Managing Assessment Translations

Posted By Doug Peterson

Joan Phaup recently published a blog article — “International Certifications: To Translate or Not to Translate?” – in which she interviewed Sue Orchard of Comms Multilingual about the need to translate assessments into different languages, and things to look out for when doing so. Even small organizations are realizing that they may need to translate their assessments into different languages because of the world-wide reach of the Internet or because the local community they serve is increasing in its ethnic diversity. The good news is that Questionmark’s Translation Management System can help you organize and maintain your translation work!

The Translation Management System is a licensable feature accessible through Enterprise Manager, on the Authoring tab. There are two main components to this system: projects and updates tracking. You can create a project around translating items, and the project will track into which languages the items have been translated. You can also specify various statuses for each item to help you track the items through a workflow involving translation, review and approval.

Once the items are translated, you can create an assessment project to translate an assessment made up of your translated items. Once the assessment is created in the base language, you don’t have to rebuild it for each new language – the Translation Management System will automatically build the translated version of the assessment for you using the appropriate language version of the constituent items. All you have to do is translate the text elements specific to the assessment itself (e.g., instructions, feedback, etc.) and Questionmark will take care of the rest.

This system also helps you track updates to your items. When you change the base-language version of an item or assessment, you will be able to see which translated versions need attention. This makes it easy to keep track of updates across multiple languages.

But what if you aren’t doing the translations yourself? For example, maybe you’ve hired an outside vendor to do your translation work for you. That’s no problem! You can export your translation project to an industry standard XLIFF file. (XLIFF stands for XML Localization Interchange File Format.) You can then send that file to your translator, let them do their work, and then import the updated file they send back right back into your project in Questionmark.

Once you have your translations in place, you have a couple of options when it comes to scheduling the assessment. You can specify the language in which the assessment should be delivered, or you can allow the participant to choose from the available translations.

I hope I’ve explained the basics of this feature, but here is a link to the Translation Management System page on our website, where you can read more on the subject and try it out for yourself.

If you’d like to see what it’s like to take a multilingual assessment, click here, choose from four different languages and take our Round the World quiz!

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