Questionnaire translation in the European Company Survey: Conditions conducive to the effective implementation of a TRAPD-based approach

Maurizio Curtarelli, Gijs van Houten


The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) carries out three recurring Europe-wide surveys. Up until 2013, the quality control of the questionnaire translation for these surveys was performed using back-translation. In the 2013 edition of the European Company Survey (ECS) – an establishment-level telephone survey – Eurofound for the first time followed a modified version of the Translation, Review, Adjudication, Pretesting, and Documentation (TRAPD) approach to questionnaire translation. This paper outlines why the TRAPD approach was adopted and how it was operationalised – resulting in a modified TRAPD implementation – for the purposes of the ECS 2013. It provides a reflection on the conditions that proved particularly conducive or obstructive for its efficient and effective implementation and the lessons that can be drawn for future surveys.


cross-national surveys, questionnaire translation, survey research

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