Department of Language and Literacy education is hosting a bi-annual Grad.Student Conference

What’s next for research in language and literacy? We have some ideas, so why not join us at LLED GradStudent conference that is happening this weekend, May 16th?

We have 25 presenters, 4 panels and two amazing key note speakers.

My presentation is on Ethical Cross-Language Research: Translation, Transcription, Trustworthiness?

In this presentation I explore choices that I had to make while conducting interviews with my Russian peers and consequently translating them into English. Cross-language research usually refers to situation where there is a language barrier between interviewer and interviewees (Squires, 2008). In such cases, researchers often turn to interpreters to assist with interviews. It has been suggested that interpreters’ involvement affects the “trustworthiness” of data (Temple, 2002), which presents certain methodological challenges for the data analysis. In these cases, the ethical question that often comes up is: “Who does the translation?”

In my presentation, I extend the definition of cross-language research to include the process of data translation, where I act both as the interviewer and as the translator. I examine my involvement with participants’ data, data translation and transcription, drawing upon Bucholtz (2000) critique of data transcription as well as translation theories that challenge concepts of fidelity and equivalence (Ross, 2010). Thus, I ask a question: “Who decides if the translation is “good”?” To try and answer this question, I present five cases when I faced dilemmas in translating Russian interviews into English, and subsequent decisions that I had to make in their transcription. I contrast my experience against concerns that are addressed by other researchers working in multilingual setting, and suggest principles of ethical handling of this type of data.

See our updated program here

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s