Interpreter-facilitated cross-language interviews: A research note

Deanna L. Williamson, Jaeyoung Choi, Margo Charchuk, Gwen R. Rempel, Nicole Pitre, Rhonda Breitkreuz, Kaysi Eastlick Kushner

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

    46 Citations (Scopus)


    This research note focuses on interpreter-facilitated cross-language qualitative interviews. Although researchers have written about strategies and procedures for working with interpreters, rarely have they offered adequate detail to determine the relative merits of various approaches, and little attention has been paid to the influence that interpreters have on the validity of qualitative data. We advance this body of literature by describing and critically examining the strategies and procedures we used to work with an interpreter to conduct qualitative interviews with Mandarin-speaking grandparents who participated in our study of intergenerational social support during the transition to parenthood. In addition, we examine the influence that our strategies and procedures had on the data generation process and on the validity of the data. Drawing on our experiences, we argue that with adequate preparation, validity checks, and the supplementary strategies that we describe in this article, an interpreter-facilitated interview approach to generating data in cross-language studies can be an effective alternative to more commonly used and more laborious and expensive translation practices.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)381-394
    Number of pages14
    JournalQualitative Research
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Aug. 2011


    • cross-language qualitative research
    • interpreter-facilitated interviews


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