Assessing quality in medical translation: a comparison between back translations and translation/checking methodologies

This study will help to critically examine a methodology of back-translation that has come to be widely used in scientific, particularly medical research. The investigators are involved in an NHMRC grant, led by the University of Melbourne and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, to look at improving communication and information flow for migrants who have cancer. That project uses a large amount of translated literature for patients, including several sensitive diagnostic and psychosocial questionnaires, which are being translated using a methodology of back-translation. The proposed project spins off from that, using material from the NHMRC project, but looking at the efficacy of back-translation methodology and comparing the texts that have been produced by a back-translation methodology with the same texts translated by a simpler methodology of translation plus checking by accredited translators. The relative advantages/disadvantages of either methodology will become apparent from our research and may guide future translation practice in this field.

Project team

Dr Uldis Ozolins
Operations Division
Mr Xiang Cheng
Arts,Design & Architecture

Key contact

Arts,Design & Architecture