If you use a simple online survey, such as an audience satisfaction survey, it is fairly straightforward to translate it into other languages. Translating your survey will give you valuable insights into your relevance to a wide audience, and how well you are engaging with people who are more comfortable in a language other than English.
If it’s not practical to translate your survey, consider tracking the number of people who decline to take the survey because of a language barrier, for example if you are conducting foyer surveys in person.
How do I do it?
Many survey platforms, such as Survey Monkey, allow you to offer respondents a choice of languages in which to complete your survey. The software aggregates the results from all responses into one dataset, feeding them into analysis tools such as charts and graphs, or you can analyse a particular language group separately. Often this will work best for quantitative questions, including questions on the Likert scale (eg, ‘I was engaged by the themes presented in this performance’ with answers such as ‘strongly agree’, ‘agree’ etc). For these types of questions, there’s no need to translate responses back into English.
Usually, you’ll need to select the most relevant languages for your target group, arrange to translate your questions into those languages, and then upload the translations into your survey. It’s important to use a professional translation service, as poorly translated questions can be incomprehensible or even offensive.