Depression measurement tools in cross-cultural research require careful design and thorough validation to ensure that cognitive concepts in one culture can be appropriately translated and applied to a differing culture. The aim of this study was to validate the Chinese version of a screening measure of state depression, the 10-item Depression in Medically Ill (DMI-10), and we report three interdependent studies. An initial bilingual test-retest study identified four (of the 10) items as having poor cross-cultural validity. A second study involved focus groups participants exploring the meaning of translated items with Chinese speakers. The third study repeated the bilingual test-retest analyses on the modified DMI-10 form and demonstrated improved correlation coefficients on all items and an excellent overall correlation (r=0.87) between the Chinese and English versions. The Chinese DMI-10 should prove useful as a tool in cross-cultural research to understand the Chinese experience of depression. The findings of this study have methodological implications for cross-cultural research on depression.