I am a B-Tech student at the Tshwane University of Technology currently studying Language Practice. One of my majors is Language Translation Practice Module. During my entire diploma years, since 2015, I have come across many translation dilemmas.
• Define: what is the problem that we face?
– The problem is finding or formulating lexical terminologies in our various (Sepedi, IsiZulu, IsiXhosa, Xitsonga and Venda) applied languages. The bilingual dictionaries that we are using currently are not up to date and they lack great quantity of lemmas. Another problem that is faced is that interpreting is not offered as part of the LTP module, which I believe should be, to complete the package. If you want a career in interpreting, you have to outsource to the other universities, which is adding more years to your qualification.
• Discover: what’s causing the problem, and why do we need to solve it?
– During one of my diploma year’s exams (LTP), I came to a realisation that the bilingual Sepedi-English dictionary that I was using did not contain over half of the lexis that I was having difficulties translating to my native language (Sepedi). Again, during the June holidays in 2017, I was shadowing a high prestige interpreter at the Pretoria High Court. Upon my arrival, a colleague asked where I was studying and as I responded that I am a product of TUT, he shook his head in a confused manner and said: “but TUT does not offer interpreting!”. As I was ready to defend myself to say that I major in translation which is practically interpreting in a written form, it clicked that he was indeed making a valid point – that if I were to survive in that industry, I will have to make amends in taking extra modules to add to my qualification.
• Dream: what does the ideal solution look like?
– The ideal solution would look like – a language lab with all the latest innovation tools to facilitate learning. I envision a lab where learners could conduct innovative research. A whole building block designated for language purposes.
• Design: how will we create our solution?
– The ideal solution will require installation of the Hansard System in the language lab. In 2017, on the yearly educational trip to Cape Town, one of the highlight was a stop at the Parliament. This is where everything synced in. The deployment use of the Hansard System in the Parliament was extraordinarily eye opening. The Hansard System is a digital system used to produce transcripts of the Parliament’s debates and sessions, a global practice that ensures accountability and transparency. The equipment helps electorates have more access to what their representatives are saying and will enable them to ask questions. It allows for primary and backup recording in the Parliament. All recordings are then automatically replicated to a central archive server of the intranet, from where all audio playback and log notes can be accessed and reviewed. The same system could be useful in the LTP module in a sense that when you have a lexis that you do not understand, you could simply listen to a translation in a language of your choice. This will also assist with interpreting which will make an urge to the university management to implement interpreting as part of the LTP module.
• Deliver: how will we implement our solution?
– A yearly/quarterly publication of some sort would be the envisioned results; the publication would entail all the new lexis coined in our various applied languages. Also, advancement towards the bilingual dictionaries will be made. Interpreting would be done practically in the language lab. Furthermore, learners could be placed at different environments of exposure to interpreting services for observations.
• Debrief: how will we know if we were successful and what could we do differently?
– The lecturers will conduct a quarterly overview of the learners’ performance where they monitor the progress of each learner individually. Furthermore, adjustments will be made according to the learners’ performance.
Africa, T. P. o. S., 2017. Publications. [Sound Recording] (Parliamentary Information Centre).
De Schryver, G., 2007. Oxford Bilingual School Dictionary: Nothern Sotho and English. 1st ed. Cape Town: Oxford University Press.
Hornby, A. S., 2010. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary: International Students’s Edition. 8th ed. New York: Oxford University Press.
Zimbabwe, P. o., 2018. Parliament of Zimbabwe. [Online] Available at: http://www.parlzim.gov.zw/administration/directorates/journals-house-procedures-directorate/hansard-department[Accessed 16 October 2018].