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Conveying Translated Informed Consent Concepts: Effects of Language and Culture on Interpretation of Legally Required Messages

Yuling Pan and Ashley Landreth

KEY WORDS: informed consent messages, survey participation, translation, language and culture

ABSTRACT

This paper explores the unique and shared communicative difficulties of conveying translated survey informed consent messages observed across ten language groups. We examined results from two cognitive testing projects conducted by the U. S. Census Bureau in 2006 and 2008, with a total of 256 cognitive interviews in ten target languages. Findings suggest that comprehension and interpretation issues for particular informed consent messages were routinely identified. In this paper, we systematically analyzed the types of messages that worked well, that were conceptually difficult to translate effectively, or that failed to convey. We further explored linguistic and socio-cultural barriers for successful communication of these messages and offered strategies to overcome these challenges.

CITATION: Pan, Yuling and Ashley Landreth. (2009). Conveying Translated Informed Consent Concepts: Effects of Language and Culture on Interpretation of Legally Required Messages. Statistical Research Division Study Series (Survey Methodology #2009-16). U.S. Census Bureau. Available online at <http://www.census.gov/srd/papers/pdf/ssm2009-16.pdf>.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Research Division

Published online: October 15, 2009
Last revised: October 12, 2009


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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Statistical Research Division | (301) 763-3215 (or chad.eric.russell@census.gov) |   Last Revised: October 08, 2010