There’s a wide range of survey platforms available to market research firms, each with their own way of handling translation. Most market research companies and language service providers prefer Confirmit for translating surveys. That’s because Confirmit survey translation is a common thing in the market research industry. But if you’re new to the platform or market research translation, you might not know that translating your survey couldn’t be easier, not to mention more cost and time effective. Below are three different approaches to Confirmit survey translation.

Copy and Paste: the Lesser of the Three Confirmit Translation Approaches

Let’s start with the least efficient option for preparing Confirmit files for translation: Export to MS Word. In this approach, you send the Word doc version of your survey to translation while it’s simultaneously being programmed. Afterward, some unlucky soul has to copy and paste the translation into Confirmit. While we’re not fans of this approach, it can get the job done. (This isn’t limited to Confirmit—you can pull it off with most platforms.) But there are other approaches that not only save time and money, but also aren’t as prone to error.

In-platform Module for Confirmit Translation

Confirmit developers created what we’ve seen referred to as the “Translator Module,” the “Translation Module Add-on,” and the “Confirmit Translator Add-on.” The main function of the add-on is to allow translators to log into Confirmit and directly translate your survey within the platform, after the survey has already been programmed. This gets rid of using multiple formats. You won’t have to send Word docs or exports, and you won’t have to copy and paste the translation yourself. If you have in-house translators specializing in the languages you need, this may be the perfect solution. But this is geared more toward working with individual translators, rather than working with translation vendors. When working with this format, translators can’t use Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools such as translation memory. Also, there may be code, such as HTML, embedded into the survey that isn’t locked down. There’s a potential for error if a translator accidentally edits this code. It’s also worth noting that in some developing markets, internet connectivity might be much more sporadic than we’re used to here in the US. If your translator is located in a country where internet is spotty, she or he may struggle using web-based translation tools.

XML export

At Language Intelligence, using XML exports is by far our preferred way to carry out Confirmit survey translation. In order to perform the XML export, you’ll need to use the Confirmit translation module. Unlike the original Word Doc survey, this export will reveal hidden text and survey text that need translating. When you export your survey for translation, you wind up with one XML file per language. Each file will be tagged with a “language code,” a unique numerical identifier that lets Confirmit know which language the survey corresponds to. Since XML survey translation happens outside of the Confirmit platform, your translation vendor will be able to use CAT tools such as translation memory, which can save you a lot of money, depending on the number of repetitions in your survey and on how much of the content has previously been translated for other studies. Once translation is complete, you will receive back one translated XML file per language. Since each file is uniquely identified by the appropriate language code, the Confirmit platform will know exactly how to handle them. All that you need to do is upload the translated files, and your survey is ready to go to field. As we’ve outlined, there are different approaches for Confirmit survey translation. Ultimately you have to decide which one works best for you. However, an XML export is going to decrease turnaround time and improve quality across multiple languages, which in turn improves completion rates. A win-win.

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