Editor’s note, September 2017: Everything DiSC Workplace is now available in Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish, and Swedish.
To find out more about the translation of Everything DiSC Workplace assessment and profile report, we spoke with two members of the product development team from the Workplace Learning Solutions group at Wiley: Susie Kukkonen, VP and director, and Laurie Diethelm, manager.
“We have a fairly significant Spanish market both in the U.S. and worldwide, so it’s one of the languages we focused on developing early on,” said Kukkonen.
The product development team has redesigned their translation processes to address the more dynamic Everything DiSC products, which take advantage of adaptive testing technology to create highly personalized reports.
“Our translation process starts with a glossary, which includes all the key terminology across the entire Everything DiSC product line,” explained Kukkonen. “This ensures we use consistent language across products, as well as providing an opportunity to get buy-in on terminology from our partners in the relevant language market.”
“Once we have settled on a glossary, we have the items translated,” continued Kukkonen. This includes extra items that are used to validate the assessment in each language. Once all the items are translated, they are back-translated into English by a different translator. Each item is checked to determine if any meaning was lost in translation. If so, the item is reworked until the meaning is clearly what was intended.
“The translators are only translating the text, and when it comes back to us we have to reassemble everything, so it’s not as clean as ‘here’s a project’ and they give it back and it’s done,” said Diethelm.
In addition to tens of thousands of words in the profile, the team also has to tackle all the facilitation- and video-related tasks. “For all video we do subtitles, but in the introductory videos, we also include a voice-over in the native languages. So once we do all the translation and get it in-house, there’s a whole build process,” Kukkonen said. This includes rebuilding all the images used in the profiles, reports, and videos.
Beta versions in pilot languages
Once the whole product is built, it follows one of two tracks. The first is beta testing the product in “pilot languages.” Kukkonen gave an example: “Our pilot languages for Workplace were Danish and German. When we developed those up to this point, we put them out as a full beta and got our partners in those countries to find people to actually test it out in the classroom. We took all the feedback from that and made some decisions. As a result, the translated facilitation differs from the U.S. facilitation based on how things were working or not working in the beta.”
“After the pilot languages, we won’t be making major changes again. We want the translated products to be consistent,” reported Diethelm.
The second track, once beta testing is completed in pilot languages, is called pre-release testing. In Spanish and other languages that follow the Danish and German beta, the fully functional product is tested by partners and their clients in a pre-release version. This serves two purposes—it allows the team to uncover any errors or mistranslations, and it gives them the opportunity to collect data for validation of the assessment.
Validation and norming
Before the translated product is officially released, pre-release testing allows Wiley to gather profile responses to validate the assessment.
“Once we have collected enough responses, our research department analyzes the data. With this information, we can figure out which items are working the best and establish the norms. The norming is to make sure that within any cultural group or language group we have roughly equivalent numbers of D, i, S, and C styles,” explained Kukkonen.
Using English and Spanish versions of Workplace
We were curious about whether a facilitator could administer Workplace to a group that includes both native English and Spanish speakers, with each individual responding and receiving a profile in their preferred language. The answer is yes. In fact, even the Comparison Report can be run in whichever of the two languages is desired. In other words, you could generate a Comparison Report in either English or Spanish for a pair of people, one of whom responded in English and the other who responded in Spanish. The language version is selected within EPIC.
Sample reports in Spanish
by Kristeen Bullwinkle and the DiSCProfile.com team