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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Contemporary perceptions of interpreting in South Africa
Authors:Pienaar, MarnéISNI
Cornelius, Eleanor
Periodical:Nordic Journal of African Studies (ISSN 1459-9465)
Geographic term:South Africa
sign languages
External link:http://www.njas.helsinki.fi/pdf-files/vol24num2/pienaar_cornelius.pdf
Abstract:Since the inception of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), much has been done to professionalize interpreting in South Africa in terms of accreditation, training and research. Yet two incidents in particular, namely the memorial service of the late President Nelson Mandela and the Oscar Pistorius trial highlighted the gap between theory and practice and strengthened the common perception that South African interpreters are incompetent. This article investigates these common perceptions by focusing mainly on media reports on interpreting, in general, and the events surrounding the sign language interpreting services rendered during the widely televised memorial service and the equally widely covered Pistorius trial, in particular. Criticisms in the media voiced from within the interpreting profession by academics and SATI accredited interpreters, and aimed mainly at the Department of Justice during the Pistorius trial, also receive attention. It is concluded that the struggle remains for insight into what interpreters can and cannot do, the conditions required for optimal interpreting performance and the misperception that anyone who speaks two languages, can interpret between them. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]