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Translating content back to its original language – Notes from the Editor

Notes from the Editor – January 2016

Could you be translating content back to its original language?

When you are translating into English for a multinational company, make sure to check if the content was originally created in English. Because, without knowing it, you may be translating content back to its original language. In a globalized world, this is the case more often than not.

The text you are translating into English could be about the products of the lighting company Osram, the services provided by the media and information company Thomson Reuters, or the corporate history of the insurance company Allianz. As these are all international companies, it’s highly likely that they have the very same content in English somewhere on their official website. And if you can find that original content, in part or in full, on their website, then you should use it instead of translating from scratch. After all, the text you are translating back into English was originally written in English and verified by the respective company. So, why would you reinvent the wheel?

Take, for example, a text in Turkish on Kobo e-readers, which is the second major global player in the e-reader market. Kobo e-readers are produced by Toronto-based Kobo Inc. and sold throughout the world. This means that the content you are translating from Turkish to English is likely translated from English to Turkish previously, either in part or in full.

The screenshot below shows the product description of Kobo Aura H2O e-reader in Turkish. Had the translator checked the official website of Kobo, he/she would see that the same content, with just a few minor differences, was already available on their website.

Please see the screenshots below: