2013/10/09 , Foreign Language Translation of MI – Trials of translators, Ambivalence of readers, poster presented at MINT Forum Krakow, Poland

Foreign Language Translation of MI – Trials of translators, Ambivalence of readers-
Hiroaki Harai, MD. Japan 1)
Sung Hee Cho, PhD, Korea 2)
Paul Kong, Hong Kong 3)
Ralf Demmel, Germany 4)
MINT IAC, International Advisory Committee (Chair, Ivan Balan Ph.D. USA)
1) Nagoya Mental Clinic, Nagoya, Japan
2) Baekseok University, Department of Counseling, Seoul Korea
3) Substance Abuse Clinic in United Christian Hospital, Hong Kong
4) University of Muenster, Germany

All translation is a compromise-
the effort to be literal and
the effort to be idiomatic;.
Benjamin Jowett

Disseminating MI across countries and languages is one of the missions of MINT. Translating books, documents and training materials such as slides for the presentation are indispensable activities for dissemination. In the field of psychological testing, where comparative researches are prevalent, translations of standard measures have now appeared in a multitude of different languages and are often validated across languages. As the researches about MI are about language and communication, there should be scientific researches about translation either. However, no paper has appeared as to “Foreign Language Translation” and “Motivational Interviewing” to date. (Based on the search result of PyschINFO July 2013.)
This paper addresses the trials of the translators and ambivalence or frustrations of readers of the translated documents. Examples of translations into Major European languages, Chinese, Korean and Japanese are reviewed. As there are no comprehensive resources available for translators in MINT, this paper proposes a checklist for future guidance based on other areas of translations.
1 Start and maintain MINT endorsed glossary of key terms
2 Have a network for translators and critics.
3 If possible, have a back translate to English, and check the validity.
The practice of MI translations
MINT has four core values; Inclusivity, Informality, Internationalism and Volunteerism. English is the lingua Franca. All communications within MINT occur in English. However, to achieve inclusivity and informality, communicating one’s own proprietary language is needed. This means taking an initiative to translate key concepts and literatures about MI have reasons for MINT to consider it as a core activity. At the same time, translating MI literatures happens all over the world, not necessarily within MINT. Most of the learners start to learn new methods by reading, and translating English literatures into their own language has a centuries long history to adopt new methods from outside. And this type self learning translations is clandestine, as Non-English literatures are not searchable by Anglophones, and is not recognized by MINTies.
The Rosetta stone of MI
First, I want to start showing how translations look like. I asked MINT IAC (International Advisory Committee) members how MI and its principles are officially translated into non-English languages. The selection of language is based on convenience.
Definitions and key concepts of MI
MI-3 offers three levels of definitions;
Lay definition: A collaborative conversation style for strengthening a person’s own motivation and commitment to change.
Clinical definition: A person-centered counseling style for addressing the common problem of ambivalence about change.
Technical definition: A collaborative, goal-oriented style of communication with particular attention to the language of change, designed to strengthen personal motivation for and commitment to a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person’s own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion.
There are two key concepts of MI, OARS and spirit of MI.
OARS: An acronym for four basic client-centered communication skills: Open question, Affirmation, Reflection, and Summary.
Spirit: The underlying set of mind and heart within which MI is practiced, including partnership, acceptance, compassion, and evocation.
These are translated in other languages as follows;
German Motivational Interviewing
Definition für Laien: Motivational Interviewing beschreibt einen vom Geiste der Kooperation getragenen Austausch, der die Förderung der Motivation und der Selbstverpflichtung zur Veränderung zum Ziele hat.
Definition für die Praxis : Motivational Interviewing beschreibt eine personenzentrierte Art und Weise, dem in Beratung und Therapie häufigen Phänomen der Ambivalenz zu begegnen.
Definition für die Wissenschaft : Motivational Interviewing beschreibt einen auf ein definiertes Ziel gerichteten sowie von Akzeptanz und Wohlwollen geprägten Austausch zwischen Patient und Therapeut, in dessen Verlauf die Beweggründe, die den Patienten zu einer Veränderung motivieren könnten, in Erinnerung gerufen und formuliert werden, um sowohl die Motivation des Patienten zu festigen als auch seine Absicht, das jeweilige Ziel tatsächlich zu verfolgen.
OARZ: Ein die vier grundlegenden Fertigkeiten klientenzentrierter Kommunikation beschreibendes Akronym: Offene Fragen, Affirmation, Reflexion, Zusammenfassung
Grundhaltung : Die der Anwendung des Motivational Interviewing zugrundeliegende und durch Partnerschaft, Akzeptanz, Wohlwollen sowie In-Erinnerung-Rufen gekennzeichnete Einstellung des Therapeuten.
French EM, l’entretien motivationnel
Définition pour: L’entretien motivationnel est un mode de conversation basé sur la collaboration pour renforcer la propre motivation et l’engagement vers le changement de la personne.
Définition clinique: L’entretien motivationnel est un counseling centré sur la personne pour intervenir sur le problème commun de l’ambivalence au changement.
Définition technique: L’entretien motivationnel est un style de communication collaboratif orienté vers un but et qui porte une attention particulière au langage de changement. L’intention derrière ce type d’entretien est de renforcer la motivation et l’engagement vers un but spécifique de changement par l’exploration et l’évocation des arguments en faveur du changement dans un atmosphère d’acceptation et de compassion.
OuVER : Questions Ouvertes, Valorisation, Écoute réflexive, Résumer
L’esprit: partenariat, acceptation, compassion, Évocation
Spanish EM, Entrevista Motivacional
¿qué es?: La EM es un estilo de entrevista colaboradora, dirigida a potenciar las capacidades del otro y sus propios motivos para cambiar
definición clínica, ¿para qué sirve?: La EM es un abordaje terapéutico centrado en la persona que permite explorar y resolver la ambivalencia habitual que acompaña los procesos de cambio
Definición técnica, ¿cómo funciona?: La EM es un estilo de comunicación colaborador, dirigido a un objetivo, que pone un interés especial en el lenguaje de cambio. La EM se dirige específicamente a fortalecer la motivación para cambiar, explorando y evocando, los argumentos individuales y propios de cada cual para conseguir ese cambio
PROSA: Preguntas abiertas (Open Questions)- Reflejos (Reflection) Ofrecer Información y Consejo (Ask permission for counselling) S- Sumarios (Summary) A- Afirmación (Affirmation)
Spirit: Colaboración (Partnership), Aceptación (Aceptance), Evocación (Evocation), Compasión (Compassion)
Swedish MI
Lekmannens definition: Motiverande samtal är en samarbetsinriktad samtalsstil som syftar till att stärka en persons egen motivation och åtagande till förändring.
Praktikerns definition: Motiverande samtal är en personcentrerad rådgivningsstil för att ta itu med det vanliga problemet med ambivalens till förändring.
Teknisk definition: Motiverande samtal är en samarbets- och målinriktad kommunikationsstil som riktar särskild uppmärksamhet mot förändringens språk. Den är avsedd för att stärka personlig motivation och åtagande för ett specifikt förändringsmål genom att framkalla och utforska personens egna skäl för förändring inom en accepterande och medkännande atmosfär.”
BÖRS : fyra centrala färdigheter i kommunikation. Minnesakronymen BÖRS:
Bekräfta (Affirmation), Öppna frågor (Open Question), Reflektera (Reflection), Summera (Summary).
Den underliggande andan i MI: Partnerskap, Acceptans (inkluderar; absolut värde, empati, affirmation, autonomistödjande), Medkänsla, Framkallande.
Dutch MG, Motiverende gespreksvoering
Lekendefinitie: Motiverende gespreksvoering is een op samenwerking gerichte gespreksstijl die iemands eigen motivatie en bereidheid tot verandering versterkt.
Definitie voor de professional: Die der Anwendung des Motivational Interviewing zugrundeliegende und durch Partnerschaft, Akzeptanz, Wohlwollen sowie In-Erinnerung-Rufen gekennzeichnete Einstellung des Therapeuten
Motiverende gespreksvoering is een persoonsgerichte manier van hulpverlenen om het veel voorkomende probleem van ambivalentie ten aanzien van verandering aan te pakken.
Technische definitie: Motiverende gespreksvoering is een op samenwerking gerichte, doelgerichte gespreksstijl met bijzondere aandacht voor verandertaal. Het is ontworpen om de persoonlijke motivatie voor en de commitment voor een bepaald doel te versterken door het ontlokken en verkennen van iemands eigen redenen om te veranderen in een sfeer van acceptatie en compassie.
ORBS: Open vragen stellen (Open Question), Reflecterend luisteren (Reflection), Bevestigen, (Affirmation), Samenvatten (Summary)
Spirit : Acceptatie (Acceptance), Partnerschap (Partnership), Samenwerking (Collaboration), Ontlokken (Evocation), Compassie / Mededogen (Compassion).
Chinese: 動機式晤談法 / 動機式面談法 / 動機式會談法 / 動機式訪談法
OARS: 開放式問題 (Open Question), 肯定 (Affirmation), 反映 (Reflection), 摘要 (Summary)
Spirits: 合作 (Collaboration), 接納 (Acceptance), 以誠為人 (Partnership), 喚出 (Evocation)
Korean 동기면담 / 변화동기를이끌어내는 면담기법
Definition (정의)
일반적 정의 : “변화 동기와 결단을 견고히 해주는 협동적 대화 스타일”
임상적 정의 : “변화에 대한 양가감정를 다루는 내담자중심 상담 스타일”
기술적 정의 : “수용과 연민으로 내담자 의 변화 이유를 이끌어내고 탐색하여 특정 목표에 대한 동기와 결단을 견고히 하기 위해 고안된, 협동적 목표중심적 의사소통 스타일로서 변화대화에 특별히 주의를 기울인다”
OARS: 내담자 중심 의사소통 스타일의 네가지 기본 기술 : 열린질문하기, 인정해주기, 반영해주기, 요약해주기
Spirit (정신): 동기면담을 실천할 때 기본이 되는 정신과 마음의 틀로서 파트너십, 수용, 연민, 유발 등이다.
Japanese 動機づけ面接 / 動機づけ面接法
一般人向け: 協働的なスタイルの会話によって,その人自身が変わるための動機づけとコミットメントを強める方法
臨床家向け: MIはパーソン中心のカウンセリング技法によって,変化に関するアンビバレンスに伴う共通する問題を明確する方法
OARS: 開かれた質問 (Open Question),是認 (Affirmation) ,聞き返し (Reflection),サマライズ (Summary)
スピリット/精神 MIという態度:パートナーシップ(Partnership), 受容 (Acceptance), 」思いやり (Compassion), 喚起 (Evocation)
ACE協働作業的であること,喚起的であること,自律性を尊重すること。自律 (Autonomy),協働(Collaboration),喚起(Evocation)
Overview of the translators’ efforts
Each translation has its own policy. We can find two major translation styles; 1) Import English term as it is, 2) Translate it. For example, “commitment” is left as it is in Dutch and Japanese. In other languages, it is translated like “l’engagement” in French. Translations of OARS vary in great deal, as OARS itself is a product of convenience only for English speakers. A literal translation of it does not mean anything for other languages. Chinese and Japanese give up to translate OARS. The readers of the translations have to know the English words to see why OARS.
Ambivalence of translator
There are six major contradictory arguments for the best translation.
1. It must give the words of the original./ It must give the ideas of the original.
2. It should read like an original work / It should read like a translation.
3. It should reflect the style of the original. / It should possess the style of the translator.
4. It should read as a contemporary of the original. / It should read as a contemporary of the translator.
5. It may add to or omit from the original./ It may never add to or omit from the original.
6. A translation of verse should be in prose./ A translation of verse should be in verse.
Considering these contradictory arguments, it is easy to find confusions in translations, and it is not a matter of misunderstanding or mistranslation. There is one more concern for foreign language translations. As far as they are expressed in English, the confusions of concepts in MI would be read by others, who may not necessarily be English speakers. However, confusions in Languages other than English can only be found by its speakers. Original authors, Bill Miller and Steve Rollnick will never find the errors or confusions.
Future Suggestion
1 Start and maintain MINT endorsed glossary of key terms
2 Have a network for translators and critics.
3 If possible, have a back translate to English, and check the validity.
4 Establishing a new MINT, Motivational Interviewing Network of Translators.


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