How to tell in which language the survey was administered?

Hi, I was just wondering how to tell in which language the survey was administered fro m the downloaded data? I can’t seem to find it thanks

Hello @aislingol,
Just a hint: A user may change the language at any time and several times during the same interview. Then you might get a mix of values from multiple languages for one question (Excel column).
You may restrict this change feature on system and on form level in KoBoCollect by settings (& admin password) and fixing the default language.

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Hi, thanks for your response. So just to clarify by restricting this feature you mean just restict to one language? If the default language is English and there are 10 other languages is there any way to record through changing the settings when a different language to English is used? Thanks

Hello @aislingol ,

  1. Yes, restrict to one language by settings
  2. I am afraid, no easy recording. But there might be an option to activate audit (metadata) and evaluate it (form level only?).
    Maybe one of the KoBo experts can say more?
    @Kal_Lam, @stephanealoo, @Xiphware

AFAIK the current language selection is not save in the form instance XML response data (as meta data or otherwise), nor are there any existing XPath functions you can use to programmatically retrieve it (and hence store it yourself). This sounds like session information that might be more appropriate to save to the audit log, but alas I dont think it is right now :frowning:

I might suggest opening a feature request here about adding language selection to the ODK Collect audit log, with your specific usecase(s), and see what sort of traction you get. Or maybe someone else there might know a trick…


Hi @aislingol
If you really need to have the language of the interview noted, you may have to resort to the “pen and paper approach” where we would normally ask for each section of the questionnaire, which language/s was/were predominantly used. In this workaround, you actually have to add this question which will be administered.

However, as @Xiphware and @wroos have indicated the automatic capture of language is not possible.


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