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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Hearing only a faint echo? Interpreters and children in court
Authors:Matthias, CarmelISNI
Zaal, NoelISNI
Periodical:South African Journal on Human Rights
Geographic term:South Africa
children's rights
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02587203.2002.11827650
Abstract:This article reports the findings of a research study that was designed to evaluate the quality of services which child witnesses receive when they are expected to work with interpreters in court. The primary source of data used in the study was interviews held in 2001 with lawyers, court staff and social workers in South Africa who had had at least three years of experience in observing children in court. The study results supported previous South African research which has indicated that inaccuracy of translation is a pervasive problem in South African courts. The article reports and discusses other problems that particularly affect children: these include an inability by many interpreters to relate or communicate appropriately when working with child witnesses. Interpretation services tend to be particularly inadequate where children are expected to give evidence concerning sexual abuse. The article provides a series of recommendations concerning methods of selection, training and deployment of interpreters that will result in better services for child witnesses. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]