Serbian version of the Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives (MAIN)
This paper provides the background to the process of translation and piloting of the Serbian version of the Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives (LITMUS- MAIN), Multilingvalni Test za Procenu Narativa (MTPN). Our review of the sparse research literature on Serbian children’s narrative abilities reveals a need for a well- designed narrative instrument, which will enable researchers and practitioners to assess the production and comprehension of narratives in children of a wide age range, typically and atypically developing, monolingual and bilingual, crucially allowing for cross- linguistic comparisons. We encountered two kinds of challenges during the process of translation and adaptation of the instrument from English into Serbian. The first concerned the lack of established Serbian technical terminology needed to describe test administration to the future users of the test: researchers and practitioners working in different disciplines such as linguistics, psychology, Speech and Language Therapy. The second challenge concerned the translation of linguistic structures required to produce a successful rendition of the narrative: in contrast to English, but in line with other Slavic languages, Serbian relies heavily on verbs marked for perfective aspect in story-telling. Our discussion of preliminary data from four Serbian monolingual children, aged 5;5-10, demonstrates that MTPN is a successful tool in assessing narrative abilities in children acquiring Serbian.