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Polco News & Knowledge

Can We Conduct Our Community Survey in Multiple Languages?


Every U.S. community is unique. Lots of our client jurisdictions serve residents who speak a variety of different languages, some who may not speak or read English. When surveying entire populations of communities like this, National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) can address the need for surveys sent out in languages other than English. Survey Consultant Jade Arocha, who is bilingual herself, explains how NRC conducts community and resident surveys in more than one language.



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NRC Accommodates Many Languages

NRC surveys are most commonly translated into Spanish. But we have also translated surveys into Mandarin, Russian, Korean, Vietnamese, Arabic, Haitian Creole, Hindi and Hmong among others. Translating the survey into languages the community needs allows local government leaders to hear as many voices as possible. This makes survey results more inclusive of those who don’t speak English, whose opinions may differ on various questions.

Which Communities Should Survey in Multiple Languages?

Jurisdictions with more linguistically diverse populations tend to need surveys distributed in more than one language. When a large portion of residents don’t speak English, this option is needed for accurate citizen reporting.

How does it Work?

First we need to know which languages are being considered, so we can provide an accurate estimate on the cost of translation. Then we coordinate for you.  We include instructions and cover letters written in those languages, so respondents know how to access the survey (usually available online). We also track how many surveys were responded to in each language.

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