Differences in survey questions' wordings and weakness in some questions used to measure noise annoyance have interfered with accumulating knowledge about the factors that affect different communities' responses to noise. In 1993 an ICBEN team, Community Response to Noise, set the goal of creating high-quality survey questions that would yield internationally comparable measures of overall reactions to noise sources. After 7 years of discussions and research the team has developed and tested a method that attempts to meet those goals. The team recommends the use of a pair of multi-purpose questions in community noise surveys. The wording of the questions is presented for the nine languages for which a standardized empirical study protocol has been followed to select annoyance scale words. The team's protocol can be used to create comparable questions for additional languages in the future. (C) 2001 Academic Press.