Translating an English survey to French, Mandarin, Spanish and other widely-used languages is a tough task, but it has to be done in most studies today. Globalization, the Internet, the extremely increasing popularity of traveling and migration, and other such occurrences make translation not just an option, but a necessity.
Translation of a survey from English to another language is a complicated job. Language involves not just words, but a whole set of factors including culture and Translate to English specific contexts, among others, and surveys need to draw clear answers from respondents with the least margin of error possible. These days you can opt to translate a survey through a certified translator or by using special software programs.
In manually translating surveys, the translator is oriented about the socio-demographic profile of the target population, the survey instrument and where the survey will be conducted. The translator is also given instructions about further language-related details regarding the study. For instance, you need to know the respondentsÂ level of understanding of the language you will be using. Being conversant in a certain language does not mean being skilled in reading or writing in the same language, so it is important to know the tone and style of speech to be used in translating the survey.
The translator should also check the survey material in the original language to determine any items or concepts that would present problems in translating. If any, items that are in danger of being lost in translation should be discussed with the users of the survey. Translation of the survey into French, Spanish, Mandarin and other target languages will then be done after everything is ironed out.
To check the accuracy of the translated material, back-translation to the original language is usually done by certified translators. Material is reviewed again to make sure all possibilities of questions being misunderstood are eliminated.
One other option for those who would like to conduct surveys in different languages is the multi-language questionnaire programs offered by survey solution companies. Many of these programs would provide you with survey designs where respondents would only need to click on a language selector and the survey would appear in the desired language.
Aside from being able to translate your survey into multiple languages, some programs enable you to apply multilingual capabilities in your invitation to respondents and even up to the post-survey reports.
The difficulty of translating an English survey into French, Mandarin, Spanish and other languages could not be denied. However, if your aim is to elicit the most accurate answers from a certain population, one of the best ways to do this is to talk to them in their native tongue.
French survey and surveys in languages other than English can be done in one click when you use Web Survey Creator. It offers integration of the multilingual capabilities into all procedures essential to your survey, such as e-mail invitation to respondents and post-survey reports. Visit them online to sign up for free.