Back Translation and Its Uses within the Medical Sector

Back Translation and Its Uses within the Medical Sector

Quality assurance is extremely important for all types of translation, as mistakes can have far-reaching consequences. However, this is particularly true for medical and pharmaceutical translations since mistranslation may carry life-or-death implications. So, how can a client ensure accuracy when commissioning the translation of texts of a medical nature? One way of ensuring quality is to commission a back translation.

Quality assurance is extremely important for all types of translation, as mistakes can have far-reaching consequences. However, this is particularly true for medical and pharmaceutical translations since mistranslation may carry life-or-death implications. So, how can a client ensure accuracy when commissioning the translation of texts of a medical nature? One way of ensuring quality is to commission a back translation.

What is back translation?

Back translation is the process of translating the forward translation – the translation from the source language into the target language – back into the source language, so that the source text and back translation may be compared in order to assess the quality of the forward translation. However, it should be pointed out that whereas other forms of translation favour a free translation, which is target-language oriented, back translation requires literal translation, which is a word-for-word rendering. In doing so, any mistranslations which may have occurred in the forward translation can be quickly and easily identified and rectified. One particular advantage of this method is that it enables somebody who does not read the target language (for example, the client) to check the accuracy of the translation.

Back translation can be used for any type of document, but is most often used for patient information leaflets, medicine packaging and clinical trial documentation.

Wessex Translations offers skilled translators who are experienced in medical translation and well-acquainted with medical terminology. Not only this, but our team of translators have worked on numerous back-translation projects and can guarantee the quality of the forward and back translation, which means that you can feel doubly confident about the end result. To find out more about back translations and how we can assist with medical documents, contact us today.

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