Linguistic Validation Services

Comms Multilingual offers a range of services tailored to fit with a classic linguistic validation process, to help ensure the validity of a translated assessment.
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Linguistic validation is a description of the end-to-end process that is used in high-stakes clinical or medical translations to improve and ensure the linguistic accuracy of a translation. The linguistic validation process will therefore be more involved than a simple translation and proofreading of a document. Keep reading for more details on some of the core aspects of a linguistic validation process.

Translatability Assessment / Pre-Translation Analysis

A translatability assessment gives additional information to translators about the underlying meaning, purpose or nuances within the original text. It also highlights areas that may cause difficulty or confusion to a translator, and show where further localisation or adaptation may be required to ensure comprehension by the end user. Since linguistic validation of translations revolves around ensuring validity of the translation

How does a translatability assessment improve translation quality?

The translatability assessment helps to ensure that translators have accurate and clear information about the meaning of words in order to enable them to interpret and translate the text correctly. This reduces the likelihood that there will be discrepancies in meaning across multiple languages.

If localisation or adaptation may be required across multiple languages (from imperial to metric, for example), this means they can be kept more closely related across the translations.

A translatability assessment highlights ahead of time any potential difficulties, and opens the floor for debate on suitable mitigation strategies or solutions at an earlier stage that might have otherwise been possible.

It also allows the producer of the assessment or COA to consider whether approximating any untranslatable concepts will affect the underlying measurement.

Linguistic Validation Translation Processes

With non-high-stakes translations, simply translating a text may well be enough. However, the majority of projects that we work on at Comms Multilingual involve some sort of specialist process flow to ensure accuracy and defensibility of the translation.

For clinical assessments and measures, we offer a range of translation services as standard.

Dual Forward Translation

In many cases, you may prefer to follow the dual translation route. Here, we complete two independent translations of an assessment or text.

Reconciliation / Harmonisation

Once dual forward translations have been produced, a third linguist can reconcile the two, combining them to form a final “best of both” translation.

Back Translation

We add an extra level of quality assurance to your linguistic validation translation processes by translating back into the original language, which can then be used to check the meaning is conveyed as closely as possible.

Quality Assurance

Once the initial test translation is complete, we use a combination of experienced human checkers and software tools to check accuracy, consistency and appropriateness of language.

Subject Matter Expert Reviews

Translators, while chosen for their bilingual experience and knowledge in a particular domain, are not necessarily practising clinicians or consultants.

We have a network of clinical and I/O psychologists and consultants in many countries. Our partners have been chosen for their expertise in the linguistic validation process for assessments. They are native speakers of the target language and fluent in English.

The purpose of a bilingual subject matter expert review is to add the perspective of a highly-skilled, in-the-field expert, to check that the terminology used is as appropriate as possible, and will be meaningful to the end user of the translation. Read more about our SME translation review services here.

Cognitive Debriefing

In addition to our standard expert translation review services, we also offer cognitive debriefing services across a range of languages.

What is Cognitive Debriefing?

Cognitive debriefing is part of the linguistic validation process whereby the language version of a psychometric test is tested on a small panel of the target population to highlight any possible difficulties with comprehension.

A psychologist or consultant in the target country is provided with the original English version, the translated version and concept definitions.

They then select a small sample of people from specified demographics and take each of them through the language version. A report is provided by Comms Multilingual on the findings with recommendations for changes as necessary. This can then be discussed with the producer of the assessment alongside the translation team to appropriate amendments.

Why is Cognitive Debriefing Important?

In short, cognitive debriefing is important as it allows a diverse sample of respondents to demonstrate their understanding of the translation, and to ensure that it is in line with how the original text is also understood.

While a clinical or medical translation would typically include three specialist linguists – two translators and a proofreader/reconciler, it is possible that there might be nuances in the phrasing of a medical translation that perhaps would only be considered by small proportion of the population, an

What is a Good Cognitive Debriefing Sample Size?

There are several factors that determine a good sample size for cognitive debriefing. To some extent, this depends on the complexity of the text or instrument – for a simple text, the sample size can be lower than for a highly-nuanced instrument.

Another factor in determining an adequate size for a cognitive debriefing step is likely to be the homogeneity of a population; the more diverse a target population, the greater the sample size required, to ensure better representation.

Finally, the prevalence of a given condition in a target country or region may be a factor that varies the sample size.

Typically a sample size above 30 would be sufficient.

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