Back-Translation and Reconciliation for High-Value Content

Back Translation and Reconciliation for High-Value Content

If you have particularly sensitive or high-value content to be translated or localised with the greatest possible accuracy, our back-translation and reconciliation service is the answer. But what are ‘back-translation’ and ‘reconciliation’, who uses them and how can they help your business?

What is back translation?

Back-translation is the process of double checking the accuracy of a document that has already been translated by giving it to an independent translator with no knowledge of the original text. They then translate the document back into the original language. This allows you to compare the translation that has been produced with the source text for quality, accuracy and any confusions or ambiguities that may exist.

Such is the nature of language that the back translation will never be completely identical to the original document, but it will give an accurate depiction of the precise meaning of the translation in the target language.

Back translations are often performed as literally as possible to identify any errors in the nuances of the language. This means back translations do not always read naturally. If there are any major semantic differences between the back translation and the original translation, it can be difficult to know where the fault lies. This is where reconciliation can help.

What is reconciliation?

Once the back translation has been performed, a ‘reconciliation report’ is produced that outlines all the potential issues that exist between the source text and the back translation. This includes any potential discrepancies or confusion in meaning. During the reconciliation, these discrepancies are identified and traced back to the source text to find exactly why they have occurred. This can involve conversations with the original translator to find out why the errors have been made.

The next stage in the reconciliation process is for any amendments to be made until the source material and the back translation have exactly the same meaning. A final reconciliation report will then be submitted to the client with the completed translation and an explanation of any discrepancies that were found in the original document.

Why are back-translation and reconciliation services used?

Any high-risk, high-value translation where a single inaccuracy could have serious consequences should go through this process.

For organisations in certain industries, a back translation to verify the accuracy of content is a legal and regulatory requirement. For example, in pharmaceutical and medical device companies, back translations and certificates of accuracy must be submitted with all translated materials. Similarly, for clinical trials, ethics committees and Institutional Review Boards, this level of translation accuracy is often necessary.

However, even where back translation is not a legal or regulatory requirement, if you have sensitive or valuable information that must be accurate and/or the source text is technical or complex, you should always include back translation in the translation process. This will remove the risks associated with publishing content and other information that could include mistranslations or cultural and factual inaccuracies. This includes marketing materials, protocols, surveys, questionnaires, reports, assessments or anything that contains high-risk information.

A word of warning

The back translation and reconciliation of your documents is a faster and smoother process if you use the same translation team for the entire project. This is due to the fact that it can be difficult to reconcile translations if the original translator was not part of the same team. Another sticking point is the fact that many translation companies will not issue a certificate of accuracy for translations they have not performed.

How can we help?

At Linguistica International, our translation team can complete every stage of your translation, from the writing, proofing and editing of the original forward translation, to the back translation and reconciliation, wherever required. To discuss your project in more detail, please call 02392 987 765 or email

Why Multilingual Content Marketing is Key to Expanding Overseas

Why Multilingual Content Marketing is Key to Expanding Overseas

Communicating with your customers effectively is the basis of every successful marketing campaign. If you don’t reach your customers in the right way, or with a message they understand, your marketing budget will be wasted. If your business serves an international customer base then communicating with them in a language they understand becomes all the more important. That’s where multilingual content marketing can help.

What is multilingual content marketing?

Content marketing is the process of creating and sharing free information that is valuable to a prospect or customer. The aim of the content is to turn a prospect into a customer, or a one-time customer into a subscriber or repeat buyer. At each stage of the buying cycle, different types of content will help to achieve this goal. For example, a consumer at the research stage of buying a new car might search online for something like, ‘best used cars under £3,000’, whereas a consumer further along their buying journey might search, ‘used Renault Clio in London’.

Your aim as a content marketer is to answer the consumer’s questions as they progress along the buying journey with high quality, well researched and impartial information. Then, when it comes to making a purchase, who are they going to turn to? Hopefully, you.

Multilingual content marketing is all about doing exactly the same but in more than one language. This can be difficult because overseas consumers will ask questions in a different way and may not want the same type of answer. Although it might be challenging, creating multilingual content is well worth the effort, and here’s why…

English is no longer the lingua franca online

In the early days, the English language dominated online, but now all that has changed. Only about half of the most visited websites are English and the amount of content being produced in other languages is growing at a much faster rate.

Asia currently has more internet users than the US and Western Europe put together, while the country with the most social media users in 2016 was South Korea. If you want to tap into these markets, you have to adapt your content to meet the needs of the native consumer, because one thing’s for sure, if you don’t, someone else will.

90 percent of users prefer to read content in their own language
Of course they do. The only surprising thing about that figure is that it’s not higher. There’s a time and a place to improve your second language skills, but when you’re searching for information about how to unblock your sink or fix your carburettor, that’s probably not it.
53 percent of consumers said they would ‘accept’ visiting an English website if there was no other choice, but clearly, any site with native language content will be their preference. In fact, research by Common Sense Advisory found that 56.2 percent of the consumers they surveyed said local language content was even more important than price.

Multilingual content fuels multilingual SEO

Consumers in overseas markets will only be able to buy from your business if they can find you online, and that is down to your multilingual SEO.  SEO copywriting and the production of search engine optimised content now has a huge part to play in determining where the search engines will rank you for the key terms that are relevant to your business. In markets where competition is low, a decent quantity of high-quality, native language content could get you to the top of the rankings in a relatively short period of time.

A blog by Salesforce refers to a study of Fortune 500 companies, which found that business which had localised their content were twice as likely to increase their profit and 1.25 times more like to grow their earnings per share year-on-year.

Time to start creating..?

We’ve established that people prefer to read content and buy from websites written in their own language, and that native language content is a hugely important factor in your search engine rankings. Surely then, now is the time to kick-start your overseas expansion with a multilingual content marketing campaign.

For the help you need, contact Linguistica International today. Our multilingual copywriting and transcreation teams can create content that hits the right note in every language.