Back Translation

adapt_it_icon.png BT: Back Translation in Adapt It


Introduction:This module gives you an introduction to using Adapt It for a back translation.

Where We Are:

A consultant has already installed Adapt It. A book, books, or chapter of your text is complete in Paratext and ready for back-translation. A consultant has created a new project for back translation from your language into your consultant's language, and set the recommended settings (See GS: Getting Started). Note that these languages do not need to be grammatically similar for this task.

Why This Skill is Important:

Back-Translations are a useful tool for consultants and translators, they can be used to identify problem verses or phrases.

Back Translation

Now we are ready to start the back translation. The ideal back-translator is someone familiar with both languages who was not involved in the first translation. This person will be able to give you a clear idea of what was translated and how it will be understood, rather than what the translators meant to say.

Free Translations

Adapt It has a Free Translation function that allows you to translate the text into a natural phrase in the consultant's language. To ensure a smooth translation, it is recommended that this be the first process of the back translation.

  • (Optional) Tick OFF the checkbox in the toolbar.
  • (Optional) On the View menu, click OFF Copy Source.
  • Go to the first phrase box of the adapted sentence.
  • Under the Advanced menu, Click ON Free Translation Mode. The Free Translation entry box is opened below the toolbar, and the section to be translated is highlighted in pink. This section typically finishes at the next punctuation or marker, but can be adjusted with the and buttons. Alternately, you can choose to define sections by verse.
  • Type your translation and press Enter or click Next to go to the next section.
  • Continue typing free translations until you have finished your section or chapter.
  • Under the Advanced menu, Click OFF Free Translation Mode.
  • (Optional) Tick ON the checkbox in the toolbar.

Word for Word Translation

After completing the Free translations of your chapter or section, you can now do a word for word back translation. This is completed in much the same manner as an adaptation (see “Adapt the Text” for more options). The focus should now be on translating each word rather than making correct sentences in the consultant's language. Adapt It will show the source text above your translation, but will hide the free translation you just created.

Literal Glossing

Adapt It allows you to add more information about each word, such as tense or gender as would be found in an interlinear. These are called Literal Glosses.

  • From the Advanced menu, choose See Glosses.
  • Tick the box beside on the toolbar. The Glossing row will appear between your source text and word for word back translation.
  • Enter each literal gloss, trying to capture the full meaning of each word.
  • Press Enter.
  • When you have finished, remove the tick in the Glossing checkbox.

Exporting the Back Translation (Interlinear format)

In addition to the normal exports, at times it is useful to export the text in an interlinear format. This is most useful when the user is making a back translation for a consultant. The export is in a RTF format in MS Word.

  • From the Export-Import menu, click Export Interlinear Text…. The Export RTF Interlinear Document dialogue is displayed:
  • Change any options if desired.

The default is to produce a document showing the navigation text, source text, target text, and perhaps also the glossing text, (or any combination of these four). The document will be in Portrait orientation.

  • Choose how much you want to export (e.g. All or a chapter/verse range).
  • Click OK. A file output dialog will come up;
  • Choose the filename you want and the destination folder.
  • Click OK to complete the export. You may need to wait a while for the operation to finish.

Note: If glossing mode is turned on, the glossing row will be above the adaptations row; otherwise the glossing row will occur at the bottom of the tables.


Contributors to this page: James Madaki and sewhite .
Page last modified on Monday March 11, 2019 12:11:06 GMT-0000 by James Madaki.


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