Whilst there has been a move towards better collaboration between health researchers and the general public in recent years, little attention has been paid to working with people from differing linguistic backgrounds. Although English may dominate as the lingua franca, if we want to undertake truly valid research amongst populations which are increasingly diverse we need to consider how best to include these under-represented non-English speakers. The majority of cases of tuberculosis (TB) in England occur in the non-UK born population (73%), of whom almost half have moved to the United Kingdom within the 5 years preceding their diagnosis (Public Health England 2016). To explore the experiences of this population in-depth, using qualitative research methods, the ability to work across multiple languages is needed. However, the potential for loss of meaning through translation can occur at various practical and conceptual points throughout the research design and implementation process. These include, but are not limited to: development of the research question, patient and public involvement (PPI), literature review, interpretation in the interview setting, transcription and translation, data analysis and presentation of findings. In this paper I use my own research project (funded by Medical Research Council, UK) amongst migrant TB patients to discuss the practical and theoretical considerations when using bilingual interpreters as co-researchers to conduct qualitative cross-language interviews in a multi-lingual sample population.
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