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Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies

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The quality of translated medical research questionnaires

Jean Fourie, Ilse Feinauer

Abstract


Little data have been published on the subject of medical research and translation. This study endeavours to contribute to such literature by investigating the quality of original and retranslated medical questionnaires. The various steps researchers follow when translating their questionnaires or other texts are considered, while the different translation approaches and their impact on the quality of medical research are briefly discussed. These are the linguistic, textlinguistic and functionalist approaches. The design, translation approach and quality of the original translations are explained, along with the development of the retranslation questionnaires. Since the functionalist approach does not essentially follow equivalent word-for-word translations, back translation was omitted in the retranslation. One of the main functions of functionalism or Skopos (Greek for purpose, aim or intention) is to translate with the target audience in mind. By following this functionalist approach when translating medical questionnaires, the translator can ensure that the communication is successful. At the same time, the collection of valid data in medical research is ensured, improving the quality of these data. It is recommended that trained translators, who are familiar with the subject matter, do the translations.

Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 2005, 23(4): 349–367



http://dx.doi.org/10.2989/16073610509486395
AJOL African Journals Online