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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 119-124

Feasibility of using “Google Translate” in adaptation of survey questionnaire from English to Bengali: A pilot study


1 Department of Physiology, Fakir Mohan Medical College and Hospital, Balasore, Odisha, India
2 Department of Physiology, Kalna SD Hospital, Purba Bardhaman, India
3 Freelance Medical Writer, ORCID: 0000-0001-5039-9919, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Himel Mondal
Department of Physiology, Fakir Mohan Medical College and Hospital, Balasore - 756 019, Odisha
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_39_18

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Background: Questionnaires are forward-translated and then back-translated by human translators during adaptation of a survey questionnaire in the local language. The machine translation method is now available free from “Google Translate” website and it can be used for translation from English to Bengali and vice versa. Using machine translation method may save researchers from investing money and time in translation by human experts. Aim: The aim of this pilot study was to test the feasibility of “Google Translate” in forward-translation and back-translation during adaptation of a survey questionnaire from English to Bengali. Materials and Methods: A survey questionnaire, originally developed in English, was forward-translated to Bengali and then back-translated to English by machine translation method and manual translation method. Both the versions were checked for errors expressed in subjective sentence error rate (SSER). Back-translated English questionnaire obtained from machine translation and manual translation was checked for equivalence with the original questionnaire. Results: SSER for forward-translated Bengali questionnaire by machine translation method was 66.60 ± 4.04 and manual translation method was 117.20 ± 1.30 (P < 0.001). SSER for back-translated English questionnaire by machine translation method was 61.20 ± 5.02 and manual translation method was 116.20 ± 2.77 (P < 0.001). Equivalence between back-translated questionnaire and original questionnaire by machine translation method was 48.40 ± 6.02 and by manual translation method was 112.40 ± 3.29 (P < 0.001). Conclusion: The machine-translated questionnaire showed higher error than manually translated questionnaire. Machine-translated questionnaire also showed lower equivalence with the original questionnaire. Hence, the use of machine translation (from English to Bengali) offered by “Google Translate” should be used with caution.


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