Off topic: An interesting and perhaps rare coincident
Thread poster: chopra_2002

chopra_2002  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 19:03
Member (2008)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Aug 20, 2005

Some clients are very quality conscious and they get the document translated back in the source language so as to check whether the same has been translated in a proper and accurate manner.

A few weeks ago, I did a translation job for an agency. And a few days ago, another agency contacted me for the back translation of the same document which I had translated. What an interesting and perhaps rare coincident!

Has it ever happened to you also?


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:33
English to Spanish
+ ...
It would be interesting... Aug 20, 2005

...to see their faces when they got back exactly the same thing they started with, word for word, down to the last minute detail!

And it would serve them right, because IMHO back translation is a completely useless exercise.


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:33
Member
French to English
+ ...
Agree, Henry! Aug 20, 2005

Henry Hinds wrote:

And it would serve them right, because IMHO back translation is a completely useless exercise.


Couldn't agree more! The likelihood of any back-translation coming out the same as the original is so tiny (save in the present case!) that it seems pointless, since if the agency deosn't know enough of the languages concerned to judge for itself the quality of the translation, how can it possibly judge the significance of the inevitable differences?

My only faintly similar experience was when someone quoted one of my own translations back to me as a reference for some terminology query!


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Kimmy
Local time: 23:33
Italian to English
+ ...
Nothing like getting paid twice Aug 21, 2005

for one job eh?

Incredible!

Kim


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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 14:33
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Not so simple... Aug 21, 2005

It poses an interesting question of the intellectual property... As you are not the author of the first source text (the "original original"), then you probably might not use it verbatim.

In other words, it has to be as close to the original as possible, and yet be different!


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Will Matter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:33
English
+ ...
Agree Aug 22, 2005

I agree with Henry that "back translation" serves no useful purpose. If they don't trust you to do it right the first time, then why even bother asking you to do it? After all, that's what you're being paid for. However, if this happened to me i'd do it, get paid twice for the same job and consider it fair recompense for doubting my ability in the first place. Take your time, change the text just enough to make it "not obvious" and get your money. That'll "larn" 'em.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:33
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Backtranslation is not uncommon, although usually handled as part of the same project Aug 23, 2005

langclinic wrote:
Some clients are very quality conscious and they get the document translated back in the source language so as to check whether the same has been translated in a proper and accurate manner.


I get this a lot with medical and pharmaceutical texts, and after having seen what "creative" translators can do to a technical text, I can understand why those companies prefer a backtranslation done.


A few weeks ago, I did a translation job for an agency. And a few days ago, another agency contacted me for the back translation of the same document which I had translated.


Very rare and rather surprising too, since it makes more sense to handle the backtranslation in the same project by the same project manager. This way, the PM can refer queries back to the original translator.


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Orestes Robledo  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:33
English to Spanish
+ ...
Correct any mistakes in the original, smile, and get paid! Aug 24, 2005

Sadly enough, many of the original documents I receive for translation contain grammar, punctuation, spelling, and even vocabulary mistakes that make the translation process difficult.
I say, correct the mistakes, so they learn how to write properly, and smile as you collect your payment!


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