The translation profession

Top of the day to you!  I’m Donna J. Jodhan, president of

Today, I’d like to spend some time chatting about the translation profession.

The translation profession


There is a very real problem when it comes to maintaining quality control over translated documents.  If you do not speak the language that the language is either being translated from or translated to, then how can you really tell if the document has been properly translated?


So many companies make the colossal error of judging the finished product on back translation.  That is, for example, a translation from Chinese to English is judged on its similarity to the original English.  Back translation is really not a good way to judge the quality of a translation.  Instead, companies should really be taking the time to hire skilled and professional translators to perform their work.  In addition, they should deploy a team that consists of something like this:

1 translator to translate, a second to proofread.  Something like a tag team.


In addition, they should use their translators to translate from a second language to their mother or native tongue.  Never a good idea to do it the other way.  So, Use Spanish-speaking translators to translate from English to Spanish provided that the translator’s Spanish is the first language and English is the second language.  In like manner, use English -speaking translators to translate from Spanish to English provided that the translator’s first language is English and their second language is Spanish.


Tag teams as I refer to them is a really good way to ensure quality control over translations.  Forget about using back translation to do this.

I will close by giving you a reference to review.

        Translation Profession

        How can companies know whether a translation done by an outside service is accurate when the document is in accurate when the document is in a language they don’t understand? … The company then judges the quality of the Chinese to English or “back translation,” by its similarity to the original English. While this desire for quality control is understandable, back translations are not in companies’ best interests, says Siri Karm Singh Khalsa, …

        financeloansmarket’s Blog on – 



I’m Donna J Jodhan wishing you a terrific day.

Donna J Jodhan is the president of Sterling Creations

Now you can view blogs and editorials written by Donna at: (Donna Jodhan!  advocating accessibility for all) (access and accessibility) (accessibility issues in Canada) (accessibility and disability issues on the international scene) (under the café talk link) (important answers to consumers concerns) (monthly editorial) (blogs for language professionals and special needs business consultants)


About Donna Jodhan

Donna Jodhan is an award winning blind author, advocate, sight loss coach, blogger, podcast commentator, and accessibility specialist.
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