Dialect-driven interviewer adaptation: experiences from Switzerland

Isabelle Renschler, Brian Kleiner, and Martina Bichsel

Nº 2010-03



How to cite this article :

Renschler, I., Kleiner, B., & Bichsel, M. (2010). Dialect-driven interviewer adaptation: Experiences from Switzerland. FORS Working Paper Series, paper 2010-3. Lausanne: FORS.

A different version of this paper has meanwhile been published as :

Renschler, I., & Kleiner, B. (2013). Considering Dialect in Survey Research. Bulletin of Sociological Methodology/Bulletin de Méthodologie Sociologique, 118(1), 51-59.

Keywords :

survey translation, measurement equivalence, interviewer adaptations, dialect.

Abstract :

There is now a small but growing body of methodological research addressing aspects of survey translation, with focus on best practices in procedures and quality control, as well as on various features of question and scale equivalence. However, beyond issues regarding scripted translations of surveys, there is little recognition in the literature that in certain linguistic contexts during orally administered surveys questions must undergo a sort of “sight translation”, where interviewers transform them ad hoc from written to spoken forms of particular dialects of languages. Our exploratory study examined the extent to which such dialect-driven interviewer adaptations may influence the ways that questions are asked, how the intended meaning of questions may be changed in the process, and how this may affect responding in the interview interaction.


© the authors 2018. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0) Creative Commons License