Advance translation in the 5th round of the European Social Survey (ESS)

Brita Dorer

Nº 2011-04



How to cite this article :

Dorer, B. (2011). Advance translation in the 5th round of the European Social Survey (ESS). FORS Working Paper Series, paper 2011-4. Lausanne: FORS.

Keywords :

Questionnaire translation, translatability, multilingual surveys, translation quality, cross-cultural equivalence

Abstract :

To reduce the risk of measurement errors from intercultural problems or poor translations, a so called “advance translation” was carried out in Switzerland (French) and Poland (Polish) for the first time in ESS round 5 during the drafting stage of the English source questionnaire. The two advance translation teams performed a problem-oriented translation with the purpose to get input from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds before finalising the source questionnaire for cross-cultural implementation. Comments on translation-related problems ranged from linguistic or grammatical issues to wording, meaning, or intercultural aspects. This working paper describes the advance translation procedure, gives some examples of the comments and changes made in the final source questionnaire, and provides ideas for further improvement and evaluation of the advance translation method.


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