It saves them from embarrassment and public relations disasters. The simplest way to measure the quality of a linguistic solution is by asking a native speaker to read it. They can point out the mistakes on the document or give it their approval if it is completely accurate. But another method of checking the quality is back translation.

What is Back Translation?

It is the process in which a linguistic expert or a team of experts translate an already translated document back to its original language. When they are done, the document is compared with the source text to see if it has retained the meaning. This is done to figure out whether the translation of the source text was accurate or not.

Although it sounds like a lengthy and complex procedure, it is a foolproof way of checking the quality of linguistic solutions. It can also point out the errors of the linguistic solution and make it easier for experts to fix them. It is used to find out what percentage of the original text’s meaning was being conveyed through the translation. It is important that a document is exactly like the original text. However, if an inexperienced translator has handled the task, then the result will not be a hundred percent accurate.

It is one of the best methods of checking the quality of a linguistic solution. It proves to the client that the translation they received is of high-quality, and they can make it public without any hesitation. Since this method of checking the quality is carried out by the professionals, the chances of errors are very low.

Who Can Perform Quality Checks
What is Back Translation

Why Is It Necessary?

Although it is a useful method of checking the quality of a translation, it is not needed often. Businesses and individuals who require linguistic assistance will not ask for this quality check. This check is only required when there is a legal or regulatory requirement. For instance, when clinical trials are conducted, Ethics committees require a certificate of accuracies and back translations along with original documents. Without these certificates, the clinical trials will not be accepted by Institutional Review Boards.

Pharmaceutical companies and healthcare professionals need back translations and certificates of accuracies. Through these checks, patients and consumers can be protected from erroneous information. If quality is not measured and accuracy is not checked by the professionals, incorrect information can be made available to the public, which can be harmful to their health.

High-risk information and sensitive materials are protected by quality checks, and patients and consumers only receive accurate information. This way, the health of the patients is protected by linguistic experts.

Who Can Perform Quality Checks?

Although some companies ask native speakers to read translations to check their quality, it is better to hire linguistic experts for such checks. No one can fix the linguistic problems in a document the way linguistic experts. This is why agencies only let linguistic experts perform back translations. This way, the errors of a document are checked by the professionals, and corrections are also made before making the document public.

If you need to get a quality check performed, then you should only hire qualified professionals. You should not try to handle this task yourself. Hiring experienced translators is the only way to ensure 100% accuracy of your documents. It is also the only way to provide accurate data to consumers.

There are a lot of problems that can be caused by incorrect linguistic documents. Misunderstandings can arise between nations. Although such problems can be resolved later, it is better not to make such mistakes from the start. By always choosing trained and qualified translators for language tasks, companies and individuals can avoid all kinds of problems. And if they need to get the quality of their translations checked, then they should only let the experts handle that task. This way, they will not have to face any problems in the future.

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