Working with translators and interpreters in research: lessons learned

Elaine G Jones, Joyceen S Boyle
Journal of Transcultural Nursing: Official Journal of the Transcultural Nursing Society 2011, 22 (2): 109-15
The purpose of this special section is to describe culturally competent approaches for working with translators or interpreters who participate in transcultural studies. This article provides background for three exemplars of lessons learned in working with translators in transcultural studies: (a) the resettlement transition experiences of women from the Dinka tribe of Southern Sudan (Baird), (b) Samoans' risk for heart disease (Siaki), and (c) culturally Deaf adults' perceptions about depression (Sheppard).Capitalizing the word "Deaf" has gained wide acceptance to indicate a linguistic minority of people who have a hearing loss and use American Sign Language, a hallmark of Deaf culture. In each case, the individual researcher made adaptations to the usual processes of translation/back-translation when appropriate to the cultural context and the specific situations of the translators. Although these lessons were learned during research-related activities, they may apply to other circumstances when nurses work with bilingual/bicultural translators (e.g., translating consent forms or communicating with persons who have limited literacy in their native language).

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