As Birkman continues expand globally, there is a greater demand for The Birkman Method (TBM) to be available in more languages, which calls for TBM to be translated. Translating TBM isn’t simply a matter of translating words from English to the chosen language. There tends to be loss of meaning in questionnaire items whenever literal translations are made. Therefore, there is a process which is followed in order to ensure that someone taking TBM in a language other than US English will receive the same meaning in questionnaire items and therefore receive just as reliable results.
Birkman researchers adhere to industry best practices when it comes to translating TBM. All translations of TBM undergo multiple steps before being used operationally on a large scale, adhering to the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (AERA, APA, NCME; 1999), and the Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education (JCTP, 2004).
The process is as follows:
- TBM is translated by translator A from US English to the language of interest.
- Translator B back-translates TBM into US English.
- Multiple content experts independently compare the initial and back-translated US English version of TBM.
- Discrepancies found between the two US English versions are discussed with translator B and resolved.
- The finalized translation is piloted with a sample size greater than 50. The data are analyzed at the item level and scale level using classical test theory analyses. Any discrepancies found are resolved.
- At this point, the new translation of TBM is made operational on a large scale. After being made operational, the following additional steps are taken for translation quality assurance:
- Once the sample size reaches 500, 1,000, and 3,000, classical test theory analyses are repeated.
- Once the sample size reaches 3,000, item response theory analyses and structural equation modeling are conducted as needed.
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American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, National Council on Measurement in Education (1999). Standards for educational and psychological testing. Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.
Joint Committee on Testing Practices (2004). Code of fair testing practices in education. National Council on Measurement in Education.