With Translate Survey, you can add multiple languages to a single survey. Each participant will see the survey in a language they are comfortable with, and because there is just one survey containing all translations, all results will come back into the same data set.

On this page you will learn about the methods available for translating your survey, how to specify which language each participant sees, and how to analyze data for a translated surveys.

Using Translate Survey

Translate Survey can be accessed in the Advanced Options menu of the Edit Survey tab.

Translate Survey

Translate Survey is divided into two halves. On the left, you’ll see your Base Language, or the language your survey was originally written in.

Translation Base Language

The first time you open Translate Survey, the right half of the screen will be blank, with the option to Add Language.

Translation Add Language

Click Add Language, and from the menu that appears, select any translations you would like to add to your survey.

Translation Select Languages

At any point, you may switch which language you are working on by clicking the language drop-down menu that appears in place of the Add Language button.

Translate Toggle Language

The right half of the screen will now include text for one of your new languages. To start out, the text will be the same as the text in your base language. Click on this text to type in or paste in a translation.

Type In Translation

To switch between questions, use the arrows on the top right of Translate Survey.

Translation Switch Questions

At any point, you may check the status of all translations by clicking the Translation Overview grid on the top right of Translate Survey.

Translation Overview
Qtip: Messaging within the survey, such as alerting participants that a response is required, or the default End of Survey message, is already translated for you. Your own messaging, such as email invitations or custom End of Survey messages, can be translated in the Libraries tab.

Automatic Translation

To speed up your survey development process, you can pre-populate your survey with an automatic machine-generated translation. This is done by clicking the percentage completed button on any untranslated question.

Automatic Translation

Because machine translations are prone to error, we don’t recommend using this as the final translation you share with participants. Rather, this can save time when working with a professional translator, as they will only need to clean up this existing translation rather than starting from scratch.

Qtip: Automatic Translation is completed by Google Translate. Your question text may remain on Google servers after the translation is complete.

Import Translation

For some third-party vendors helping you with translations, they may prefer to work in a spreadsheet or in XML rather than typing the translation directly into Qualtrics.

To export a translation file:

  1. Next to either the base language or the translated language, click the Export Translation button.

    Download Translation Button
  2. Select a Format for the file and which Languages to export, and click Download.

    Download Translation
  3. Qtip: In most cases, we recommend the Unicode Text (Excel) format. Like Unicode CSV, this can be opened in Excel. However, unlike Unicode CSV, Unicode Text understands and preserves non-ASCII characters (for example, 是 or ñ) when saved in Excel.
  4. Open the file in your preferred editor. Unicode Text (Excel) will open in a text editor by default. To open it in Excel:

    1. From the File menu of Excel, select Open.

      Excel File Open

      This step may appear differently depending on the version of Excel you are using.

    2. Select the file you’ve just downloaded.

      Excel Select File

      Depending on your version of Excel, you may need to select to show all file types, as highlighted above, before your file will appear.

    3. A Text Import Wizard will appear. On the first step, select Delimited.

      Text Import Delimited
    4. On the second step, select Tab as the delimiter.

      Text Tab Delimiter
    5. On the third step, make no changes, and select Finish.

      Text Finish

Using the Downloaded Translation File

Unicode Text (Excel) and Unicode CSV both have the following layout in Excel:

Import Translation Editor Excel

In these files, a row is provided for each item to be translated, with a column for each language downloaded.

XML can be opened in your preferred text editor, and will have the following layout:

Import Translation XML File

In XML, an element is provided for each item to be translated. A child element is provided for each language downloaded.

To import a translation file:

  1. Next to any question in any language on the translation portion of Translate Survey, click the Upload Translation button.

    Import Translation
  2. Select the file you would like to import.

    Select File
  3. Qtip: The import screen will indicate you are importing for the specific language currently being viewed in Translate Survey. At this point you can upload a file with all or any of your languages – no need to import one at a time.
  4. A preview of the imported text will appear. Once you’ve verified this is correct, click Import.

    Review and Import

Paid Translation Services

If you don’t have the resources for your own professional translation, consider using our Paid Translation service.

Paid Translations

With this service, your survey is translated and reviewed by two native speakers of the language to ensure accuracy. The translation is then uploaded into your account, with no extra work needed on your end.

Specifying the Participant Language

Once your survey is translated, how do you ensure participants see it in the appropriate language? Qualtrics provides the following four options for this.

Automatic Language Detection

When a participant starts your survey, Qualtrics will check their web browser settings to see which language they use to browse the internet. If your survey is translated to this language, this translation will automatically be used.

Browser Language Preference

Surveys taken on this web browser will load in Spanish, if a Spanish translation was provided.

Automatic language detection will place most participants in the correct translation with no work needed on your end.

Specifying Language in a Panel

If you know your participants’ languages ahead of time, rather than relying on automatic language detection, you can upload this information as part of your Panel, in a column titled Language.

Panel Language Selection

In the language column, you’ll insert the appropriate language code for each participant, as outlined below.

Language Codes

Creating a Survey Link for Each Language

If you are distributing your survey anonymously, you can still specify each participant’s language by creating a survey link for each language.

To do this, take the Anonymous Survey Link, and add &Q_lang= to the end, followed by the appropriate language code from the table above.

URL Language Selection

&Q_lang=ZH-S has been added to the end of this survey URL. Because ZH-S is the language code for Simplified Chinese, participants who use this URL will see the survey in Simplified Chinese.

Participant Language Selection

Some participants may want to take the survey in a language other than the one selected for them. On the top right of any translated survey, participants will have the opportunity to switch to a new language.

Language Selector

Qtip: The language drop-down menu can be removed from a survey by adding the following CSS code to the Look and Feel:


Custom Content for Each Language

On certain studies, you may have survey questions reserved for a specific language. For example, a question asking participants to rate you with a letter grade may only make sense in English speaking countries.

Language Specific Question

Qualtrics stores the language participants are using to take the survey in an Embedded Data field named Q_Language. Q_Language can be used in Display Logic and Branching to ensure participants only see questions appropriate for their language.

Language Display Logic

A question with this Display Logic would only show for English-speaking participants.

Data Analysis for Translated Surveys

Data from all languages will flow back into the same data set for easy reporting. Qualtrics tracks what language participants used to take the survey and this information is stored in an Embedded Data field called Q_Language. To have this information reported in your results along with the survey questions, add an Embedded Data field to your Survey Flow named Q_Language.

Q_Language Graph

In the results, Q_Language will be reported along with your survey questions.

Q_Language Graph

Q_Language can also be used for filtering survey results, either in a report, or for downloading data.

Q_Language Filter

A report with this filter would only include English-speaking participants.