• Presentation

Issues Implementing Blaise Computerized Instruments in Non-English Languages


Quiroz, R. S., Wickelgren, V., & Rodriguez, G. (2005, May). Issues Implementing Blaise Computerized Instruments in Non-English Languages. Presented at International Field Directors and Technologies Conference, Miami Beach, FL.


Developing a multi-language questionnaire poses some interesting challenges related to written linguistic differences. Issues such as language expansion, sentence structure, punctuation marks, and the use of different character sets in some cases are just a few of the elements that require a thorough awareness of written linguistic differences when implementing computerized instruments in non-English languages. However, it only takes a basic understanding of these issues on the programmer's part in order to familiarize himself/herself with the various differences presented and make their task less burdensome. This presentation will provide a brief overview of general issues when developing a non-English language computerized instrument. We will touch on key linguistic differences such as gender, verb forms (formal vs. informal), numbers, and dates as well as programming issues such as logic, audio, screen size, and text and audio fills. This presentation will also go over the recommended translation guidelines to be followed before providing the finalized specifications to the programmer, as well as the importance of having the instrument tested by bilingual staff to ensure quality control. Programming instruments in non-English languages does certainly requirea team effort. By understanding the key aspects of the linguistic variances, the programming task can avoid time-consuming endeavor and misunderstandings in the process, thus accomplishing more accurate products on a timely basis.