24 March 2011

Translation

One thing I didn't address in my IRB protocol (that may be the downfall of said protocol) is the translation of my consent forms and surveys.  This is something that I knew I would need to do but I didn't do in time for the IRB deadline.  I am hoping that Norbu will be able to put me in touch with someone who can help me with all this translation, but I'm not sure how much it will cost me.

In any case, one important step I learned from Liann Seiter's presentation "Where's My Babel Fish?" is that I need to also back translate all of my texts to make sure that they still say what I want them to.  This means that I get a translator to go from English to Tibetan, another to go from the Tibetan back to English, and then take note of the problems in the back translation and find someone who can help me to say in Tibetan what I actually mean.

Today in my Tibetan language class I asked me teacher how to say "computer" in Tibetan.  I was planning to ask after that how to say "internet," but his answer to my first question made me think that the second one wouldn't work well, either.  My Tibetan teacher hasn't been in India for a long time, so he isn't certain that the Tibetans haven't come up with a new word for the tool, but as far as he knows the Tibetan word for computer is simply to say the word "computer" with a Tibetan accent.

I have some hope, perhaps misplaced, that the English language will be significantly prevalent in Dharamsala, to the point where communication will not be an enormous barrier to my project.  The TCV Facebook group is almost entirely in English, and Norbu and I have not had any major problems communicating in English.

However, it's probably best that I go forward with the translation into Tibetan.  There will likely be many children who are much more comfortable with their native language.

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