• Journal Article

The Use of Vignettes in Evaluating Asian Language Questionnaire Items


Sha, M. (2016). The Use of Vignettes in Evaluating Asian Language Questionnaire Items. Survey Practice, 9(3), e1-e8.


Vignettes are hypothetical situations that can be used to review questionnaire items with research participants, whereas it would be cost prohibitive to recruit participants that can represent all the situations in the questionnaire. The vignette method has been shown effective in evaluating questionnaires in English and Spanish cognitive interviews, but little research is available on its application to additional languages. This paper attempts to fill in the knowledge gap by examining the use of vignettes to evaluate questionnaire translation in the three most commonly spoken Asian languages in the United States: Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. This study is based on a cognitive testing study undertaken by the U.S. Census Bureau to pretest the translation of a questionnaire form in multiple languages. We found that vignettes are effective in examining comprehension issues related to Asian language translation because it revealed translation and comprehension issues, as well as the sociocultural context that questionnaire designers need to understand in order to design culturally appropriate non-English language questionnaires. We also explore vignette design and future research directions.