International Translation Day 2023

Posted on September 15, 2023

This day is celebrated to endorse and recognise the important work done by Language Practitioners of different languages in different organisations private as well as government.

On this day various speakers on the platform elaborated on the importance of translations and its challenges.

They also clarified that most people confuse translation and interpreting. The difference between the two was explained as that which is written in documents and can be translated and the spoken language part as being interpreting.

In attendance was former commander of Language Management Section Dr Bokaba. She is currently Chairperson of the Gauteng Provincial Language Committee. She emphasised on her career experience as translator and indicated that translation is never an easy job to do, it needs an intensive understanding of what you are translating. If translation is not done to the standard required, it loses complete meaning.

The other challenge is that some translators do word by word translation and at the end there in no sense in the message being relayed to the reader from the source text to what is translated.

An example was given in Sesotho language, “A re ye go robala” (let us go to sleep) in the true sense it does not necessarily mean going to sleep.  The expression’s correct meaning is “let us be intimate”. The translator has to have understand of the context before even attempting to translate.

The addition of Sign Language as the 12 Official language was explained by a member of the deaf community, it was also mentioned that the deaf community uses signs to communicate. Should it happen that a deaf person commit a crime, the arresting officer should cuff the deaf person on the legs and not the hands because that person will need to use the hands to communicate.

This was brought as the Sign Language was officially accepted as the 12 South African Language on the 19 July 2023. Ms Ayesha Ramjugernath from SASLI went onto stage to make a presentation. She explained how important it is to find the right sign language interpreter because some do not understand the SA sign language. An example of the interpreter who was used during the funeral of Tata Nelson Mandela was given and the fact that this was reported to SATI. Mr Lance Schultz, who is the CEO at PanSALB said he becomes nervous every time he sees a sign language interpreter and wonder if a complaint is not going to follow after the event.

One of the blind students of Applied Languages at TUT, Mr Calvin Mogajane was also introduced and given an Award because he wrote a book called “Strong Woman”. In his book he emphasised the use of cultural idioms. He said these idioms mostly promote gender based violence. An example was one which says “Lebitla la mosadi ke bogadi” this simply means no matter how difficult your marriage is, you have to persevere. Many women are killed by their spouses because of such idioms.

In conclusion, the students of TUT rendered a traditional dance and some did poetry in all indigenous languages of South Africa.

- Author Dr NB Bokaba

Copyright © University of Pretoria 2024. All rights reserved.

FAQ's Email Us Virtual Campus Share Cookie Preferences