Building Successful Surveys: Tips & Tricks

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when developing your survey and engaging a language services partner.

Get It Right The First Time

Building a survey is a lot of work, especially at the beginning when you are developing the survey content. Questions need to be very clear—there is no room for ambiguity. Poorly written surveys lead to inaccurate responses, in your original language and with each target language, because any errors in the source survey trickle through to the target markets. ENLASO can help you early in your survey development so that you are ready for successful localization.

Setting the Tone

Your survey has to sound “true” in each target market. A literal translation that strictly mirrors the source English often sounds forced and artificial in the target market. Good translation goes farther, providing natural sounding language in each market without losing any of the accuracy of the original survey. ENLASO can help you build surveys that are “just right” for each market.

Know Your Markets

The process of making your survey have the natural language needed for each target market (known as Localization), requires finesse. In-country representatives or other local resources in a target market are great resources to review your localized survey however, you usually need more than that. Deploying across multiple markets at one time can be overwhelming without some help from a language service provider. ENLASO’s multilingual solutions help you seamlessly deploy your survey in multiple target markets.

Cost Efficiencies

In localization, everyone wants their project to have high quality, low costs, and quick turnaround. The farther ahead you plan, the more likely you can achieve these goals. Factors to consider include your timeline, language selection, target demographic, and survey platform. Careful project planning, so your project is not rushed, saves time and improves quality. Don’t start the translation process until you have finalized the survey. Having to stop the translation process to accommodate changes in the survey source content adds time and money to the project. The design of your questions also affects the cost of translation. For example, when you use open-ended questions instead of multiple-choice questions, each response is given in the respondent’s language. That means you need to back-translate the response into English so that you can use the response data. This adds significant maintenance costs to your survey. Working with ENLASO early in your survey design phase helps you to avoid these pitfalls.

Consider Building Master Surveys

You may find that a master survey, from which you can build customized surveys for similar products or services, saves you time and money. ENLASO helps you create a master glossary for your master survey and specific glossaries for each customized survey you build from the master. With your glossary and master survey questions, you can leverage the translations for each product and service using Translation Memories (TMs). The more leveraged content you have from your translation memories, the more money you save in the translation process.

Be Thorough

Survey localization requires that you localize all of the components found in the survey process: from the first survey invitation through to reminder emails, validation emails, thank you emails and all the rest. ENLASO helps you approach each component in a consistent voice.

Test Your Work

You should ensure that your survey works correctly in each target market. Survey Testing tests that the survey works in each target market. ENLASO’s rigorous testing services checks for word and sentence truncations, missing accents and other linguistic issues, and that the survey software performs correctly in the target market before you go “live” with the survey. Allowing our trained linguists to review your survey in context helps you to avoid errors and refine the survey’s language. Remember that goal is to deploy a survey that is intuitive and easy to understand for all of your target audiences.

Post Survey

By examining the survey localization process for your project, you can glean insights from the lessons learned. Ask yourself what improvements you would like to make to your survey development process. Think about the localization process and whether things could go more smoothly next time with some minor process changes. Would your staff benefit from training in project management, localization strategy, or desktop publishing? Do you need to get executive buy-in to help prioritize the localization process? ENLASO’s project post-mortems generate take-aways from the project so that the next project is even easier.

Next Steps

Let ENLASO help you develop your surveys, survey communications, and all the rest for your global markets. We work with many experts around the world to provide high-quality language services and consulting with competitive pricing to get you on your way.

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