Is Back Translation the Best Method to Reach Perfect Accuracy?

Accuracy in a translation is salient so that the message received by the target language reader is equivalent. There are various methods to assess the accuracy, one of which is back translation. Through the following discussion, you can judge whether back translation is the best choice or not. It is because you should consider the requirements before using the service.

Get Closer to Back Translation

Back translation can also be referred to as reverse translation. However, the definition remains the same, namely translating the text back into the source language. Besides functioning to assess accuracy, identifying errors and ambiguities are the benefits that will be obtained. The process itself is carried out literally to show the competence of a translator in handling a text that requires good creativity and adaptability.

Back translation method has different implementations. Translators can retranslate text to the source language with one result or multiple results as an option. However, the second one is also known as double translation. In addition, the client can use one or more vendors to run it, assuming that different translators will give different interpretations of a text as well.

The Proper Text for Back Translation

Text that contains metaphors such as taglines, slogans, titles, product names, clever phrases, and puns are highly recommended for back translation. Even though the result will be unnatural, it will actually assist the translator in restructuring to gain the top-notch final result. If necessary, translators can do subtle cultural changes to create translations that best suit a specific target reader and this method is known as trans-creation. Catchy and short enough are the requirements to convey the right metaphor.

Text that has risks and requires a perfect level of accuracy is another type that requires back translation. In fact, for certain industries, back translation is one of the workflows before the project is actually completed. The texts that have been mentioned are medical, data, legal, finance, and manufacturing or product.

When to Use Back Translation and to Not to?

Back translation process has three steps, namely translating, retranslating, and creating several result options for the client. Although it can provide the best performance and is most suitable for localization, you need to consider it first before using the service.

You need a back translation service for an industry that has strict regulations now that it requires anticipating the risks that will arise. Errors in translation will cost many people and the credibility of an organization will be jeopardized. Then, you are very concerned about accuracy and specific terminology, rather than creativity, style, and expression. The last and most essential thing is that you have sufficient time and budget.

When you do not meet the above criteria, back translation is an option that is not a priority. Just like any other industry, translation requires fast turnaround times to compete. On the other hand, there are industries that really attach importance to accuracy for the success of their goals and industries that do not prioritize accuracy because it does not harm if there are errors that might be understandable.

So, is back translation the best method? It all depends on the choice and the type of text to work with. There is also a method that involves three raters to assess, but this method is not a comprehensive one because it is not given how the appropriate translation results. They only mark a score 1 up to 3 to present the quality. On the other hand, for education or research matters, this method does. Therefore, it can be concluded that each method has advantages according to the field being worked on.

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