According to Celeste Klein and Scott Van Til, in an article for the March 2014 ATA Chronicle, “Back Translation seeks to show what a translation literally says.” In other words, a “Back Translation” tries to explain what was written in the original text. This of course may prompt many to ask, when is a “Back Translation” necessary as opposed to a “Forward Translation” that looks to affect a target audience?
The answer is that each serve a different end: A “Back Translation” is a great check-and-balance method for editors and proofreaders. This is a method with which Interspeak’s Project Managers and in-house linguists are very familiar, because it allows us to ensure that the literal meaning of the source text is preserved at the sentence level when needed. So what the client receives is a translation they can trust.
Keeping up with new translation techniques gives Interspeak the edge to make sure that we are translating clearly and concisely.
Interspeak is a corporate member of the American Translators Association