In order to be rigorous, cross-language and cross-cultural research needs to explicitly address the methodological challenges that surround data collection and analysis. In this roundtable, five researchers will share their experiences and a senior qualitative researcher will moderate the discussion. This proposed roundtable will: 1) explore the challenges of conducting cross-language research; 2) elaborate on ways to improve the accuracy and credibility of the data; and 3) discuss specific methods to enhance the cultural validity of the data and interpretations.
Presenters will draw upon their own experiences to address the above aims. The first presenter will describe her methods in eliciting explanatory models of low-income, Spanish-speaking, Latinas with advanced cancers. Methods used to enhance cultural validity included: dual note-taking, debriefing meetings, written case summaries, memo writing, audit trail, and bi-monthly team meetings. The second presenter will discuss her phenomenological study of health perceptions/practices of older Iranian immigrants in which she conducted in-depth interviews in their native language and used both English and Persian transcripts for data analysis. The third presenter will discuss his experiences with two phenomenological studies conducted in Spanish with Cuban and Chilean participants coping with end-of-life concerns. He will describe various methods of bracketing used to enhance rigor and will highlight the insider/outsider dynamics at play. The fourth presenter used qualitative methods to explore the cultural meaning of cancer in Hmong refugees. Data were directly translated into English, skipping a first step of transcribing the data in the Hmong language. Procedures for preserving the original cultural meaning of the data will be discussed. The final presenter will discuss the challenges of translating Japanese transcripts into English. Verbatim translation poses difficulties because of the high-context orientation of Japanese culture. Communication in Japanese is often implicit forcing translators to make inferences. This presenter will discuss the way she used two sets of translations to enhance rigor. The roundtable will end with a panel discussion led by the moderator in which lessons learned are reviewed and recommendations offered to improve the cultural validity of cross-language qualitative research.