Sunday, April 8, 2018

analysis, interpretation, and translation

Translation meant knowing what a person speaking English meant and translating it to American English. Or that was the perception some had of my questions regarding interpretation. Perhaps translation is just one theme running through my study in this program. Other themes I have focused on are subjectivity vs. objectivity and word usage, noun or verb or clear choice and meaning.

Analysis is defined on as "a detailed examination of anything complex in order to determine its nature or to determine its essential features" or the sixth definition listed for analysis I seem to be using in this program "a method of philosophy of resolving complex expressions into simpler or more basic ones." Finding facts should be objective, yes? defines critical analysis as "an academic paper designed to understand a certain written work. This kind of writing is subjective because you [the writer] have to express personal opinions as evaluation. Identifying topics, data, or themes is part of critical reading or analyzing what has been written or in the case of interviews for my project what has been said, written, demonstrated, or accumulated through interviews and observations.

Interpretation is defined on as "the act or the result of interpreting: explanation", "a teaching technique that combines factual with stimulating explanatory information." I take this to be subjective as I must use my background to make informed or uninformed decisions as to what is truly being conveyed. Any bias I have makes the interpretation is personal and subjective. So.......

Analysis is identifying these themes which I have tried to maintain as subjects for blogs during my study through this program. Critical analysis would be the subjective interpretation of what others have thought about my blogs. Interpretation would be how I express what I think I have understood or comprehended to be the thoughts shared by many throughout my study in this program and how those thoughts have impacted my interpretation, understanding, or comprehension of things studied and discussed during the course of this program.

Module One is reflective which many seem to be subjective because it deals with discovering what a person knows and how that has been learned while objectively reading about what others have done and how those facts, thoughts, strategies, methodologies, etc. may resemble and enforce the knowledge a person has obtained through life experience. This process of analysis may be instigated by subjective goals but should maintain a certain amount of objective through the process (verb -eventually noun) of collecting data to prove (a word not liked in qualitative research) or state what a person knows and has learned, possibly used in life.

Module Two utilizes more objective analysis of texts about framework among many other things and this serves as a diving board or jumping off point for a more subjective look into what topic best suits the final research or critical review.

Module Three use both objective analysis and subjective critical analysis and interpretation or the student would not be able to relate (translate) what has been discovered through the research process.

Both analysis and interpretation (critical analysis) are necessary for the interpretation (translation) to be justified in the mind of the author of the critical review. Justification is not necessarily the end product as qualitative research does often create more questions.

The juggling act for my personal critical review of the qualitative research project I have chosen is that I must use analysis (objective) when identifying the populations of participants in the project while interpreting (critical analysis) what can be learned from the data gathered. My understanding of data gathered may not be what others may discover if they were to read, listen, or view materials recorded during this research project. That means I have the challenge of ensuring my interpretation is easily understood. Comprehension not being the same as one person may translate my interpretation differently from how I choose to portray through the written word my findings.

Yes, I most likely have gone over 400 words. Oh well.......through reflection my view of this writing may change based on discussions, reading, and taking time to reflect. Oh how I loathe the word reflect almost as much as I dislike the word improvisation. Please note an attempt to use sarcasm. Forcing myself to think philosophically rather than empirically has become second nature and has become my challenge. Blue is no longer blue but a combination of blue and yellow. 4 is no longer 2+2 but 2+5-3 or 0+4 or any other number of possibilities. Dance and movement are language. Finding the marriage to put that language into written word is the journey and adventure. s it not strange and exciting than we must learn to speak to dance and dance to speak? Without both would we be effective as instructors, teachers, or educators? 


  1. Hi Davis. Wow that was a long read - you have delved deep into the research processes and reflected - ha! Incredibly detailed and informative thank you. The only thing that sprang out at me is the necessity for your interpretation to be fully understood in the way intended. I don't think you will avoid perhaps some finding or seeing a different interpretation to the one you intended. If your interpretation is an 'exacting' one does this fit the nature of qualitative or no fixed truth? Personally improvisation is liberating!!! We will have to agree to disagree on that one!

  2. I love non-positivist research but dislike improv which is why I encourage and require my students to do improv studies in our classes. I hope to inspire them to like improv and seek new ideas.

    The fun part of my post is that I do not use the required text for Module Three, Transforming Qualitative Data. Had I quoted directly from that I would have mentioned the author of the required text gives a formula for qualitative research, Description-Analysis-Interpretation in which he clearly separates all three as different and necessary for qualitative research. I find joy in learning what people think of my dance works as I have discovered many people do not see what I hope to convey. However, if I have gotten a strong response from an audience or a reader than I have done my job and gotten the audience/reader/student to think without realizing I am encouraging thought.

    As to fixed thought and and the nature of qualitative research, my project uses both as the relevance and importance of the demographics of the two populations I interviewed and observed are relevant to comparing my findings which create more questions for me to numerous published quantitative studies. So I am doing this the hard way using both aspects of research. Then again, I have spent the entire time in this program constantly playing devil's advocate with myself trying to see myself not only as I think I am seen but also as others have let me know they see me. Perspective and perception, common blog themes of mine, have proven interesting.

    I must now take some pain killers and muscle relaxers. The typing is aggravating my injuries froma recent car wreck so I will not be writing on the blogs for at least a week.

  3. Thanks for blogging this.
    Looooong, but interesting as I, too, am waist deep in module 3.
    Not sure I know what I know anymore!
    I like the term 'translation'.
    I read your reply to another blog and am interested in the types of improv games you do with ballet, jazz, tap etc...
    Perhaps you can share when you're ready.
    Hope you're ok.

  4. I like your blog, I don't mind the length of it, it is very informative of dictionary terms, I could look them up, but from personal experience, I don't think I would have thought about looking them up, nor would I have ended up doing it because I am too much a "squirrely brained individual" to retain the attention span to bother. Thank you very much for this blog post, it is definitely food for though, and also some more clarification of the modules. Again, thank you.

  5. The terms are similar to those given in Transforming Qualitative Data by Harry F. Wolcott yet just different enough to again question analysis, qualitative analysis, translation, interpretation, comprehension, understanding, and many other words or thoughts I have blogged about while in this program. I am continuing to question my understanding, comprehension, and interpretation of many words, themes, and thoughts.

  6. Is Transforming Qualitative Data a good read? if it is I will add it to my reading list!

    1. As with any non-fiction book it has both bad and good moments. I recommend you save it for reading in Module Three so it does not affect how you complete Modules One and Two. But if you plan to purchase it be sure to order about halfway through Module Two so it arrives in time. I prefer new copies and had to wait six weeks for a book to ship.