Linguistic Coding Services for Your Multilingual Surveys

What is Linguistic Coding?

Linguistic Coding refers to the process of localizing and coding open-ended survey answers (qualitative data) to enable measuring the results of such surveys (and arrive at quantitative data). This is required when companies survey a large number of people speaking several different languages, but for which they need the same questions answered.

Open-ended questions are those that allow people filling out the surveys to express themselves, for companies to learn more about their specific concerns, as well as the elements they appreciate.

The difficulty with open-ended questions is that sentiments are hard to quantify! And that’s where Open-Ended Survey Coding comes in.

What is Linguistic Coding?

How are Open-Ended Surveys Coded?

Open-ended surveys are coded by assigning values to the types of answers provided, based on the mention of certain words that tell the algorithm the general inclination of the answer.

Here’s an example: Let’s say we are the owner of a hotel chain called Imaginary Example Hotel, and at the end of every stay, we send our guests a lengthy survey with some open-ended questions.

When asking our guests how they feel about the staff working in our hotel, we apply a code to certain adjectives, with a ranking of importance, from 1 “Very Good” to 5 “Very Bad”:

  • -1:“incredible”, “very nice”, “lovely”, “the best”, “I loved”
  • -2:“good”, “nice”, “kind”, “I liked”
  • -3:“OK”, “not bad”, “alright”, “good enough”, “satisfactory”
  • -4:“mean”, “bad”, “not good”, “rude”
  • -5:“awful”, “disgusting”, “super mean”, “the worst”

If we got the following answer:

If we got the following answer
“The staff at Imaginary Example Hotel was absolutely incredible. They were always just one call away when needed, and they made sure I had a great stay. Truly the best!”

The code would detect two “number 1” words, and would tag this answer as
a solid 1.

If we got this answer, however:

“The staff was alright. The cleaning ladies were very nice, but the manager was super mean to my wife when she asked for some extra towels for our room, like she was asking for too much.”
If we got this answer, however

In this answer, the code would detect a “number 3” word, a “number 1” word, and one “number 5” word. In this case, the average of these words would tag this as
a “number 3” answer.

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How does Linguistic Coding Work?

Linguistic coding involves the work of mother-tongue linguistics experts that help localize survey’s answers so that your company can easily quantify data from multiple surveys, for customers from all over the world.

The language team carefully examines open-ended answers and assigns them a value that is present in all the languages your survey has been written on, which means that you’ll know exactly what the general feeling is about your brand. No matter if your clients are from the US, Morocco or Japan!

Let’s continue with the example we had above. This time, let’s say we’re surveying two guests: one from the Philippines and one from France about the staff.

Filipino guest

Filipino guest
“ang kawani ay maganda, mahal ko kung paano kami ginagamot” (the staff was nice, I loved how we were treated)

Here, “maganda” means “nice” (adjective = 2), and “mahal ko” means “I loved”. (adjective = 1), so linguists can assign this a value of 1.5.

French guest

“les membres du personnel étaient horribles. Les hommes qui nettoyaient notre chambre étaient particulièrement désagréables et ils n’ont pas fait du bon travail.”
French guest

Here, “horribles” means “awful” (adjective = 5), and “désagréables” means “rude” (adjective = 4), so linguists can assign a 4.5 value.

The example above is an oversimplification of a process that can only be accurate when handled by carefully trained language professionals.
The work of these specialists is critical. Not only are they the only ones who can understand the semantics of what certain words mean, but they truly appreciate
the sentiment that drives a person’s answer, depending on where they’re from.

For instance, an answer containing the same word in Spanish can mean different things depending on if the person is from Buenos Aires (Argentina) or
Santa Marta (Colombia).

Why Choose our Linguistic Coding Services?

Why Choose our Linguistic Coding Services?

As a translations company with over 13 years providing language services to customers around the world, we’re the first ones in our industry with the professionals and the technology to offer this service.

  • Icon one We work with over 100 languages
  • Icon oneWe work with over 10,000 linguists from all over the world, which means we assign the mother-tongue professional that’s ideal for your situation (if your customers are from Sevilla, you’ll be working with a linguist from Sevilla).
  • Icon oneWe assign each project a team of developers, marketers, and localization experts, depending on your field and your company’s needs.
  • Icon oneWe offer a Lifetime Guarantee, which means that in the rare case that you find an error, months or even years down the line, we’ll take care of it free of charge.