Developing a Certification Exam is a complex and lengthy process. From development to delivery and maintenance, each step requires detailed planning, experienced resources, and a budget to support it. When the need arises to translate your exam into other languages, the decision to move forward should be given thoughtful consideration. Here are a few important questions you should consider:
- Is there a real need to translate your exam into a new language?
Some companies translate exams purely for marketing purposes. They hope this will help them grow their programs in a new country or region. Unfortunately, the saying, “if you build them, they will come” doesn’t apply to this situation. You’ll need to ensure a solid Return on Investment. If the number of exams taken doesn’t produce enough revenue, it’ll be difficult to maintain that language for tasks such as continuous analysis and form refreshing.
- Can you secure a great team of bilingual Subject Matter Experts?
They will be essential to the success of your program in the target language. They understand the technical terminology of the certification program and they will work with translators to approve the final translation of the exam.
- Is the content test-takers need to prepare for the exam available in the target language?
If it isn’t, you will need to localize it before you translate the exam. Ensure that key terms are translated the same way in both the study materials and in the exams to avoid confusion for the test taker. This can be avoided by including those key terms in a glossary, having the Subject Matter Expert review and approve the translations, and using the glossary to translate both the study content and the exams.
- Can you ensure a fair adaptation process that avoids translation bias?
Proper test item localization requires very specific experience. Unfortunately, most localization vendors only know their field: translation. Targem Translations has years of experience in both the localization and the test development arenas, and our translators are trained in basic psychometric principles and the standards set by the International Test Commission. We aim to keep the psychometric properties of your test items intact throughout the translation process.
- Are you prepared to deal with possible test security issues?
Unfortunately, some values are not universal. Some countries have different attitudes about cheating. However, you shouldn’t let this deter you from culturally adapting your exams or advancing your program. There are measures you can take to mitigate this issue. Targem Translations can provide cultural training and advice to help you navigate this difficult situation in the best way possible.
Localizing your exams can be a complex process, but it doesn’t have to be confusing, and you don’t have to do it alone. If you’re ready to commit time and resources to this exciting task of exam localization, we’re here to help. Contact us at Targem Translations today to get started.
Silvia Carvalho, Head of Localization at Targem Translations