Back translations are an additional service for clients who require an added level of certainty in their translation.
The process begins with a project that has already been translated and the file is then provided to a second translator. It is the role of the second translator to translate the text from the target language back to the original language to demonstrate that the meaning has remained consistent. One difference in the instructions to the two translators is that the first translation is as standard – not a literal translation, but the closest natural equivalent to the original text. The translator for the back translation is instructed to translate the target language back to the source language verbatim, or as it appears. Opportunities to discuss the differences between the original text and the back translation may be arranged, or a document may be drafted to outline why the differences have occurred, and how best to fix any variations. The back translation will not be a mirror image of the original. Some words or concepts do not have equivalents in other languages, or a translator may have rephrased an idea to address a cultural sensibility. The review of a back translation should show that the message is conveyed, if not in the exact same words originally used. Back translations can be requested for either internal or external translations.