Social and Attitudinal Surveys

In What Field

Questionnaire Translation

What makes a survey reliable?

Pre-school children or ageing people, migrants, women as victims of violence, minorities, blue-collar workers, or worshippers of different religions: each target population calls for a specific register; questions need to ask the same thing in different regions, cultures and languages. This relies on a robust design for cross-cultural adaptation of questionnaires.

Our approach is to integrate translation and adaptation into questionnaire design. The Cross-Cultural Survey Guidelines are our lodestar for the translation and adaptation of instruments such as the ones below.

Our Work in Social and Attitudinal Surveys

Attitudinal Surveys

Surveys may measure trust in political institutions or attitudes to inclusiveness, the morale of science teachers or the importance of religion for a given target group. Our linguists address concerns that are specific to adaptation of psychological instruments in general and to these questionnaires in particular.

Social Science Surveys

The target population often includes respondents from all walks of life and different age cohorts. A sophisticated design is a must to minimize shifts in meaning and perception. Our documentation process keeps track of all preparation and review steps.

Company Surveys

Will terms such as ‘employee’, ‘blue-collar worker’, ‘middle management’, ‘social insurance’, ‘self-employed’ or ‘payroll’ be understood the same way by respondents in different countries? This requires upstream work on bilingual glossaries and validation by local experts to build consensus before the translation process begins.

Health Surveys

Whether patients or caretakers are surveyed, the topics are highly sensitive. Different symptoms may be perceived or reported in very different ways across cultures. Here, too, questionnaire translation needs to be embedded in the survey design.

Resources on Social and Attitudinal Survey Localization

multilingual survey

Multilingual Surveys: Five cost-effective steps to improve your questionnaire before translation begins

by Steve Dept, cApStAn CEO In multilingual surveys, there is a strong trend towards performing more “upstream” quality assurance work to reduce the need for “downstream” corrective action. The late [...]

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Back translation

Why back translation is inadequate to assess quality in translated surveys

by Steve Dept, cApStAn co-founder When translating a survey, a linguistically correct, fluent translation does not ensure that same constructs are measured, that the survey questions are understood the same [...]

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survey translation

The elusive encounter of a survey methodologist, a platform engineer and a translation technologist

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village For the past two decades the literature has hailed “team translation” as the gold standard in survey translation. Team translation [...]

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