ERIC Number: ED358128
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
Translating Achievement Tests for Use in Cross-National Studies.
Hambleton, Ronald K.
Translating achievement tests and questionnaires prepared in one language and culture for use in other languages and cultures has been a long-standing practice. Unfortunately, there is considerable technical evidence that suggests that the quality of test translations varies considerably, and too often the translations are not very good, thus reducing the validity of any results produced with the translated tests and questionnaires. Four important problems that arise in translation that must be considered are: (1) the selection of translators; (2) identifying the appropriate language for the target version of the test; (3) identifying and minimizing cultural differences; and (4) finding equivalent words or phrases. Several methods for establishing the equivalence of translated tests are reviewed. Two judgmental methods are forward translation (pretest method) and back translation, in which the test is translated to the target language and back to the original by a second translator. Three data collection designs that have been used in establishing test score equivalence of source and target language versions of a test are reviewed. Fourteen guidelines are presented for translating tests and establishing score equivalence. A 40-item list of references is included, as well as French and English abstracts of the document. (SLD)
Descriptors: Achievement Tests, Cross Cultural Studies, Cultural Differences, Data Collection, Foreign Countries, Guidelines, International Studies, Interpreters, Language Skills, Quality Control, Research Design, Scores, Second Languages, Test Format, Test Use, Test Validity, Testing Problems, Translation
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, New York, NY.; National Center for Education Statistics (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A