The TRAPD method for survey translation

The translation of the questionnaire is a delicate phase for the European Values Study. Translations must ensure the comparability between countries, but also between waves of the EVS and of the World Values Survey (WVS). The EVS 2017 questionnaire was translated using the current best practice in survey translation, the team approach – or TRAPD method. This approach consists of five phases:

T – Translation: two or more independent draft translations are produced;

R – Review: the translators and a reviewer compare the draft translations and decide the final translation;

A – Adjudication: an adjudicator (often, the reviewer) compares the reviewed translation with the Master Questionnaire and approves the translation for the pretest or for the fieldwork;

P – Pretest: in many countries, the adjudicated questionnaire is tested in a small-scale study. The translation is corrected by the feedback from the pretest;

D – Documentation: the whole process (draft translations, exchange of comments between the translators, the reviewer, and the adjudicator, feedback from the pretest, final translation) is documented.

Since most of the questions in the EVS 2017 questionnaire are identical as in the previous EVS or WVS waves, the translation process for these only includes review, adjudication, pretest, and documentation. Only the new questions need to be translated from scratch.

The process was managed, implemented, and documented on a web-based platform: the Translation Management Tool (TMT)


The TRAPD method for survey translation