WP3: Maximising equivalence through translation

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WP3: Maximising equivalence through translation 2017-03-22T14:08:36+00:00

Work package leader:

Brita Dorer


The production of high quality, comparable data in cross-national surveys depends to a large extent on the production of equivalent language versions in each country.

Despite significant advances and research into the efficiency of different approaches to translation assessment, such as committee review meetings and back translation, little attention has been paid to central aspects of survey translation such as how adaptation affects translation quality or how to best apply new technological advances in translation studies to improve quality and reduce costs. This work package looks into processes related to the production of questionnaire language versions applied by major cross-national and multi-lingual surveys, and works towards creating empirical evidence relating to their implementation and efficacy. The objectives are to:

  • Investigate the suitability and impact of varying degrees of translation adaptation
  • Study the feasibility of applying computational linguistic methods to survey translation
  • Empirically assess the quality of thesaurus keywords for questionnaire items

WP3 tasks

The WP is divided into four tasks:

Comparative testing of different questionnaire translation approaches

This task will provide empirical evidence on best practices for country-specific adaptations in survey translation. It investigates the advantages and disadvantages of two translation strategies that vary with respect to the degree of adaptation that is allowed.

Feasibility of applying computational linguistic methods to survey translation

This task aims to investigate the suitability of tools used in computational linguistics and linguistic corpora to detect deviations in content and measurement characteristics of survey questions.

Comparative empirical assessment of thesaurus keywords

This task evaluates the European Language Social Science Thesaurus (ELSST) and compares the translation quality of ELSST concepts with that used in questions in surveys conducted by ESS or SHARE.

Updating the Translation Management Tool

This task will maintain, modularise and adapt the Translation Management Tool developed under the FP7-funded DASISH project to accommodate new operation systems as well as additional languages in ESS, SHARE and GGP.