In What Field
Social and Attitudinal Surveys
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
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.
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.
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.