Linking correspondent documents in multilanguage projects

Linking correspondent documents in multilanguage projects

10.12.2017, 15:36

Hi everyone,

Sometimes data is collected in a certain language (let us say German) but data analysis is based on another one (i.e. English if the goal is to publish research results in an international journal, for instance). It means that the analyst may have for each interview two text files available: the transcription in the original language and its translated version.

However, as no translation between languages may happen without information loss, the bilingual analyst may be wanting to come back to the original transcript during the coding stage quite often in order to check the meaning of what was said in that context in order to refine the codes and deepen analysis.

Is there in MaxQDA 2018 any tool that assist coupling both documents? (The idea here is to couple two different but linked documents, analogous when one couple an audio file with a text file.) Even if the answer is negative, which are the analytical best-practices in dealing with such multilingual cases?

Many thanks

Version: MAXQDA 2018
System: Windows 10
TGR
 
Posts: 12
Joined: 09.12.2017, 23:17

Re: Linking correspondent documents in multilanguage project

11.12.2017, 11:28

Hi TGR,
thanks for your question, and welcome to the MAXQDA forum! Yes, there is indeed a way to link those two documents. I would suggest one of the following:

1) To see them closely together in the "document system", name them in the same manner and put them in the same folder. That way, you can right-click on the folder and select "sort documents alphabetically" to have them closely together

2) You can directly link documents by inserting "document links". To do so, you could open the original transcript, and add right at the beginning a sentence "click here to switch to a translation of this document in german". Right-click on this sentence, and select "Insert document link" (or press CTRL+L). Then go to your translated version, add a sentence "click here to switch to the original transcript", right-click on this sentence again, and select "insert document links" again. Now those two passages will be linked, allowing you to switch quickly between them.

I hope this helps! If not, or in case of any other questions, please feel free to ask again.

Best regards,

Andreas
MAXQDA Support Team
Andreas V.
 
Posts: 272
Joined: 13.04.2017, 16:23

Re: Linking correspondent documents in multilanguage project

18.12.2018, 11:03

Hello,
I'm replying to this post even though it's old because I have a similar issue and I don't know if it's worth opening a new thread.
I just started migrating the word docs containing my transcriptions and translations of interviews (I work with two languages). Right now my docs are in a table format (1 row for each question, and 2 columns, one for the original language transcript and one for the translated version. I often need to refer back to the original version, so having them on separate files feels troublesome. however, the maxqda tutorials explicitly advises "against importing interviews in a table structure in which each response is contained in a separate row".
Therefore, I was wondering if you have any specific guideline/template about the "best practice" of how word files should be formatted to minimize issues, especially when using tables. Or is it better not to use tables at all and just put the Original and translated version one after another? Hope the question is clear...
Thank you,
Simona
starcrossing
 
Posts: 5
Joined: 18.12.2018, 07:33

Re: Linking correspondent documents in multilanguage project

02.01.2019, 13:43

Hello Simona,
thanks for your question and welcome to the MAXQDA Forum! Yes, it is indeed preferable to avoid tables in word files altogether; first in regard to performance, and secondly, it will probably also be easier to navigate around (automatically coded) plain text.

Since I'm not familiar with your data, it's hard to say what the best practice would be in your case. When using the import option that transforms surveys to documents with plain text, each question stands for a column and each case for a row. If you have lots of cases and similar questions for each one, I would rearrange the table in this manner. You can read more about the survey import here (the manual is for MAXQDA 2018, but I believe the principle is the same):

https://www.maxqda.com/help-max18/import/importing-text-from-a-tablespreadsheet-e-g-answers-to-open-questions

If you don't have many cases or questions, you could also just import each case as a document directly, without autocoding..
but in general, keeping one case as one document is definitely best practice, because you can also use document variables easily to assign e.g. demographic data to each document/case. You can read more about document variables here:

https://www.maxqda.com/help-max18/variables/document-code-variables-maxqda

I hope this helps! If not, or in case of any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact us again.

Best regards on behalf of the MAXQDA support team,

Andreas
MAXQDA Support Team
Andreas V.
 
Posts: 272
Joined: 13.04.2017, 16:23

Re: Linking correspondent documents in multilanguage project

04.01.2019, 02:20

Dear Andreas,
thank you for your reply, your link was very useful.

I have one more question: when dealing with multilanguage material that is available in both the original language and in translation, is it better to
a) keep both languages in the same file (as plain text, not table)
b) keep the two documents separate?

For example, right now some of my interviews in MS Word look like this:
Q: (question)
A: Answer in the original language
A1: translated answer
(all plain text, no tables)

Is it okay to import it as it is into maxQDA, or would it be better to make two separate files, one with all the original data and one with the translation?

I guess it depends on what kind of analysis I will do in the future, but I just started using maxQDA and I would like to know if you have any best practice to recommend... for example, are there some functions that might not work well if the two languages are in the same text? I'm trying to organize my files as best as possible now to avoid possible problems in the future.

Thank you,
Simona
starcrossing
 
Posts: 5
Joined: 18.12.2018, 07:33

Re: Linking correspondent documents in multilanguage project

07.01.2019, 17:00

Dear Simona,

Thank you, that's a good question! In general, storing those two translations in two documents will give you more options to analyse your data. The reason is simply that this will give you one more differentiation to work with. But the question is: do you need this option of differentiating between the two languages in some regard?

If the translations themselves are not an object of your study, but rather a tool to help you to understand the original meaning, I don't really see an advantage of having them in two documents. On the contrary, it might give you a better overview to put them together in one document.

However, if you want to code the translations as well or if you plan on comparing the two languages, I would definitely recommend to store them in two documents.

Technically, it all comes down to the question of whether you would like to use document variables or not. To learn more about document variables, I can recommend the following video tutorial:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYuJTOUdkwM

I hope this helps? If not, or in case of any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact us again.

Best regards on behalf of the MAXQDA support team,

Andreas
MAXQDA Support Team
Andreas V.
 
Posts: 272
Joined: 13.04.2017, 16:23

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