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Language translation challenges with Arabic speakers participating in qualitative research studies

Journal Article


Abstract


  • This paper discusses how a research team negotiated the challenges of language differences in a qualitative study that involved two languages. The lead researcher shared the participants' language and culture, and the interviews were conducted using the Arabic language as a source language, which was then translated and disseminated in the English language (target language). The challenges in relation to translation in crosscultural research were highlighted from a perspective of establishing meaning as a vital issue in qualitative research. The paper draws on insights gained from a study undertaken among Arabic-speaking participants involving the use of in-depth semi-structured interviews. The study was undertaken using a purposive sample of 15 participants with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and co-existing depression and explored their perception of self- care management behaviours. Data analysis was performed in two phases. The first phase entailed translation and transcription of the data, and the second phase entailed thematic analysis of the data to develop categories and themes. In this paper there is discussion on the translation process and its inherent challenges. As translation is an interpretive process and not merely a direct message transfer from a source language to a target language, translators need to systematically and accurately capture the full meaning of the spoken language. This discussion paper highlights difficulties in the translation process, specifically in managing data in relation to metaphors, medical terminology and connotation of the text, and importantly, preserving the meaning between the original and translated data. Recommendations for future qualitative studies involving interviews with non-English speaking participants are outlined, which may assist researchers maintain the integrity of the data throughout the translation process.

Publication Date


  • 2016

Citation


  • Al-Amer, R., Ramjan, L., Glew, P., Darwish, M., & Salamonson, Y. (2016). Language translation challenges with Arabic speakers participating in qualitative research studies. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 54, 150-157. doi:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2015.04.010

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84956897557

Start Page


  • 150

End Page


  • 157

Volume


  • 54

Issue


Place Of Publication


Abstract


  • This paper discusses how a research team negotiated the challenges of language differences in a qualitative study that involved two languages. The lead researcher shared the participants' language and culture, and the interviews were conducted using the Arabic language as a source language, which was then translated and disseminated in the English language (target language). The challenges in relation to translation in crosscultural research were highlighted from a perspective of establishing meaning as a vital issue in qualitative research. The paper draws on insights gained from a study undertaken among Arabic-speaking participants involving the use of in-depth semi-structured interviews. The study was undertaken using a purposive sample of 15 participants with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and co-existing depression and explored their perception of self- care management behaviours. Data analysis was performed in two phases. The first phase entailed translation and transcription of the data, and the second phase entailed thematic analysis of the data to develop categories and themes. In this paper there is discussion on the translation process and its inherent challenges. As translation is an interpretive process and not merely a direct message transfer from a source language to a target language, translators need to systematically and accurately capture the full meaning of the spoken language. This discussion paper highlights difficulties in the translation process, specifically in managing data in relation to metaphors, medical terminology and connotation of the text, and importantly, preserving the meaning between the original and translated data. Recommendations for future qualitative studies involving interviews with non-English speaking participants are outlined, which may assist researchers maintain the integrity of the data throughout the translation process.

Publication Date


  • 2016

Citation


  • Al-Amer, R., Ramjan, L., Glew, P., Darwish, M., & Salamonson, Y. (2016). Language translation challenges with Arabic speakers participating in qualitative research studies. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 54, 150-157. doi:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2015.04.010

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84956897557

Start Page


  • 150

End Page


  • 157

Volume


  • 54

Issue


Place Of Publication