Adaptation and Backtranslation
Thread poster: Paulandrea
Paulandrea
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jan 6, 2011

I am required to take a test in a translation agency and I was asked to provide 2 adaptations of the original text and the corresponding backtranslations. Could you please explain to me the difference between Adaptation and Backtranslation and what they refer to?

Thank you


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Raffaella Panigada  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 04:45
Member (2007)
English to Italian
+ ...
Adaptation and backtranslation Jan 6, 2011

Hi, you normally talk about "adaptation" for translations involving a good dose of creativity (think slogans, advertising, puns, etc.).
For instance, if a company is localizing a promotional campaign, you'll be required to provide a "recommended version" and one or more alternatives which will be passed on to the local office that will make the final choice. Since at the end of the adaptation process the final text often differs considerably from the source text and the client cannot possibly speak all the languages they are localizing into, you can also be requested to provide a back translation of your solution (reverting the text back into the source language) so that they are able to get a better idea and make sure it's consistent with their global strategy and company policy.


HTH
Raffaella

[Edited at 2011-01-06 18:11 GMT]


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Alison Sabedoria  Identity Verified
France
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
As Rafaella says Jan 6, 2011

I did this a while ago for a client as their original marketing text would not have come over well in English. They have since used the backtranslation to amend their publicity materials, so the style is more coherent across the two languages.

This is an opportunity to show your knowledge of the target market, and can lead to real creative teamwork.

Good luck,
Alison


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Paulandrea
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jan 6, 2011

Thank you so much for taking the time to explain it to me.

As this is the first time I am going to do this I was not familiar with the terminology.

Now I understand what they are requesting.

Regards,

Paula


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Fouad El karnichi  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:45
Arabic to English
+ ...
Quality purpose Jan 6, 2011

Paulandrea wrote:

I am required to take a test in a translation agency and I was asked to provide 2 adaptations of the original text and the corresponding backtranslations. Could you please explain to me the difference between Adaptation and Backtranslation and what they refer to?

Thank you


I think they want back translation to ensure quality standards are respected for their product (translation output), and whether the message has been put across 'fully' and ' in the way they want to be' (achieving the intended effect/purpose).

As per adaptation , it seems obvious that they want to check and monitor your output as a result of the 'freedom ' you enjoyed OR you were given to adapt the text. After all , you are not an-inhouse translator so as they trust your renderings.

FD


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Romeo Mlinar  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 03:45
Member (2009)
English to Serbian
+ ...
Just some examples Jan 6, 2011

Original: Good luck!

Adaptation 1: Buona fortuna!
Backtr 1: "Good luck!"
Rationale: Just a plain "good luck" in Italian.

Adaptation 2: In bocca a lupo!
Backtr 2: "In the mouth of a wolf!"
Rationale: More vivid, traditional, way of saying good luck in Italian (like "break a leg" in English). If used please note that Italians usually expect a traditional reply ("Crepi!").

--------
Notes (sometimes called rationale or similar) are usually required in jobs like these, so I included them.


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Natalia Mackevich  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:45
Member (2009)
English to Russian
+ ...
Always ask the client Jan 7, 2011

Actually, the best way to get a full understanding of what the clients want and expect is to ask them (them, not the forum/colleagues/teachers). In some cases they are able to provide detailed instructions, so ask if they have any before you commit to the project.

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