Language Barriers during the Fieldwork of the IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees in Germany

Aufsätze in Sammelwerken 2018

Jannes Jacobsen

In: Dorothée Behr (Hrsg.) , Surveying the Migrant Population: Consideration of Linguistic and Cultural Issues
S. 75-84
GESIS-Schriftenreihe ; 19


The IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees is one of the first large-scale quantitative surveys in Germany focusing on refugees exclusively. It is able to provide valuable insights on the recent cohort of refugees who arrived in Germany as of the year 2013. However, due to the fact that most respondents of the target population are not proficient in German, the research partners who conducted the survey faced several obstacles. One crucial aspect in this regard was the written and audio translation of field instruments. Therefore, this paper gives some insights into the translation and fielding procedures and presents numbers on the use of written and audio translations in the IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees. We found that especially a written translation was very helpful, but also the audio files proved to facilitate participation in the survey. However, due to the fact that those tools are new and innovative, further research on their effects on survey quality needs to be carried out.

Jannes Jacobsen

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter in der Infrastruktureinrichtung Sozio-oekonomisches Panel