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Icugg’, caarkalissiiyaakuvet? [You know, when you have too much to do?] Challenges in Translating Meaning

Presentation Part 1

Icugg’, caarkalissiiyaakuvet?  [You know, when you have too much to do?] 
Challenges in Translating Meaning

Ellen D. S. Lopez, Eliza Orr, Inna D. Rivkin, Samuel Johnson
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Providing the opportunity for interview participants to respond to questions in their primary language can result in a rich and meaningful exchange of culturally-grounded knowledge.  Nevertheless, strategies used to move between two languages, for example, to translate interview questions from English to non-English, and then to translate participants’ responses back to English for in-depth analysis can pose significant challenges.  When words or concepts lack linguistic equivalence across languages, the processes of translation can result in the distortion or loss of cultural meaning, and a compromise in the trustworthiness of findings.  It can also pose challenges to dissemination of findings. Through community and academic collaborations, the Center for Alaska Native Health Research (CANHR) has been partnering with Yup’ik Alaska Native communities on studies aimed at reducing health disparities.  To ensure culturally relevant intervention development, often a primary goal of the research is to develop a shared and in-depth understanding of how Yup’ik communities conceptualize health-related topics such as stress, depression, or genetic risk factors.  In this presentation, we discuss the challenges our partnerships have encountered in elucidating Yup’ik meanings of English words that do not directly translate to the Yup’ik language.  We also describe the processes and decision-making strategies CANHR research teams are developing to address these challenges, to which the integration of knowledge and understanding of the Yup’ik language and culture are essential.

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Presentation Part 2

Icugg’, caarkalissiiyaakuvet?  [You know, when you have too much to do?] 
Challenges in Translating Meaning

Ellen D. S. Lopez, Eliza Orr, Inna D. Rivkin, Samuel Johnson
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Providing the opportunity for interview participants to respond to questions in their primary language can result in a rich and meaningful exchange of culturally-grounded knowledge.  Nevertheless, strategies used to move between two languages, for example, to translate interview questions from English to non-English, and then to translate participants’ responses back to English for in-depth analysis can pose significant challenges.  When words or concepts lack linguistic equivalence across languages, the processes of translation can result in the distortion or loss of cultural meaning, and a compromise in the trustworthiness of findings.  It can also pose challenges to dissemination of findings. Through community and academic collaborations, the Center for Alaska Native Health Research (CANHR) has been partnering with Yup’ik Alaska Native communities on studies aimed at reducing health disparities.  To ensure culturally relevant intervention development, often a primary goal of the research is to develop a shared and in-depth understanding of how Yup’ik communities conceptualize health-related topics such as stress, depression, or genetic risk factors.  In this presentation, we discuss the challenges our partnerships have encountered in elucidating Yup’ik meanings of English words that do not directly translate to the Yup’ik language.  We also describe the processes and decision-making strategies CANHR research teams are developing to address these challenges, to which the integration of knowledge and understanding of the Yup’ik language and culture are essential.

View or download the narrated PowerPoint Slide Show here.

Please download this file to hear the audio narration. These slides are the property of the authors, and are shared through the Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice (http://www.gjcpp.org/).


Author

Ellen D. S. Lopez, Eliza Orr, Inna D. Rivkin, Samuel Johnson

Ellen D. S. Lopez, Eliza Orr, Inna D. Rivkin, Samuel Johnson
University of Alaska Fairbanks


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Keywords: scra biennial conference, community psychology practice, gjcpp