A note on comparative language interrogation for content analysis : the example of English versus German

Philip Shrives, Cornelia Beck, David J. Campbell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper raises and explores a number of issues relevant to the content analysis of voluntary disclosures in general but international content comparisons in particular. Using the example of voluntary environmental narratives in the annual reports of the top 30 British and German companies for the year ending 2002, content analysis was undertaken to determine the validity of volumetric comparison by recording word and sentence counts using both German and English translations of disclosures published by the German companies themselves. The study had two main outcomes. First, it found that the English rendering of German environmental narrative is generally accurate (suggesting that companies do not discriminate by reporting jurisdiction) and is most commonly, but not exclusively, translated at the coding resolution of the sentence. Second, the study concludes that German–English comparative international volumetric content analyses should be carried out using same language versions where possible due to differences in syntactic and textual renderings in the two languages yielding unrepresentative volumetric separation statistics.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)339-350
    JournalBritish Accounting Review
    Volume37
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2005

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