To promote more open discussion on translating data, this paper aims to provide a critical and reflexive evaluation of the problems and issues that the author experienced with regard to qualitative data translation.
Drawing on personal experiences of translating Chinese women's narratives into English, the author demonstrates that qualitative data translation may have linguistic, cultural and methodological problems.
Researchers and translators should recognize the linguistic and cultural differences that data translation must negotiate. It is argued here that researchers and translators should preserve and highlight cultural differences rather than resembling the dominant values of the target culture by translation. A translator is an integral part of the knowledge producing system. The roles of the translator as both an inter‐cultural communicator and a data interpreter must be acknowledged in the research process.
This paper challenges common assumptions that data translation is merely a technical problem, and that a translator could “objectively and faithfully” transfer meanings of research data from source language to target language.
Xian, H. (2008), "Lost in translation? Language, culture and the roles of translator in cross‐cultural management research", Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 231-245. https://doi.org/10.1108/17465640810920304Download as .RIS
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