E-ATP 2019, Madrid, Room Comendador, Thursday 26 September, 15:15-16:15

Test Localization in Talent Management: How A Testing Organisation and a Linguistic Quality Assurance Specialist Joined Forces

Carefully crafted assessment tools often depend on subtle wording choices, which are expected to trigger certain reactions in respondents (or not). This is part of the psychometrician’s craft. The psychometrician can hardly be expected to consider possible repercussions of lexical choices in other languages. Usually, translators attempt to replicate or imitate the effect of wording, and one can hardly expect of translators that they identify the psychometric features they need to focus on. In this project, Hudson and cApStAn envisaged the translation of a Verbal Reasoning test as a joint effort, in which test authors and linguists interact before the translation process begins.

The shift from a consecutive client/vendor model to a collaborative approach is very promising.

  • After a translatability workshop, Hudson’s item developers had gained awareness of issues that need to be brought to the linguists’ attention. Item-by-item translation notes provide information about constructs and question intent as well as pointers on translation (and psychometric) traps, on matches and patterns, on acceptable paraphrasing.
  • After an initiation to Computer-assisted translation tools, or CAT tools, the testing organisation Hudson has acquired a better understanding of how translation vendors work, which helps them formulate more focused instructions.

At a joint breakout session at E-ATP 2019 in Madrid, Amelie Vrijdags, Lead Psychologist at Hudson R&D, Nikola Trbovic, R&D Director at Hudson, and linguist Steve Dept, CEO at cApStAn, will share how this approach includes capacity-building for all players involved: embedding translation in the item development process increases validity and comparability, simply because more language parameters are taken into account by psychometricians; and more psychometric characteristics are taken into account by linguists.