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What is a back translation? (3.2a)

What is a back translation? What Makes a Good One?

A back translation is a way to check a translation. In Bible translation, the vernacular text is translated into a major language so that a translation consultant who is not fluent in the vernacular can examine the translation and help the team improve it. In Paratext, a back translation is done in a separate but linked project.

What are the qualities of a good back translation?

  • Done by someone not involved in drafting the vernacular translation.
  • Natural, and reflect how the back translator understands the sense of the vernacular text.
  • Without using any helps or other Bibles.
  • Reflect what the vernacular text says and not what it should say.