Source language (translation)

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In translation, the source language is the language being translated from; it is the antonym of the target language, which is the language being translated to.[1] Part of the difficulty in translation arises due to the lexical gap and syntactical differences between the source language and the target language, especially between two languages belonging to different language families.[2]

In most professional settings, the source language is also the translator's second language.[3]

Back-translation is the process whereby a text that has been translated from the source language to the target language and then a second translator translates the translation back into the source language. The two source language texts—the original and the back-translation—are then compared.[4]


  1. ^ Basil Hatim and Jeremy Munday, Translation: An Advanced Resource Book, Introduction, pg. xx. Milton Park: Routledge, 2004. ISBN 9780415283052
  2. ^ Bai Liping, "Similarity and difference in Translation." Taken from Similarity and Difference in Translation: Proceedings of the International Conference on Similarity and Translation, pg. 339. Eds. Stefano Arduini and Robert Hodgson. 2nd ed. Rome: Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 2007. ISBN 9788884983749
  3. ^ Carline FéRailleur-Dumoulin, A Career in Language Translation: Insightful Information to Guide You in Your Journey as a Professional Translator, pgs. 1-2. Bloomington: AuthorHouse, 2009. ISBN 9781467052047
  4. ^ Measurement in Nursing and Health Research, pg. 454. Eds. Carolyn Waltz, Ora Lea Strickland and Elizabeth Lenz. 4th ed. New York: Springer Publishing, 2010. ISBN 9780826105080