It is widely recognised that optimum translation quality is often difficult to achieve owing to problems in the source text. For large-scale cross-cultural surveys source questionnaires need to be translated into multiple target languages in order to produce comparable data across participating countries and cultures. ‘Advance translations’ have been applied in such surveys to improve the translatability of source questionnaires.
The author used a think-aloud study to test the usefulness of advance translation into French and German. The study involved experienced professional questionnaire translators and applied qualitative and quantitative analysis.
The study confirmed the usefulness of advance translation, at least for the languages and source texts used.