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Market research translation: tips for success

By Tarli Cameron | October 12, 2021 | Translation Tips

market research translation

The insights you provide have a profound effect on your clients’ strategies, helping them to drive growth and success in every market. The accuracy you strive for in your research is just as essential when it comes to market research translation.

In this blog, we offer some advice for successfully navigating this niche translation service to reach international audiences and harness their insights.


Choose your language carefully

It seems obvious to say that you need to choose the right language for your audience, but sometimes it’s a question that’s overlooked. Even in countries with several official languages, you may need to refine your choice based on your target demographic. Equally, a language that is spoken in multiple countries may still need to be adapted to suit the local audience.

French, for example, is spoken in various countries including France and Canada but the terminology can vary from topic to topic. Depending on your target market, you may therefore need to have several versions to ensure you are “speaking their language.” A responsible translation provider will advise when you need multiple versions or if a single translation is enough.


Sliding scales

Rating responses on a sliding scale (e.g. choose 5 for strongly agree and 0 for strongly disagree) can be a minefield if they get switched around.

In German surveys, for example, the more positive response is often linked to the lowest number, whereas in English the reverse is generally true. For guaranteed accuracy, a good translation provider will double-check all scales and numbering to make sure they’ve not been reversed.



Being well versed in the terminology of the subject of your survey, such as mobile phones or airlines, is important, but you also need your translators to be up to speed with market research phraseology. To elicit the right responses, your translator needs to know not only the right word for the latest piece of technology but also the right way of phrasing the question, and vice versa.

To get the best results, make sure you are working with someone experienced in your client’s industry and terminology as well as your company’s voice.


Response options

When providing a document for a specific country or culture, the answer options need to be tailored to that audience. By providing options that are relevant, you’ll get the most from your respondents and your research. Localisation of your survey will ensure answer options are appropriate for the target audience.


We can help

The Language Factory has been providing translations for market research for almost three decades. To discuss your next project and how we can help with the issues identified in this article, contact us today.