Linguistic Validation


  • ISO:9001 quality certified
  • Excellent customer service
  • Industry experts

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What is linguistic validation? And do I need it?

Asian Absolute’s advanced linguistic validation processes let you study all your data on an equal footing. No matter from which region it was collected or in which languages – it needs to have the exact same meaning.

We have successfully completed vital life sciences translation projects for contract research organisations and study groups around the world. So we know that the accuracy and precision you need in this field are a cut above what is needed elsewhere.

Conceptual equivalence is the critical factor here. Do your instruments use language which is culturally acceptable and relevant to your target audience? Are the concepts and terms it uses equivalent across all language versions are clearly understood without ambiguity?

Our linguistic validation ensures that they are.

What is linguistic validation?

Linguistic validation is the rigorous process through which an instrument is translated and the accuracy of that translation tested.

An instrument, in this case, means documents like COAs, including PROs, ClinROs and ObsROs, patient questionnaires, diaries, abstracts and manuscripts. An instrument will contain “items” such as questions and response choices and categories.

Why choose Asian Absolute?

Asian Absolute produces linguistically verified instruments for medical industry clients on five different continents. Over nearly twenty years of experience, we have established some of the industry’s leading practices.

You will get:

  • ISPOR-compliant documents – our linguistic validation processes are entirely compliant with ISPOR recommendations, as well as those of the EMA and FDA.
  • Paired with specialists in your field – we always match you with a team of experts who have qualifications and experience in your specific field, be that genetics, immunology, dermatology or any other.
  • Work from native language translators – these expert linguists will be translating into their native language. It’s the way to get the most accurate translation possible.
  • 24-hour service support and completion – our worldwide network of specialists ensures you get round-the-clock work and support on your project.
  • Banking-grade data security – whether you are a CRO whose bottom line depends on it or you simply demand the highest grade of information security around your sensitive data, that’s exactly what you will get.
  • Award-winning translation services – Asian Absolute has been certified as meeting the ISO: 9001 quality management standard. In addition, we are members of the ATC, the ATA and numerous other professional associations.


    Asian Absolute helped in the challenging task of building a world-class translation service. They provide top quality, personal service.

    Financial Times

    I was extremely impressed by Asian Absolute’s hard work to complete the project to our high standards and within a very tight timeframe.

    Global Witness

    Many thanks for your help and also for providing an interpreter for the week, she was absolutely fantastic and a real life-saver!

    Guinness World Records

    Why would I need linguistic validation?

    Linguistic validation is carried out so that all of your instrument items have equivalence of construct value across languages and cultures. Simply put, that the information in the document has the same conceptual value no matter in which language or region it was collected. No matter what a reader’s parent culture is, they will understand it in the same way.

    Ensuring equivalent meaning across source and target documents is, of course, part and parcel of our usual translation services. But linguistic validation is several steps beyond even the triple-layer Quality Assurance we usually test ourselves through. It’s used primarily in the life sciences industry but can be requested for any material which has a high value.

    What does linguistic validation involve?

    Linguistic validation involves an instrument passing through several phases of translation, reconciliation and quality assurance checking:

    Forward translation – working independently of each other, at least two professional translators with qualifications and experience in your industry each produce a translated version of your document.

    Reconciliation – these multiple versions are compared with each other and reconciled into one single best version.

    Back translation – the single reconciled version of the document is translated back into the original language by at least

    Final reviews and corrections – the project manager and translation team compare the back translated versions with the original source document. Are they accurate? A final version will be compiled and any final changes agreed on.

    Now it just remains to be tested. This is usually done through a process called cognitive debriefing.

    What is cognitive debriefing?

    Cognitive debriefing is the active testing of the final translated version of your instrument. It involves showing the document to a group of people in your target audience. This group are then interviewed regarding their understanding of the document they have read.

    This is all done to ensure that the concepts and terms used have the same value across all regions, languages and cultures. This means that data from any one region or language will be entirely equivalent to data from any other.

    How can I tell if my Language Service Provider does it right?

    ISPOR (the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research) has clear recommendations as to how linguistic validation should be carried out. You should always choose an LSP which follows these processes.

    Find out more 24/7

    Because of the high value of documents and instruments which require linguistic validation and cognitive debriefing as part of their translation, we are used to taking detailed queries on the subject from our clients.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How much will my translation cost?

    The long answer is that your translation cost will vary depending on things like the volume of material you need to have translated, your target language/s as well as several other important factors.

    The short answer is that it’s always best to get in touch for a free quote. There’s no fee or obligation – and you can get a clearly costed price breakdown of your specific project so you know exactly where you stand.

    Do you offer discounts for volume?

    If you often find yourself in need of professional translation services, we may be able to offer you special rates. These will be based on the amount of work and level of partnership you have in mind.

    We do this for numerous regular clients around the world, ensuring a cost-effective solution for each client’s unique requirements.

    How do I pay for my translation services?

    We accept domestic and international bank transfers, most major credit and debit cards and PayPal payments from both private individuals and companies. Just let us know how you prefer to pay and we will be happy to suggest a method which is convenient for you.