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Re: Translating a survey questionnaire

Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
1 of 8

I design and execute survey research. I am bidding on a project (to be fielded Feb/March 2019) that may require translation of a survey questionnaire into Spanish and Kreyol (Haitian Creole), along with translation of responses to one or two open-text questions back into English. This particular survey is "internal", i.e. surveying members of an institutional community about professional development issues. The vocabulary and phrasing used in the questions will be carefully considered and precise. Therefore, will need a level of nuance and precision in the translation that I would not necessarily require for a marketing-related survey.

 

This would be my first time hiring translation services. I wouldn't imagine that translating surveys is an everyday skill set (but maybe I'm wrong). What other/additional kinds of experience or specialization would indicate a good fit?

 

Also, would basing the fee on a per-word rate be most appropriate?

 

Thanks!

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
2 of 8

@Phyllis G wrote:

I design and execute survey research. I am bidding on a project (to be fielded Feb/March 2019) that may require translation of a survey questionnaire into Spanish and Kreyol (Haitian Creole), along with translation of responses to one or two open-text questions back into English. This particular survey is "internal", i.e. surveying members of an institutional community about professional development issues. The vocabulary and phrasing used in the questions will be carefully considered and precise. Therefore, will need a level of nuance and precision in the translation that I would not necessarily require for a marketing-related survey.

 

This would be my first time hiring translation services. I wouldn't imagine that translating surveys is an everyday skill set (but maybe I'm wrong). What other/additional kinds of experience or specialization would indicate a good fit?

 

Also, would basing the fee on a per-word rate be most appropriate?

 

Thanks!


 _____________________________________________

 

Although your survey would be specific, your translator would not necessarily have to have special knowledge of surveys (although this would help), but go for high-end translators and be prepared to pay at least $0.09 per word - or for this type of work a translator might prefer to work on an hourly basis or give a fixed-rate quote based on an hourly rate. I sometimes do the latter, depending on the complexity of the translation. 

 

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
3 of 8

@Nichola L wrote:

@Phyllis G wrote:

I design and execute survey research. I am bidding on a project (to be fielded Feb/March 2019) that may require translation of a survey questionnaire into Spanish and Kreyol (Haitian Creole), along with translation of responses to one or two open-text questions back into English. This particular survey is "internal", i.e. surveying members of an institutional community about professional development issues. The vocabulary and phrasing used in the questions will be carefully considered and precise. Therefore, will need a level of nuance and precision in the translation that I would not necessarily require for a marketing-related survey.

 

This would be my first time hiring translation services. I wouldn't imagine that translating surveys is an everyday skill set (but maybe I'm wrong). What other/additional kinds of experience or specialization would indicate a good fit?

 

Also, would basing the fee on a per-word rate be most appropriate?

 

Thanks!


 _____________________________________________

 

Although your survey would be specific, your translator would not necessarily have to have special knowledge of surveys (although this would help), but go for high-end translators and be prepared to pay at least $0.09 per word - or for this type of work a translator might prefer to work on an hourly basis or give a fixed-rate quote based on an hourly rate. I sometimes do the latter, depending on the complexity of the translation. 

 


 What Nichola said. Plus - you need to budget for a proofreader on top of the translator...

Unless you speak the language you ABSOLUTELY need someone to tell you whether you are paying for a translation or word-salad.

 

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
4 of 8

@Petra R wrote:

@Nichola L wrote:

@Phyllis G wrote:

I design and execute survey research. I am bidding on a project (to be fielded Feb/March 2019) that may require translation of a survey questionnaire into Spanish and Kreyol (Haitian Creole), along with translation of responses to one or two open-text questions back into English. This particular survey is "internal", i.e. surveying members of an institutional community about professional development issues. The vocabulary and phrasing used in the questions will be carefully considered and precise. Therefore, will need a level of nuance and precision in the translation that I would not necessarily require for a marketing-related survey.

 

This would be my first time hiring translation services. I wouldn't imagine that translating surveys is an everyday skill set (but maybe I'm wrong). What other/additional kinds of experience or specialization would indicate a good fit?

 

Also, would basing the fee on a per-word rate be most appropriate?

 

Thanks!


 _____________________________________________

 

Although your survey would be specific, your translator would not necessarily have to have special knowledge of surveys (although this would help), but go for high-end translators and be prepared to pay at least $0.09 per word - or for this type of work a translator might prefer to work on an hourly basis or give a fixed-rate quote based on an hourly rate. I sometimes do the latter, depending on the complexity of the translation. 

 


 What Nichola said. Plus - you need to budget for a proofreader on top of the translator...

Unless you speak the language you ABSOLUTELY need someone to tell you whether you are paying for a translation or word-salad.

 


 __________________________

Perhaps, but that presupposes a good proofreader. I would rather trust a translator with an excellent record, than add to my budget by hiring a proofreader who might be more enthusiastic than good and who could well undermine a perfectly good translation. 

Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
5 of 8

@Nichola L wrote:

@Petra R wrote:

@Nichola L wrote:

@Phyllis G wrote:

I design and execute survey research. I am bidding on a project (to be fielded Feb/March 2019) that may require translation of a survey questionnaire into Spanish and Kreyol (Haitian Creole), along with translation of responses to one or two open-text questions back into English. This particular survey is "internal", i.e. surveying members of an institutional community about professional development issues. The vocabulary and phrasing used in the questions will be carefully considered and precise. Therefore, will need a level of nuance and precision in the translation that I would not necessarily require for a marketing-related survey.

 

This would be my first time hiring translation services. I wouldn't imagine that translating surveys is an everyday skill set (but maybe I'm wrong). What other/additional kinds of experience or specialization would indicate a good fit?

 

Also, would basing the fee on a per-word rate be most appropriate?

 

Thanks!


 _____________________________________________

 

Although your survey would be specific, your translator would not necessarily have to have special knowledge of surveys (although this would help), but go for high-end translators and be prepared to pay at least $0.09 per word - or for this type of work a translator might prefer to work on an hourly basis or give a fixed-rate quote based on an hourly rate. I sometimes do the latter, depending on the complexity of the translation. 

 


 What Nichola said. Plus - you need to budget for a proofreader on top of the translator...

Unless you speak the language you ABSOLUTELY need someone to tell you whether you are paying for a translation or word-salad.

 


 __________________________

Perhaps, but that presupposes a good proofreader. I would rather trust a translator with an excellent record, than add to my budget by hiring a proofreader who might be more enthusiastic than good and who could well undermine a perfectly good translation. 


 I have seen both lately. A top rate translator that in reality deliveres useless translations and a proofreader that felt like correcting every sentence and added wrong terms. 

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
6 of 8

@Jennifer R wrote:
[...]


 What Nichola said. Plus - you need to budget for a proofreader on top of the translator...

Unless you speak the language you ABSOLUTELY need someone to tell you whether you are paying for a translation or word-salad.

 


 __________________________

Perhaps, but that presupposes a good proofreader. I would rather trust a translator with an excellent record, than add to my budget by hiring a proofreader who might be more enthusiastic than good and who could well undermine a perfectly good translation. 


 I have seen both lately. A top rate translator that in reality deliveres useless translations and a proofreader that felt like correcting every sentence and added wrong terms. 


 _________________________

 

That happens too!!

Highlighted
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
7 of 8

Good grief. There's a reason I've shied away from multi-national survey work! Too complicated for a monoglot like me!

 

Would a proofreader who can check the translation be, in effect, a second translator? Or would they be checking for basic sense only, and not the quality of the translation to be sure the nuance, vocabulary level, etc. was consistent with the original?

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
8 of 8

@Phyllis G wrote:

Good grief. There's a reason I've shied away from multi-national survey work! Too complicated for a monoglot like me!

 

Would a proofreader who can check the translation be, in effect, a second translator? Or would they be checking for basic sense only, and not the quality of the translation to be sure the nuance, vocabulary level, etc. was consistent with the original?


 ________________________________________

There are times when a proofreader is essential for translators particularly for longer work. I have had my work proofread. But it is essential to have a proofreader who knows the difference between editing and proofreading. 

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