Theoretical Framework for Back-Translation

Back-translation is a validation tool widely used in international research settings, including, but not limited to, cross-cultural psychology, international marketing, educational assessments, quality of life research, and international nursing research. As a rule, researchers use back-translation to validate the quality of translated research instruments, such as tests and questionnaires

The method consists in re-translating the translated text back into the source language. The back-translation and the original document are compared for inconsistencies, and if none are found, the translation is considered equivalent.

Thomas Hunter, translation specialist,

The method has many adherents and opponents; however, neither uses solid linguistic evidence in their arguments. This study is an attempt to suggest a theoretical linguistic framework for describing and evaluating the back-translation process, namely the cognitive linguistics approach, with the main focus on Langacker‟s Cognitive Grammar. The study is illustrated with examples from actual questionnaires translated from English into Ukrainian

Cross-cultural social research is understood here as a generic term that covers such diverse fields as anthropology, cross-cultural psychology, international marketing research, quality of life research, etc. All these areas use specific research instruments, usually in the form of questionnaires, that are used basically as measurement tools.

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