The Linguist

The Linguist 58,6 - Dec/Jan2020

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 35 FEATURES Vasiliki Prestidge looks at the tricky field of psychometric translation, when words measure the human psyche D o you remember taking a seemingly strange questionnaire before a job interview? Have you heard of verbal, numerical, abstract reasoning or personality tests? Welcome to the world of psychometrics, the field of study concerned with measuring mental capacities and processes. Where psychology is about the theory of how the brain works, psychometrics is one of the ways in which the theory can be applied. Psychometricians measure abilities, personality traits, preferences and even emotional needs, aiming to help people understand who they are, how they relate to others and how they can develop. In business, organisations use psychometric questionnaires KNOW THEIR MINDS to assess job candidates and determine whether they are a good fit. They often screen candidates before inviting them to interview to ensure a faster, more efficient selection process. Once a candidate has joined a team, psychometric assessment can help them to generate a development plan, identify areas for improvement and enhance their strong points. Therefore, psychometric tools can be useful both before selection and during employment. Another category of tools gives candidates a list of career options matching their personality features. These are often created with students or young people in mind. Other tools assess clinical conditions such as depression and other mental health illnesses. In an ideal world, candidates would take the assessments in their native language, which is why there is a need for translation. Content requiring translation within this field includes questionnaires, reports, online platforms, emails, administrator environments, resources, development aids and workbooks. PERILOUS QUESTIONNAIRES The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines psychometric questionnaires as "tests designed to provide a quantitative analysis of a person's mental capacities or personality traits, typically as shown by responses to a standard series of questions or statements". However, most psychometricians would argue that psychometric questionnaires are not tests. A test can be passed or failed; it has right and wrong answers. A psychometric tool does not because there is no such thing as a wrong personality. Of course, candidates

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Linguist - The Linguist 58,6 - Dec/Jan2020