Translating QoWL Scales and Surveys

What languages have QoWL scales and surveys been translated into and how can we help you translate into a new language?

Because our scales have excellent psychometric properties yet are easy to use they are used worldwide both by academic researchers as well as by many public and private organisations.

In return for a good translation of our questionnaires we provide limited, free, support for researchers and other non-profit making organisations who wish to create a version of our survey scales in another language.

What languages are available?

The WRQoL scale is currently available in the following languages through our downloads page:

  • Chinese (Mainland)
  • Farsi
  • French
  • Greek
  • Hungarian
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Spanish
  • Thai
  • Turkish
  • UK English
  • Welsh

Translations in other languages are being developed by other researchers. As we want the best possible translations we are able to offer the existing translations to researchers so that they can help improve the translation and contribute to our benchmarking work. Please contact us if you would like to contribute.

How do I translate one of the scales?

Contact us for help, let us know what you are doing. It might be that we already have a version in your language that is undergoing testing.

If you are sure a good version in your language has not been produced before then you may wish to do one of the following:

  1. Contact a professional translation service to translate the questions [Expensive, but usually very accurate, usually very quick]. We do not currently recommend any particular translation service.
  2. Contact a University translation expert [May not be cheaper but usually very accurate and they may be interested in helping publish academic articles on your research].
  3. Do the translation as a research project yourself [Usually cheaper, takes more time, quality of translation can be variable unless you are experienced].
  4. Ask a friend who speaks english to do it for you [Can be free, but quality can be variable unless they are very experienced].

If you wish to translate yourself we recommend the back translation method. Usually you would first find a pair of people who are fluent in both languages but not familiar with the original scale. One of the pair translates the questions from the original English into the target language. The second of the pair then uses the new target language version to translate back to English (without seeing the original). If the back translated version is the same as the original English version then you are likely to have a very good quality translation. If there are any initial problems (and there probably will be!) then the two translators would then meet to agree a final translation.

Many pairs of translators can be used if you have the resources.

It is usually essential that a small pilot study be conducted on the translated questionnaire even after a successful back translation to ensure the scale as a whole still makes sense in the translated form.

What happens to the translated version?

We provide this help on the understanding that we are then able to offer your translation to others. We will not be able to pay for your translation but will acknowledge you as the translator on the copyright statement and require that people who use your translation acknowledge you.

I am not a research or from a non-profit company can you still help me?

If you are a for-profit company and would like to translate one of our scales, or for us to organise the translation of any of the scales for you then we would be very happy to do this. If you contact us we will be pleased to offer you a quote for the work. We can of course also organise the whole of the survey for you, from translation to distributing the survey to analysis to reporting to making recommendations to providing any advice and consultancy follow-up you may need.

Where can I find out more?

There are many articles on the Internet about survey translation (for example) and many companies who can translate for you, although we cannot recommend a particular one.