This worksheet describes how to create a dual-language questionnaire. If you are publishing to Snap WebHost or Snap Mobile Anywhere, it can be set up so the respondent can select the language they prefer and be taken to a survey in that language. The responses expected are identical for both languages. If you want to change the look of the questionnaire, you should create a new format edition.

New language editions can use different languages, or use different question text in the same language. For example, you might want to publish the same questionnaire directed at adults or children. You could also localise the same questionnaire for different areas.

The tutorial below described creating a questionnaire in Welsh and English for Snap WebHost


Editions of a questionnaire contain the same number of questions, in the same order, with the same response type for each question. When you start, you have a single edition, for a single output format, in a single language (normally English).

Format editions contain different layouts for the questionnaire. Language editions have different text for the questionnaire. You can have any number of formats, and any number of languages. When you create a new language edition, the new text is provided for each output format.

Each language edition consists of

The language edition used is identified in a system variable called ID.language.


You define the name when you create a language edition. This name is used in the edition tab to identify the edition to you. Default language names are provided, which are associated with a particular character set (e.g. Russian), but you can create any name you want, and select the character set yourself.


You select the language when you create a language edition. The languages are currently listed as ISO (International Standards Organisation) codes. This defines what characters you can use. (To see them appear correctly, you need to set up that language in Windows.) For example, if you select ru (Russian) you will be able to enter Cyrillic. IF you are not sure which language is represented by which code, select a named language in the Name box, and see which code appears in the lower box.


The text is all the text in your questionnaire: titles, question text, labels, et cetera. When you create a new language edition, existing text is:

  • copied if an edition using the same language exists.
  • omitted if a new language is used (but the original text appears in grey so you can see what you are translating from)


You can publish your language editions separately in all modes, or publish to a single multi-language output for Snap WebHost and Snap Mobile Anywhere.

To publish to a single multi-language survey you must specify that the ID.language paradata variable is used in the survey. This variable is only available for use in Snap WebHost and Offline editions (though it is always present). If you use it, a question is inserted in the survey asking respondents which language they would like to use. You can then publish a single survey containing both languages. The survey language changes automatically according to the response to the inserted question.

NOTE: Multiple Language editions cannot be published at the same time for Paper Scanning editions. There will need to be one survey file per language edition.

Changing between the language editions

When you create a new language edition, a tab for the new edition appears at the bottom of the questionnaire design window. Click on the tabs or use [Alt] [PgUp] and [Alt] [PgDn] to change from one edition to another. A new language edition is created for each current edition.


Because the variables are exactly the same in all editions, even though the questionnaires may look different, you can combine data from questionnaires in different languages, and analyze it together.

When you have multiple language editions of a questionnaire, the variable ID.language is created automatically. This is preloaded with the language value when you publish the questionnaire, allowing you to do analysis by language.

Summary of steps to create a multi-language survey

To create a translated edition of a questionnaire you need to:

  1. Open the questionnaire and create a new language edition.
  2. Make the text changes to the new edition.
  3. Publish and distribute the editions.

If you wish to create a single multi-language survey, you also need to:

  • Include the language paradata question in the questionnaire itself.

The instructions below describe how to create a Snap WebHost web edition in Welsh and English. It assumes that you start with an English language edition, and have another document containing the Welsh language edition.

Step 1: Creating the language edition

    1. Open the English questionnaire in Questionnaire mode.
    2. Press [Control][Shift][E] or click the Editions and Style Templates button Editions and style templates button. A dialog appears, displaying the current editions.
      Editions & Style Templates | current editions
    3. Click [Language…]. The New Survey Edition dialog appears.
      Languages | New Survey Edition dialog
    4. Click [Add]. The Define Language dialog appears.
      Define Language dialog
    5. Check the Swap keyboard layouts box to set the keyboard layout to Welsh when this is the selected edition. (This will only have an effect if you have added Welsh to your computer using the Languages tab of the Regional and Languages Options in the Control Panel.) Click [OK].
    6. A new tab appears at the bottom of the questionnaire and you are returned to the Editions and Style Templates dialog. Click [OK].
      New tab at questionnaire bottom

Step 2: Making the language changes to the new edition

    1. Open the document containing the Welsh language translation.
    2. Go back to Snap and click the Welsh language tab to go to the Welsh edition.
    3. Select a question to translate. The question displays the English text in pale grey to tell you what you need to translate.
      Pale grey text to translate
    4. Select the question text and paste in the translation. You do not need to select or delete the grey text. It will disappear as soon as you write in the box. (If you do not have an existing translation, type in the Welsh text rather than cutting and pasting it.)
      Select question text, paste in translation
    5. Repeat for the code labels and the other questions until your questionnaire is complete.

Step 3: Inserting the Language paradata question to create a single dual-language output

  1. Click the Questionnaire Properties button. The Questionnaire Properties dialog opens.
  2. Select the Language system variable and check the Use in survey box.
    Questionnaire Properties | Select language | Use in Survey
  3. Click [OK].
  4. A new single-response question is inserted at the top of your questionnaire.
    Language | New single-response question
  5. Move it to the position you want (below the title) using the control and down arrow keys. (Do not use cut and paste, you will lose the special link to the language variable.)
  6. Edit the text so that it is appropriate for both languages:
    Language | Edit text

Step 4: Publishing the dual-language edition

  1. Open the publish dialog by selection File|Publish or clicking [Shift][Control][W].
  2. Select Paradata in the left-hand column and check that the Language variable is used in the survey. (If you cut and pasted the question that uses it, you may have deleted it by mistake.)
  3. Select Output in the left-hand column and browse to the directory where you wish to publish your survey.
  4. Click Publish to create a dual-language zip file ready to load to a Snap WebHost server.

If you wish to publish two separate surveys, go to Paradata, select Language in the variables column and clear the Use in survey box. You will then publish the current language edition only. The ID.language question will be omitted if it exists. The published zip file will be placed in a subdirectory of the normal publish folder, named after the selected language.

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