Measuring the Quality of Real-Time Telephone Survey Interpreters

Posted: 30 Sep 2009

See all articles by Michael Link

Michael Link

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Michael P. Battaglia

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Larry Osborn

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Martin Frankel

Baruch College, CUNY

Ali H. Mokdad

University of Washington

Date Written: Autumn 2009

Abstract

Real-time interpretation during a survey can expand the number of languages in which surveys are offered. There are questions, however, about the quality of the interpretation process given that the interview is typically not pretranslated. A detailed assessment of the quality of this approach is provided using behavior-coding of interviews conducted with respondents who otherwise would have been finalized as “language barrier nonrespondents.” Interviews were recorded and behavior-coded, quantifying for each question, (1) the accuracy of the interpretation of the question, (2) the accuracy of the interpreted response, (3) the degree of difficulty administering the question, (4) the number of times the question needed to be repeated, and (5) the number of times the interpreter and respondent engaged in dialogue that was not relayed to the interviewer. The approach produced favorable results, with less than a 4 percent error rate for interpretation of the questions and a 1.4 percent error rate in interpretation of survey responses.

Suggested Citation

Link, Michael and Battaglia, Michael P. and Osborn, Larry and Frankel, Martin and Mokdad, Ali H., Measuring the Quality of Real-Time Telephone Survey Interpreters (Autumn 2009). International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Vol. 21, Issue 3, pp. 271-292, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1478357 or http://dx.doi.org/edp027

Michael Link (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Michael P. Battaglia

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Larry Osborn

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Martin Frankel

Baruch College, CUNY ( email )

17 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10010
United States

Ali H. Mokdad

University of Washington ( email )

Seattle, WA 98195
United States

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