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What is Back Translation?

Back Translation is the process of translating a document that has already been translated into a foreign language back to the original language – preferably by an independent translator.

Translation of raw data such as focus group transcripts back into the language of a client from the language of the consumers is common in market research area. In fact translation remains one of the most important parts of a market research project.

The nuances of translation are far-ranging. A literal word in one language, for example, may have no equivalent in another language, or could have a completely different “meaning” or effect in the translated language. This is why translation is an art rather than a science.  Hence the need for accredited translators.

Back translation can improve the reliability and validity of research in different languages by requiring that the quality of a translation is verified by an independent translator translating back into the original language. Original and back translated documents can then be compared.

Due to being not familiar with this option, back translation is not very common, but in very high risk – high return situations is well worth the investment.

Translation Process

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2 Comments on What is Back Translation?

  1. physi-love on Wed, 25th Jan 2012 18:42
  2. this post is very usefull thx!

  3. pauleal on Thu, 2nd Feb 2012 18:37
  4. Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

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