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 TIP #147   This tip was sent on the week: 10th - 16th Feb, 2008

True Retranslation

This Tip applies to the following products: Translator Professional 5.0, Translator Professional Plus 5.0

In our Help text, we address ‘True Retranslation’ versus ‘reverse translation’ by simple Copy-Paste.

What does True Retranslation mean?

The Copy-Paste reverse translation method is used instinctively by users in programs that do not have True Retranslation as their only resource, with the purpose of finding out if, by means of the reverse translation obtained after Copying the initial translation and Pasting it again into the translator's entry box, in reverse, the translation obtained is understandable.

This method is better than doing ‘nothing at all’, but lends itself to a lot of errors. The reverse translation obtained often comes off badly, in spite of the fact that the original translation is in order. This is because the translator was not able to translate in the opposite direction.

Moreover, the contrary is also possible. A bad translation can sometimes reverse translate well, giving the impression that everything is all right, because sometimes one error invalidates another.

Let's see an example of this last case:

Original: We lost our wooden case in the airport.

Translation: Perdimos nuestro caso de madera en el aeropuerto

Reverse translation obtained by copy-paste: We lost our wooden case in the airport.

That reverse translation is the one obtained using the free online translation programs in the Internet. As you can see, the reverse translation obtained by the copy-paste method tells us that the translation rendered was perfect.

But nothing is farthest from the truth! The original sentence in English refers to a crate. The Spanish translation renders "case", in other words, an ‘event’, which is obviously incorrect. The translated sentence is not even understandable.

The problem is that the false copy-paste reverse translation gives the user the idea that everything is fine because it retranslates to "case".

On the other hand, Word Magic's True Retranslation offers the following results:

Original: We lost our wooden case in the airport

Translation: Perdimos nuestro caso de madera en el aeropuerto

True Retranslation: We lost our own wooden event in the airport

The solution is to choose caja instead of caso as the translation of "case". The Interactive System of the Word Magic Translator Professional enables you to choose this other option with just one click, as we shall see in the upcoming Tip.

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