Interpreting services in the Western Cape legislature : an explorative analysis
The purpose of this study was to attempt to ascertain the standard of interpreting services in the Western Cape Legislature. The study gives a brief overview of the legislation regarding language, and is furthermore underpinned by a literature review. The everelusive concept of quality in interpreting is also considered. The empirical component of the study encompassed interviews and open-ended discussions with language practitioners, interpreters and users, which in this case are the members of parliament. In addition, interpreters gave feedback on their training, working conditions and own experiences by means of a filling out a questionnaire. In terms of assessing the standard of service delivered, the users were asked to rate the service on eleven different levels, as derived from the literature and previous studies done by international scholars, again by filling out a questionnaire. The purpose hereof was to marry the literature with the outcomes of the data collected. The study concludes that there is much scope for improvement of the service that is currently rendered at the Western Cape Parliament. The reasons for this are in part due to a lack of understanding and awareness of what interpreting entails, as well as a lack of understanding of the value of a sound interpreting service. In addition, it appears that interpreters may benefit from training to ensure better delivery of service.