Practical issues in multi-lingual research.


Journal Article

With an increasing number of ethnic minority populations, the use of multiple languages in one research study has increased in recent years. The use of multiple languages helps increase comprehensiveness of educational materials and/or survey questionnaires, and promote ethnic minorities' participation in research. However, little has been clearly known about practical issues in using multiple languages in one research study.The purpose of this paper is to explore practical issues in using multiple languages in a study among diverse sub-ethnic groups of Asian American breast cancer survivors in order to propose future directions for the use of multiple languages in research projects.Throughout the research process, research team made written records of practical issues and possible reasons for the issues as they arose. Weekly group discussions among research team members were administered, and the written records of these discussions were reviewed and analyzed using the content analysis. The unit of analysis was individual words. The words in the data (memos and written records) were classified into idea categories that emerged from the coding process.The idea categories included issues in: (a) collaborators from various sub-ethnic groups; (b) IRB protocol submissions; (c) consistencies in translation process, (d) conceptual equivalence; (e) cultural differences; (f) existing translated versions; and (g) authorship issues. Based on the issues, we made the following suggestions for multi-lingual research: (a) networking and setting multiple communication channels with potential collaborators; (b) checking the institution's IRB policies related to the use of multiple languages; (c) setting the rules and procedures for translation process; (d) checking existing different language versions of instruments; and (e) setting the rules for authorship in advance.The suggestions made in this study would help the researchers be prepared in advance to deal with the challenges.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Im, E-O; Kim, S; Tsai, H-M; Nishigaki, M; Yeo, SA; Chee, W; Chee, E; Mao, JJ

Published Date

  • February 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 54 /

Start / End Page

  • 141 - 149

PubMed ID

  • 25739658

Pubmed Central ID

  • 25739658

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-491X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0020-7489

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2015.02.008


  • eng