Documenting the Survey Translation and Monitoring Process

This chapter will be concerned with input and output documentation. Input documentation encompasses everything that is fed into the process by developers or translation managers to support the process of translation.

Output documentation is everything that originates from translators, adjudicators, or other parties involved in the actual translation.

It describes that translation documentation serves two main purposes: to provide the basis for quality assurance and monitoring and to inform data users on the design and implementation of the survey.

Translation documentation has been integrated into best practice models of questionnaire translation for more than two decades. The translation, review, adjudication, pretesting, and documentation (TRAPD) model of the European Social Survey (ESS) is a prime example thereof. The chapter introduces key concepts and relates them to the field of questionnaire translation.

Looking at the European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks (ESENER‐2) documentation from an applied translation research perspective occurred after the translation but prior to fielding. The chapter describes documentation from the perspective of the translators, adjudicators, adaptors, and domain experts.

It presents different types of input and output documentation, taking into account the perspective of project management teams, translation teams, translation researchers, and end users, notably data analysts.

The usefulness of such surveys hinges on the comparability of the collected data across languages.

In turn, the usefulness of methodology depends on the extent to which it serves comparability. One methodological aspect that is integral to comparability is survey documentation. 

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