Intercultural communication problems relating to translation from English into Sesotho
Motsei, Anastacia Sara
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In this article, certain translative communication problems associated with the linguistic and stylistic differences between English and Sesotho are identified and discussed. With a view to help improve translation between the two languages where inaccurate and stilted communication frequently occurs, issues of equivalence, fidelity/faithfulness and the purpose of translation are delved into. It is furthermore argued that in South African multilingual contexts, like legal courts, criminal cases/hearings and hospitals clinics and similar health establishments, inaccurate translation and/or misinterpreting can lead to serious miscarriages of justice and poor service delivery. The reasons for such unfortunate eventualities sometimes relate to the translator-interpreter’s poor understanding of the cultural factors behind the English or Sesotho message. As such, emphasis is lain on the need for a translator-interpreter’s cultural understanding of the source language/text (SL/T) and target language/text (TL/T) to deliver an accurate version (in the target language or text – TL/T) of the original message. It is furthermore shown that one cause of social and legal injustice is closely related to the translatorinterpreter’s insufficient knowledge of both the English and Sesotho culture as it exists in grammatical forms, idiomatic structures, collocation patterns and stylistic patterns of the SL/T and the TL/T.