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In Language Production


What's the difference between Translation Checking and Back Translation?

Translation checking is the comparison of the original text against the translated version, always completed by a second independent translator. The second translator checks that the translation is correct. They are also able to assess, refine, comment and suggest amendments if necessary. Translation checking is suitable for any type of project and it is worth taking this step of having a second person confirm the work whenever possible.

A "Back translation" is when a second independent translator receives the translated document - without the original language. They then translate this into the original language (typically English, and often referred to as an EBT=English Back Translation). The original document is then compared to the back translation by both SBS and our client, to ensure that the message has been maintained. The back translation will not be word for word identical to the original, but the meaning/intent should be consistent (as there are often many ways to say the same thing). A back translation is very good for small, critical content documents (e.g. medication dosage, operation or safety instructions, legal requirements and insurance procedures) etc.