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Cross-cultural translation is a process which looks at both language and cultural adaptation issues in the process of preparing a study instrument for use in another culture and geographical region. The challenge is to adapt an instrument so that it retains the meaning and intent of the original instrument (the source language) and is culturally relevant and comprehensible. Thus, the aim is to achieve a “cultural” rather than a “literal” translation into a target language.

The “Rome Translation Project”, headed by Dr. Ami Sperber, was established to oversee the translation (and “localization, see below) of all Rome Foundation material, in particular the Rome IV diagnostic questionnaire, the Rome IV book, other Rome IV publications as well as other questionnaires and earlier Rome material. The diagnostic questionnaire and criteria will be available for use in epidemiologic studies and clinical trials.


Language localization is the process of adapting a product that has been previously translated into a foreign language to a specific country or region where the same language is spoken, but with differences.
Examples of localization:
French (for France) into French for Belgium or French for Canada.
Spanish (for Mexico) into Spanish for Spain, Argentina, Colombia, etc.
Bengali (for India) into Bengali for Bangladesh.

Guidelines for Translation and Localization:

The project has developed 6 distinct official guidelines for translation and localization of these materials. These must be signed and followed before Rome Foundation approval for the translation or localization is granted. Final Rome Foundation approval is required for any use of translated and localized versions of the Rome material including research and education.

The 6 guidelines are:

  1. Translation of adult questionnaires
  2. Localization of adult questionnaires
  3. Translation of pediatric questionnaires
  4. Localization of pediatric questionnaires
  5. Translation of any non-questionnaire material
  6. Guidelines for Rome Foundation Clinician Monitors

The project will both monitor translation initiated by others and initiate translations itself.
The translated version will be available free of charge for academicians conducting independent studies that are not funded by pharmaceutical companies or other commercial interests except for a processing fee. In the case of pharmaceutical companies or other commercial interests a fee will be charged for its use. In all events a licensing agreement will be signed with the Rome Foundation before the translated version is provided to the investigator. Dr. Ami Sperber is in charge of translations. Please contact Mark Schmitter with any questions regarding translations, copyrighting, licensing and usage fees.

Please use the following links to access:

  1. A list of available language versions.

  2. Copyright and license request form. This form must be completed and signed before a translated instrument can be used.

  3. Licensing information. The translated material will be provided by email when licensing agreements are completed and the request is approved by the Rome Foundation.

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