REFLECTIONS ON TRANSLATING RESEARCH DATA: EXPERIENCES FROM PAKISTANDr. Ayesha BashiruddinAssistant Professor,Aga Khan UniversityInstitute for Educational DevelopmentKarachi, Pakistan
Sequence of Presentation• Introduction• Method• Challenges of translating the research data• Conclusion
Introduction• Reflections as a researcher conducting narrative inquiry• As a researcher my intent was also to learn from the experience of research.• Reflections became an ongoing process which became an indispensable part of my learning (Glesne, 1999; Merriam, 1988; Russell & Kelly, 2002; Stake, 1995).• The focus of this paper is on the challenges of translating the research data from three perspectives:(a) translation of bilingual data;(b) translation and representation of the data(c) translation of the stories emerging from the data and situating them in a social context.
Method• Revisited my reflective journal• The data in the reflective journal was analyzed primarily by reflexivity• Reflection a systematic process• Framework for data collection and analysis based on three simple questions:(a) What are the challenges?(b) How do I address them?(c) What did I learn from them?
Challenges of translating the researchdataTranslation from one language to another• Competent in both the languages• Challenge included translating the words, the phrases and the interpretations of the stories presented by the participants.• Recording and translation• Translate word for word or idiomatically vs gist• Translation of the data took place in the classroomtedious to transcribe it into English and Urdu since boththese language have different scripts.• Verifying the translations
Challenges of translating the researchdataTranslation of representationChanging field texts to research textsA relationship was developed earlier with the research participants during thedata collection period.What do you learn from these stories?To access stories and the teachers‟ understanding of the stories in variousways, interpreting stories is a continuous and time taking process. I need to had to continuously look for threads that would make me understandthe teachers‟ stories of their practices and how they could be situated in theirlocal contexts.Cultural meanings
challenges of translating the researchdataTranslation of stories and situating them in a contextConstruct meaning of the social lifeTwo different socio-economic classesAn „insider‟ and an „outsider‟The two teachers to discuss and describe their stories within the context in whichthey lived the stories so that the stories do not seem to be in a vacuum but aresituated in the contexts.I discussed the meanings of the detailed discussion regarding the meaning of thestories within a the contexts was carried out in which the teacher worked.After the teachers connected their stories of classroom practices and theirinterpretations I kept on reflecting on them and tried to understand the situatednessof the stories. Then the translation and interpretation of the stories as presented bythe participants was shared. I as a researcher kept of reflecting the way the storiesare presented because I was not working at the same level and same school.
Understanding “self”• Translating the data and situating the stories of the teachers in different contexts.• Gained insights from researching and reflecting on the stories as situated in the two contexts.• Translating their stories and situating them in the context• My situating these stories in their contexts reveal how these contextual forces contributed to Fatima‟s and Khulood‟s their learning of English and teacher development in both formal and informal settings and how these have affected their teaching and beliefs about teaching English• For me as a researcher and as a teacher educator, our contact provided a new experience of understanding the participants and their development in their respective contexts.
Conclusion• In this paper I have reflected as a researcher while conducting narrative inquiry and of grappling with the issues of translating the stories of teachers.• My reflections show that all three are difficult and challenging ways of translations.• I am engaged in other studies in which I am using narrative inquiry and writing reflective journal.• In future also I will benefit from the journal entries because translation is a very important issue for researchers working in qualitative paradigm.• By doing so I do not claim that I have been able to address the question that I was trying to explore but have opened it for discussion for others to add to the discussion especially in contexts where the researcher and the researched speak the same language.