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Navigating Nuances of Language and Meaning: Challenges of Cross-Language Ethnography Involving Shona Speakers Living With Schizophrenia

Chidarikire, S ORCID: 0000-0002-8250-9876, Cross, M ORCID: 0000-0001-5526-4650, Skinner, I and Cleary, M ORCID: 0000-0002-1453-4850 2018 , 'Navigating Nuances of Language and Meaning: Challenges of Cross-Language Ethnography Involving Shona Speakers Living With Schizophrenia' , Qualitative Health Research, vol. 28, no. 6 , pp. 927-938 , doi:

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For people living with schizophrenia, their experience is personal and culturally bound. Focused ethnography enablesresearchers to understand people’s experiences in-context, a prerequisite to providing person-centered care. Dataare gathered through observational fieldwork and in-depth interviews with cultural informants. Regardless of theculture, ethnographic research involves resolving issues of language, communication, and meaning. This article discussesthe challenges faced by a bilingual, primary mental health nurse researcher when investigating the experiences ofpeople living with schizophrenia in Zimbabwe. Bilingual understanding influenced the research questions, translationof a validated survey instrument and interview transcripts, analysis of the nuances of dialect and local idioms, andconfirmation of cultural understanding. When the researcher is a bilingual cultural insider, the insights gained can bemore nuanced and culturally enriched. In cross-language research, translation issues are especially challenging when itinvolves people with a mental illness and requires researcher experience, ethical sensitivity, and cultural awareness.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Chidarikire, S and Cross, M and Skinner, I and Cleary, M
Keywords: bilingual research; cross-language research; focused ethnography; language translation; mental health nursing; health research; qualitative research; schizophrenia; Zimbabwe
Journal or Publication Title: Qualitative Health Research
Publisher: Sage Publications Inc
ISSN: 1049-7323
DOI / ID Number:
Copyright Information:

© The Author(s) 2018

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