Back-translation and Accuracy

June 12th, 2009

A competitive marketer knows the price of being misunderstood. That's why adept translation is a target everyone's hitting for. Followers of machine translation, however, do not have any other resort but to rely on the back-translation feature of their device to ensure the accuracy of their documents. To put it simply, back-translation is a technique where the translated document is translated back to its original language. This is to see through any loopholes in the translated document as well as to confirm if the translation is suitable enough. What Machine Translation Can't Do In machine translation, the back-translation technique is done and over with after a few clicks. Then again, the diversity of meanings of each and every language makes it difficult to actually say that back-translation via the machine can achieve the accuracy that we are looking for. Different languages may tell something in another way. There are also words that do not have an equivalent in another language. So if you rely on machine translation completely, you will hardly get the point across without missing a bit. Yes, it may offer accuracy and usability at some point but definitely not absolutely. Not like human translation. Back-translation, the Traditional Way In human translation, back-translation is of course, needed still. It is like editing an article, making sure that the meanings are well-suited to that on the original document. It helps in ensuring that the translation is complete and more importantly, accurate. Find one good writer who does not edit his works and I'll rest my case. In the same light, a translator who wishes to achieve supreme quality of work most likely use back-translation technique to check and double-check any possible errors that he failed to notice at first. Moreover, human translation creates lesser room for errors even from the first draft. Since human translators can comprehend, they understand the meanings behind each sentence and will know how to construct the content in a way that will effectively get the message across. Being Accurate Pays If you think about it, this is another serious blow to the reliability of machine translation. Aside from the fact that they deliver poorer results, they also do not have much to offer an assurance for accuracy, even if you use the back-translation technique over and over. Good thing, you can always go back to perusing the conventional translation method. It is the ideal choice for businessmen whose mind is into expansion and progress. Employing human translation might be pricier than getting a robot translator but it is definitely capable of delivering a higher quality of result, which in the end, is still the thing that matters most.

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