Sina K. Feldermann, Martin Hiebl,
"Using quotations from non-English interviews in accounting research"
, in Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Vol. 17, Nummer 2, Seite(n) 229-262, 2020, ISSN: 1176-6093
Using quotations from non-English interviews in accounting research
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Purpose: This paper examines the current practice of reporting on translation issues in qualitative, interdisciplinary accounting research. Based on an analysis of the methodological consideration of the translation of quotations from non-English interviews and additional interviews with experienced researchers, we aim to develop recommendations for the reporting on such translation procedures in future accounting research relying on interviews not conducted in English. Design/methodology/approach: The analysis is based on articles published in four highly ranked interdisciplinary accounting journals: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal (AAAJ), Accounting, Organizations and Society (AOS), Critical Perspectives on Accounting (CPA), and Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management (QRAM). The subjects of the analysis are publications of non-English-speaking researchers who conducted non-English interviews, and therefore were confronted with translation issues when attempting to get published in these Englishlanguage journals. Additionally, to gain deeper insights into reporting decisions on language and translation issues, we conducted interviews with experienced researchers in the field of qualitative, interdisciplinary accounting research whose mother tongue is not English. We combine these empirical insights with current developments in translation studies. Findings: As suggested by translation studies, translation is an act of sense-making and reconstruction of meaning, and therefore is a complex task that needs to be carried out with caution. However, our findings suggest that in current interdisciplinary, qualitative accounting research, the reporting of language and translation issues, especially with regards to the translation of quotations from interview data, has so far received only limited attention.