Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Urban Vitality

Language differences in qualitative research

is meaning lost in translation?


This article discusses challenges of language differences in qualitative research, when participants and the main researcher have the same non-English native language and the non-English data lead to an English publication. Challenges of translation are discussed from the perspective that interpretation of meaning is the core of qualitative research. As translation is also an interpretive act, meaning may get lost in the translation process. Recommendations are suggested, aiming to contribute to the best possible representation and understanding of the interpreted experiences of the participants and thereby to the validity of qualitative research.

Reference van Nes, F., Abma, T., Jonsson, H., & Deeg, D. (2010). Language differences in qualitative research: is meaning lost in translation? European journal of ageing, 7(4), 313-316. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10433-010-0168-y
1 December 2010

Publication date

Dec 2010


Fenna van Nes
Tineke Abma
Hans Jonsson
Dorly Deeg

Research database