Translating and Adapting a Test, yet another Source of Variance, the Standard Error of Translation

Translating and Adapting a Test, yet another Source of Variance, the Standard Error of Translation

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Translating and Adapting a Test, yet another Source of Variance, the Standard Error of Translation

Test transadaptation (translation and adaptation) is the process whereby a test constructed in one language and culture is prepared for use in a second language and culture. Test transadaptation involves both the translation and adaptation of items written originally in the source language and the replacement of items unsuitable for translation/adaptation with items written in the target language. In the process, the transadaptation team effects a series of changes and modifications before the test attains its final transadapted form. One of the International Test Commission (ITC) Guidelines for Test Translation and Adaptation is (Guideline D1., ITC, 2001, Hambleton, 2005): ",Test developers/publishers should ensure that the adaptation process takes full account of linguistic and cultural differences in the intended populations.", The rationale provided for this guideline is that ",because a single translator cannot be expected to have all of the required qualities and brings a single perspective to the task of translation, in general, it seems clear that a team of specialists is needed to accomplish an accurate adaptation.", Two principal questions must be asked with regard to the product of test transadaptation produced by a team of experts: one is whether the transadapted product is of a high quality and the other is whether another team of experts would have done a better job. The first question can be answered by investigating the equivalence of the source and the transadapted test. One way to approach the second question is to examine the variance between transadaptations of the same test produced by independent teams. Such an investigation can provide us with an ",estimate", for a standard error of transadaptation. The smaller this error, the more confidence we have in the transadaptation process and the final product.3 The purpose of this study was to systematically investigate the variance between tests transadapted from the same source test by two independent teams.

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