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Back Translation of Medical and Clinical Documents

Back Translation Process for Medical Documents

Back Translation Definition

A “back-translation” is a translation of a translated text back into the language of the original text, made without reference to the original text. Comparison of a back-translation with the original text is sometimes used as a check on the accuracy of the original translation, much as the accuracy of a mathematical operation is sometimes checked by reversing the operation.

In a normal translation process, a translator translates a document, after which an editor then reviews the translation and makes corrections if needed. A more robust translation method includes back translation, whereby a second translator translates the translation back to the original language. An editor then compares the original document with the back translation and verifies that there are no discrepancies between the two documents. Once the back translation matches the original document, we can be sure that the translation is completely accurate.

Back Translation Used in Clinical Trial Documents

Translation of medical documents for clinical trials requires very high accuracy. Translation errors can change the meaning of important content in the clinical trial documents. Some IRBs and ethics committees require the sponsor to file foreign language documents together with a back translation.

Get a back translation price quote now

GTS has proven experience in delivering certified back translation of clinical protocols, informed consent forms and other medical documents. We have translated and back translated hundreds of medical document in over 20 languages to leading pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies and CROs.

Click here to get an online price quote for document back translation. Or send an email with your project requirement to sales@gts-translation.com.

Disadvantages of the Back Translation Process

While using a translation process with back translation ensures a very high degree of accuracy, there are some disadvantages in using a back translation method. The most obvious disadvantage is cost: implementing back translation in the process will increase the project cost by at least 100%, since the volume of translated text is doubled. Another potential problem in using back translation is the disparity between certain languages; for example: equivalent terms may not exist in both languages. Editors may be challenged in considering what constitutes a translation error and what is merely a different way of expressing things in a different language. We recommend that back translation only be used when required by the IRB/Ethics committee.

Using Free Machine Translation for Back Translation

You can use free machine translation tools such as the GTS free online translation tool or Google Translate as an effective way to validate a human translation. Just take the translation you received from a translator and use one of the automatic translation software programs to back translate it into the original language. The back translation may not always be high quality, but it will certainly allow you to test for missing words or mistranslations.

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What our customers are saying

Marisa Lombardo
Marisa Lombardo
15:07 16 Jan 18
GTS Translation has been nothing but accommodating to Chromalox's translation needs. They have done numerous projects for us, large and small. They deliver in a very quick and efficient manner. I would recommend using GTS Translation to anyone that has translation needs.
Ian Cohen
Ian Cohen
09:57 02 Jan 18
Excellent service....my document was translated and sent back to me in a matter of hours. Well done!!
Stefano Di Martino
Stefano Di Martino
14:05 19 Dec 17
Extremely fast and hassle-free translation service. I had a friend double-check the result and I got the confirmation that it was very well done.
Michelle Sperling
Michelle Sperling
19:24 06 Dec 17
Fast and reliable service. If I'm ever in a tight spot and need something translated quickly, they are always able to deliver on time.
??? Soobin Lee
??? Soobin Lee
15:23 06 Dec 17
Every time, they've done their jobs really fast with the high quality as well. And what is more, nice customer service :)
Sholom Moskowitz
Sholom Moskowitz
20:39 08 Nov 17
This company is awesome! I was looking for a translation of a three page complex business proposal and I uploaded to their website for a quote. Which I got on the spot. I was surprised at how reasonable it was and was a little nervous that the job wouldn't be perfect because the price seemed so good. However, I paid online (very easy process) and the next morning I had the translated proposal in my inbox! I can't personally tell you how good the translation was because I don't really speak the language :) but my business partner tells me it was amazing! And the investors I gave it to were very impressed as well :). I wholeheartedly recommend this company and their professional services.
Amalia McGibbon
Amalia McGibbon
14:08 20 Oct 17
Great service, lovely staff. They were willing to expedite the service for me at no extra charge, simply because they understood time was of the essence. Couldn't recommend more highly!
David Weissberger
David Weissberger
03:10 10 Sep 17
Fair pricing, quick turn-around, and excellent customer service. I had a problem viewing the first translation they sent and GTS responded promptly with a new file that solved the problem. Thanks GTS!
Shankar S
Shankar S
11:47 14 Jul 17
The complete experience with GTS translation was amazing. They provided a quote immediately which helped me to decide. The turn around time for translation was super fast and it was crucial for submission of an application. This will be my preferred option for Certified Translations going forward.
max hasson
max hasson
18:10 10 Dec 16
Rapid quote and quick turn around. Fully satisfied with the results.
Mark McKinnon
Mark McKinnon
18:44 07 Dec 16
Quick, efficient translation service who took my requirements and context into account. Would recommend.
John-Paul McMahon
John-Paul McMahon
15:01 17 Nov 16
A fantastic service and great staff. I am very pleased. They were the best translators that I have worked with.
Carlos Maza
Carlos Maza
11:35 23 Oct 16
Great customer service and fulfillment of agreed timelines. Very personal service. Would highly recommend them!
Gina Davis
Gina Davis
19:28 10 Aug 16
Loved the service and turnaround time with this company. They quickly got to know our needs (specifically for a back translation and validated translation for a research project with two languages), and though we inundated them with several additional requests through the project, all was handled professionally and with ease. Highly recommend.
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