Why high-quality language services for qualitative market research are critical for valid results

November 1, 2022

Qualitative market research digs deeper into the why and how behind consumers’ responses. By collecting and analysing open-ended responses and conversations, researchers can understand respondents’ motivations and feelings on their product, service or strategy, which helps to draw conclusions and inform business strategies. But what is the role of language services for qualitative market research?


When seeking to gain this information from global target markets, high-quality language services are needed to support qualitative market research methods. Below, we explore why the quality of language services is vital for delivering valid results from your qualitative market research studies.


How do language services support qualitative market research?


Qualitative market research uses methods such as questionnaires, in-depth interviews, focus group sessions, content analysis and case study research to obtain data for its studies.


When researching global markets, the tools that accompany these approaches require translation. These could be the open-ended questions in the questionnaires, screeners or discussion guides. Translation service providers can also help with overlays and link checks to ensure these tools provide an optimal user experience.


However, the role of a translation partner does not end there. Once the qualitative market research has been carried out, a translation partner can help gain an understanding of the data obtained. This requirement may involve transcription or translation of the responses.


Experienced, native linguists will ensure subtle nuances that occur in a language and are present in the responses are conveyed. For example, the strength of feeling behind ‘quite liking’ something in America will be quite different to a respondent in England using this phrase in response to a question. Going much further than simply a literal translation, the translators will help the client understand the sentiment behind the responses and gain comprehensive, valid insights from the study.


A translation provider specialising in market research can also help with the content analysis to extract the relevant information from the responses, and the moderation of the focus group sessions, which may require writing reports and summaries.


Providing simultaneous translation services or SimTrans is another area where translation providers support qualitative market research studies. Delivering real-time interpretation of the conversations that occur, this service enables the end client or brand to listen in to interviews or focus group sessions that are carried out in a different language and gain a first-hand understanding of the participants’ responses.


What measures support the quality of market research translation services?


To achieve the best-quality translation for qualitative market research projects, translators must be native to the target language. They should be working in-country, so they have an in-depth, up-to-date knowledge of local customs, expectations and preferences. Translators must also be fully qualified and experienced in translation work and have gained specialist knowledge of the field in which they translate.


Most translators will also use translation memory software to deliver a consistently high-quality output more efficiently. A translator can work faster using translation memory software, as it identifies ‘matches’ between current and previous work and provides suggested translations.


With their expertise and use of translation technology, translators can produce high-quality translations that are appropriately localised to the market, where any technical or brand-specific terminology is translated accurately and consistently.


One further way in which language services providers manage the quality control of market research translations is by engaging equally qualified editors and proofreaders. These specialists review the translated work for its accuracy, style and adherence to the brief.

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How does the quality of language services impact the results of qualitative market research studies?


High-quality language services, such as translation, are imperative for ensuring qualitative market research studies obtain accurate and valid results.


Effective market research relies on asking the right questions in the right way and wholly understanding what the responses mean. The questions used for qualitative market research must be unbiased and not leading in any way. This same neutral approach must be reflected in the translation of the questionnaires and supporting files.


For example, if a question that asks ‘Do you like anything about this product?’ is translated to ‘What do you like about this product?’ it invites a positive response. If the participant actually doesn’t like anything, they may try to come up with an answer anyway to satisfy the question.


Translated questions that are inaccurate or biased will result in skewed data that impacts brand decisions and creates potentially costly repercussions.


With a high-quality translation of market research questionnaires, the original intent will be accurately reflected, and all the subtleties will be recreated as closely as possible in the translated version.


This same attention to subtleties must be given when translating the responses too. Participants may not always be direct in voicing their opinions, so when transcribing and translating their responses, linguists need to ensure all data is meticulously captured so valid conclusions can be drawn.

Our market research-specialist translation services


As a specialist in providing translation services for qualitative market research studies, Mission Translate fully understands what’s required to obtain accurate results. We also appreciate the impact our translation services can have on the outcomes of your studies and your relationships with your end clients.


We, therefore, only work with high-quality native linguists and employ proven quality control measures to ensure you receive a first-rate delivery.


Please contact our team to learn more about our services.


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