Editor's note: Jill Bishop is founder and CEO of Multilingual Connections. 

One of the most exciting and rewarding areas of market research is the opportunity to capture diverse cultural perspectives via multilingual research. But it’s important to have the right tools in your suitcase when you head off into the unknown – even if it your trip is virtual.

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that thinking of translation services as an afterthought is a no-no but it bears repeating. The reality is that our industry continues to diversify and the requests for multilingual research are on the rise. As a network of language and culture investigators, our firm has learned a thing or two about supporting multilingual market research needs over the years. Before you start your next project, review these seven tips to ensure your data quality doesn’t get lost in translation.

1. Allow enough time. When you’re doing a study that involves other countries or languages, don’t make the mistake of waiting until the last minute to think about translation and transcription services. Partnering with a team of linguists from the beginning ensures you’ll get the most out of your research without adding extra items to your to-do list. 

It’s best to consider translation services as an integral part of your project from the very start. This gives you the chance to build in adequate translation time. Whenever possible, engage with a universal translation services partner in the early stages of your project planning – the earlier, the better!

Specifically, when doing research in a foreign country, keep in mind that whatever you’re doing in your native language, you ALSO need to have done parallel in the target language(s).

So, for example, typically for any research project, you’re going to need: a screener; a qualitative guide or quantitative questionnaire; and probably stimulus materials, tra...