Skip to main content

Using an interpreter in qualitative interviews: does it threaten validity?

Buy Article:

$43.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

KAPBORG I and BERTERÖ C. Nursing Inquiry 2002; 9: 52–56 Using an interpreter in qualitative interviews: does it threaten validity?

There is an extensive literature on the problem of translating scales for use across cultures, but very little is published on the problems of conducting qualitative interviews in another language with assistance of an interpreter. The aim of this paper is to describe and discuss threats to validity that arise when conducting qualitative interviews using an interpreter. Ten female student nurses in two cities in Lithuania were interviewed about how they perceived their educational program. All interviews were conducted in English with an interpreter. When using an interpreter to conduct interviews, potential threats to validity arise at various points in the interview process. A threat arises when the researcher, whose first language is Swedish, addresses a question in English to the interpreter, another during the translation by the interpreter from English to Lithuanian, and again when the interpreter translates the interviewee’s Lithuanian responses to English. In the last situation, the researcher may not know whether the interpreter has summarized and/or modified the responses. To mitigate these problems, the interpreter should not only have the required linguistic abilities, but also be trained in the research field. The researcher has to be aware of these threats to validity and make efforts to meet and limit their effects.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: interpreter; qualitative interviews; threats to validity; validity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Nursing Science, University College of Health Sciences, Jönköping and

Publication date: 01 March 2002

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more