Translating self-report instruments is not a quick Google or translate/backtranslate process!

Page last updated 24/1/2018 17:15:00 minor updates, e.g. adding Ecuador to the countries.

Translation policy


We always insisted that all CORE instruments were copyright, to ensure comparability, but always allowed reproduction on paper without any fee.  We were very keen for the CORE instruments to be translated for use in as many languages, cultures and countries as would be appropriate on the same principle.  However, it was clear to us that there were many terrible translations of measures in existence, that the translation/backtranslation paradigm was flawed as way of securing good translations, and that it would be a challenge to get good translations done with no source of funding (as the instruments were copyleft).

What we don’t do

We noted that companies who charge reproduction fees for measures rarely support good translations and frequently charge people large sums, e.g. $2,500 , for the privilege of doing a translation.  We were reliably informed that some then charge a higher reproduction fee on the translated copy than the original.


In the past bad translations of measures arose through too much reliance on the translation/back-translation method. That can produce a literal translation which is not a reflection of the design of the measure or good for the target language and culture. We have set requirements for translations (below) which are congruent with the ISPOR guidelines (Wild et al., 2005). Translations must capture the “heart” of CORE: that it should be acceptable to a very heterogeneous group of patients/clients (severely ill, suicidal, depressed, upset, anxious, etc.) and make them feel someone will look at the questionnaire and understand something of how they feel. A good translation need not show exactly the same psychometric parameters, e.g. of reliability, as the English version provided it is not grossly unreliable and that it fits the target language, culture and service setting. Translating the measures for reproduction without explicit permission from the copyright holders, CST, is a breach of copyright and could lead to legal action by us

All translations MUST follow the CST translation procedure and the specific timing and procedure for the particular translation must be agreed with Professor Chris Evans (Contact Us) before any translation is started.


Wild, D., Grove, A., Martin, M., Eremenco, S., McElroy, S., Verjee-Lorenz, A., & Erikson, P. (2005). “Principles of good practice for the translation and cultural adaptation process for Patient-Reported Outcomes (PRO) measures: report of the ISPOR task force for translation and cultural adaptation.” Value in Health, 8: 94-104.

Translations by language

Translations of the CORE-OM into 25 languages have been completed as of 4.iv.15 though not all have yet been completed to good PDFs and all existing PDFs need tweaking to reflect the shift to Creative Commons licensing back on 1.i.15.  The languages in which a translation has been completed or started are shown below and in the drop down menu.  Where the ISO language code is given in brackets, at least some translated measures are already available as PDFs either for direct download or on request.  If your language is not in the list and you want it and may be able to help create a translation then contact me (CE).

Translations by country

Few countries have only one official language and fewer still have only one language in wide use.  For now 5.iv.15) only countries where some work has been done on a major language have links here, generally to that major language, sometimes to a page for the country.

If your country is not in the list and you want it and may be able to help create a translation then contact me (CE).

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