Dark Matter

Language: The Dark Matter of Global Research

Language The Dark Matter of Global Research

Author: Ruth Partington

Over 36% of all UK research is international. In 2020, these studies are facing increasing levels of global political disruption, legal red-tape, and time and cost pressures brought about by rapidly advancing technologies. The most difficult part of it all? Not speaking the participants’ language.

From my experience, it is widely accepted that language is vital to the quality of insights. Whether it be the effectiveness of an invitation email, the consistency of questions across multiple markets, or understanding response data, the most seemingly insignificant faux pas can cause a fiasco. However, linguistic blindness forces global researchers to rely on external providers for the accuracy and actionability of their research. This means that global studies are naturally riddled with risk and can become time-consuming, or even costly, when mis-handled at any point in the project’s chain.

Unfortunately, it is almost impossible for a global researcher to learn the language of every market involved in their studies to a native level (nevermind updating that language learning each day to account for relentless socio-cultural changes that impact terminology and grammar). As a result, when linguistic mistakes do happen, researchers are still dependent on fieldwork agencies, translation providers, freelancers or even their own clients to fix them.

Ultimately, the opacity of translation makes it the ‘dark matter’ of global research: we understand its nature only by the effect it has on everything around it.

Language The Dark Matter of Global Research

I founded EMPOWER (formerly RP Translate) 25 years ago, both to counter poor translations in the marketplace and bring peace of mind to researchers. My crusade was a drop in the ocean of the translation world. Yet, within the global research space, there is a timeless resonance with this need for transparency and hunger for understanding.

It is why I began my quest to un-muddy the linguistic waters for global researchers as much as possible; to provide some form of enlightenment about that dark matter and, even, empower researchers to influence it for the betterment of their insights. By making time to celebrate high-end, empowered thinking around something as crucial as language in research, it is possible for researchers to better leverage technology, traverse cultural seas and increase participant engagement.

We know that when global researchers understand the translation process, it elevates the quality of the insights they produce. Shine that light on your global research using a unique resource – start today with Empowered Thinking™

Ruth Partington

Ruth Partington

Ruth Partington

Ruth (MMRS) has nearly 25 years’ of expertise bringing the Insight Industry closer to its global research participants, through excellent quality language services and consultancy. Alongside innovating for global insight, Ruth brings transformation vision to the translation industry in her role as Chair of the national Association of Translation Companies. True to being a passionate businessowner, specialist communicator and motorbike enthusiast, she’ll never shy away from a discussion on ‘changing the game’!


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