A useful measure of quality of life should be easy and quick to complete. Recently, we reported the development and validation of a shortened Chinese version of the Functional Living Index-Cancer (FLIC), which we called the Quick-FLIC. In the present study of 327 English-speaking and 221 Chinese-speaking cancer patients, we validated the English version of the Quick-FLIC and further assessed the Chinese version. The 11 Quick-FLIC items were administered alongside the 11 remaining items of the full FLIC, but there appeared to be little context effect. Validity of the English version of the Quick-FLIC was attested by its strong correlation with two other measures of quality of life, and its ability to detect differences between patients with different performance status and treatment status (each P<0.001). Its internal consistency (alpha=0.86) and test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation=0.76) were also satisfactory. The measure was responsive to changes in performance status (P<0.001). The Chinese version showed similar characteristics. The Quick-FLIC behaved in ways that are highly comparable with the FLIC, even though the Quick-FLIC comprised only 11 items whereas the FLIC comprised 22. Further research is required to see whether the use of shorter instruments can improve data quality and response rates, but the fact that shorter instruments place less burden on the patients is itself inherently important.