Round-trip translation

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Round-trip translation is the process of translating a word, phrase or text into another language, then translating the result at least once more without reference to the original text, until it ends up back in the language it started in. This often results in something substantially different from the original.

Round-trip translations can occur when the translator does not know that an original version in the target language exists, the original version is not available, or the foreign-language version has become so commonplace that the original meaning is not important. It is also deliberately performed with machine translation and computer-assisted translation software to test for the preservation of meaning and the software's accuracy.

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Further reading[edit]

  • Gaspari, F. (2006) "Look Who's Translating. Impersonations, Chinese Whispers and Fun with Machine Translation on the Internet" in Proceedings of the 11th Annual Conference of the European Association of Machine Translation