Translatability in Questionmark Perception Version 5

john_smallPosted by John Kleeman

Making assessments and questions translatable was a key goal for Questionmark Perception version 5.

There always has been a need to translate assessments, particularly in countries like Switzerland and Canada, which have have different languages within their borders. But the Internet has made the world much more connected, and so many organizations have employees and stakeholders in different countries or speaking different languages. Some typical translation needs that fed into version 5 were:

  • A bank that operates in many parts of the world and wants to deliver course evaluation surveys (level 1s) to participants in training in many languages. It’s crucial for them that they can schedule the assessment and allow their participants to choose the language in which the assessment is taken
  • A telephone company that trains employees in Europe and wants to give similar questions to all employees. They want to author the questions once and then translate them for use by training teams in each country.
  • A university that creates and delivers questions in English but is expanding internationally, is in partnership with universities overseas and wants to translate some of its material into other languages
  • A software company that deliver certifications to consultants and partners worldwide in around 20 languages and needs assessments and questions translated so that the certifications can be given fairly to anyone who speaks the languages they support.
  • A manufacturing support company that authors questions in English and then translates them into 8 European and Asian languages for delivery to their partners and employees worldwide.

Some customers use external translators and want Questionmark to export XML that translators can use in specialist tools, whilst other customers have internal expertise and want to translate in house and need screens within Questionmark Perception to make the translations themselves. For all customers, it’s not just the initial translation that they need help with but the management of the process. When questions change, if you have them translated into a dozen language, it’s a nightmare to keep track manually of what needs updated, and Questionmark software needs to flag when a question has changed and remind you to update the translation.

The basic concept of Questionmark’s translation management system is that you create a question in a base language and then translate it into as many target languages as you want. And then you do the same with an assessment.

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Questions and assessments are linked so that you can report across language.

And to do the translation, you can translate in Perception by typing in the text in a simple user interface shown below.

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Translating within Questionmark Perception works well if you have an in-house translator, but if you are working with external translators, it’s usually best to export to XML and send them the text to translate – and they will return it to you to import into Perception. Text is exported in an industry standard XML called XLIFF that standard software packages used by translators can process.

Whether you translate interactively or by export to XML, Questionmark keeps track of when questions change in the base language and prompts you to update translations to keep translated questions up to date. So we help you not just manage the initial translation process, but also the ongoing process of translations as questions and assessments change and evolve.

We’re very excited about how easy it is to translate questions in Perception version 5, and we look forward to your feedback as you use it to create quizzes, tests, exams and surveys that can be used in many languages.

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