A qualitative analysis of government documents translated into Isixhosa

Saliwa, Ncebakazi Faith (2006-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2006.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: South Africa declared all 11 South African languages official to bring back dignity to all citizens of this country and to ensure that communication reaches all people in the language of their choice. In an effort to meet this constitutional mandate, government institutions are obliged to translate documents into all official national or provincial languages. Before 1998, only two languages were used in official documentation -and those were English and Afrikaans. That meant that a lot of money was invested in and committed into developing these two languages, especially Afrikaans, so that they could be used readily in all official and general communication. African languages were not developed as much then and this became a problem when they were declared official as they were not ready to meet the challenges of official and technical use. Government has not been able to identify this as a problem and has therefore lightly and ignorantly regarded tasks such as translation as easy tasks that can be handled by any speaker of the language concerned. This has resulted in very poor translations. This study begins with an introduction that entails the hyphothesis. According to the hyphothesis, most government documents translated into isiXhosa do not communicate with their target audiences because of their poor quality. This makes it difficult for target readers to follow the message. The poor quality results from the use of either untrained translators or people who claim that they can translate -as well as the use of any language speaker to translate by the virtue of being able to speak the language concerned. In other instances, the issue is not the quality but rather transliteration because of the use of language professionals such as lecturers who are conversant with the language and grammar, but who have no expertise, training or experience in translation. Chapter 2 explores the three main approaches of translation, namely the linguistic approach, the text-linguistic approach and the functional approach. In this chapter, the results of extensive research and development over the years in the translation field are presented. In Chapter 3, two government documents are analysed by the researcher and by a group of participants who were given relevant questionnaires and others interviewed. In Chapter 4, the reasons for poor quality are identified and, in Chapters 5 and 6, solutions to problems and reasons for poor translation are suggested. It is hoped that the research will stimulate a new subject for discussion and a field of study concerning translation into African languages so that government can seriously regard translation as a specialist field.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Suid-Afrika het al elf Suid-Afrikaanse tale amptelik verklaar om waardigheid terug te bring na al die landsburgers en om te verseker dat kommunikasie almal in die taal van sy of haar keuse bereik. Ten einde uitvoering te gee aan hierdie grondwetlike mandaat, is staatsinstellings verplig om dokumente in al die nasionale of provinsiale tale te vertaal. Voor 1998 was daar net twee amptelike tale, naamlik Afrikaans en Engels. Dit het behels dat baie geld bestee en verbind is om hierdie twee tale en veral Afrikaans te ontwikkel sodat hulle maklik in alle amptelike en algemene kommunikasie gebruik kon word. Pogings is nie dienooreenkomstig aangewend om die Afrikatale te ontwikkel nie. Dit het onmiddellik aanleiding tot probleme gegee toe die Afrikatale as amptelik verklaar is aangesien hulle nie gereed was om die uitdagings van amptelike en tegniese gebruik die hoof te bied nie. Die regering het dit nie as 'n probleem beskou nie en het dus ligtelik en onkundig sulke take soos vertaling as maklike take beskou wat deur enige spreker van die taal gedoen kon word. Dit het gelei tot baie swak vertalings. Die studie begin met 'n inleiding wat die hipotese stel, naamlik dat die meeste staatsdokumente wat in isiXhosa vertaal word, nie met hul teikengroepe kommunikeer nie omdat die swak gehalte daarvan dit moeilik maak vir die teikengroep om die boodskap te verstaan. Die swak gehalte spruit uit die gebruik van of onopgeleide vertalers, Of enigeen wat daarop aanspraak maak dat hy of sy kan vertaal, of uit die situasie waar enige spreker van 'n taal versoek word om te vertaal omdat hy of sy die taal kan praat. In ander gevalle is die probleem nie die gehalte nie, maar eerder transliterasie en die gebruik van akademici wat vertroud is met die taal en die grammatika, maar geen vertaalkundigheid, -opleiding of —ervaring het nie. Hoofstuk 2 ondersoek die drie vernaamste benaderings tot vertaling, naamlik die linguistiese benadering, die tekslinguistiese benadering en die funksionalistiese benadering. Die resultate van omvattende navorsing en ontwikkeling ten opsigte van hierdie benaderings wat oor die jare in die veld van vertaling gemaak is, word hier aangebied. In hoofstuk 3 word twee staatsdokumente deur die navorser ontleed en ook deur 'n groep deelnemers wat tersaaklike vraelyste moes invul en met wie onderhoude gevoer is. Die oorsake van swak gehalte word bepaal en oplossings word in hoofstuk 4 aanbeveel. In hoofstukke 5 en 6 word oplossings tot en redes vir vertaalprobleme aangevoer. Hierdie navorsing sal hopelik 'n nuwe onderwerp vir bespreking en 'n studieveld ten opsigte van vertaling in Afrikatale bevorder sodat die regering ems kan maak daarmee om vertaling as 'n spesialisveld te beskou.

(ISIXHOSA) AMAGQABANTSHINTSHI: UMzantsi Afrika umisele zonke iilwimi ezilishumi elinanye zeli lizwe njengezisemthethweni ukubuyisela isidima sabemi bell lizwe. Oku kwenzelwa nokuqinisekisa ukuba wonke ubani ufumana ulwazi ngolwimi afuna ukulufumana ngalo. Kwimizamo yokuphumeza le njongo yoMgago-siseko, amaziko karhulumente kuye kwanyanzeleka ukuba aguqulele onke amaxwebhu kuzo zonke iilwimi ezisemthethweni zelizwe okanye zephondo. Phambi ko-1998, zimbini kuphela iilwimi ebezisemthethweni, ibisisiNgesi nesiBhulu. Oku kwenza ukuba ezi lwimi zimbini ziphuhliswe, ingakumbi isiBhulu, ukulungiselela ukuba zikwazi ukusetyenziswa kumaxwebhu asemthethweni nakunxibelelwano ngokubanzi. lilwimi zesintu azizange ziphuhliswe kangako, nto leyo ekhokelele ekubeni zijongane nemiceli-mngeni emva kokuba zamiselwa ngokusemthethweni. Urhulumente akakuboni ukuba oku kuseyingxaki kangangokuba imisebenzi efana noguqulo-lwimi uyithatha njengemisebenzi elula nenokwenziwa nguye nabani na okwazi ukuthetha ulwimi olo. Oku kubangela ukuba sibe namaxwebhu aguqulwe kakubi nangafundekiyo. Le thisisi iqala ngokubeka ingxaki yokuba, amaxwebhu amaninzi karhulumente aguqulelwe esiXhoseni akafundeki ngenxa yokuba uguqulo olo lukumgangatho ophantsi. Oku kwenza ukuba abo bantetho isisiXhosa abafanele ukufunda la maxwebhu, bangayilandeli into ebhalwe kuwo. Olu luguqulo lungafundekiyo lwenziwa kukusetyenziswa kwabaguquli-lwimi abangawuqeqeshelwanga lo msebenzi kwakunye nabo bathi bayakwazi ukuguqula ukuya kuma ekusetyenzisweni kwaye nawuphi na umntu othetha olu lwimi. Ngamanye amaxesha, ingxaki kukuba abo baguqulayo bavele balandele ulwimi olo basukuba beguqula kulo nokusetyenziswa kweengcali zolwimi ezifana nabahlohli zibe zingenabungcali naluqeqesho lokutolika okanye loguqulo-lwimi. lsahluko sesibini sichaza ngokubanzi ngezifundo zoguqulo nophando osele lwenziwe kwezi zifundo. Sichaphazela iindlela-ndlela zoguqulo eziphambili. Eyokuqala yileyo yokuguqula uqinisekisa ukuba onke amagama akuxwebhu aguquliwe kunye nazo zonke izigaba zentetho ezilapha. Eyesibini yileyo iqinisekisa ukuba ingxam yoxwebhu iguquliwe ze eyesithathu ibe yekuguqulwa kulandelwa injongo efanele ukuphunyezwa luxwebhu olo nokuqinisekisa ukuba uyazanezisa iimfuno nolwazi lwabantu abaza kulusebenzisa. KwiSahluko sesi-3, umbhali nomphandi wolu xwebhu uye waphonononga waza wehla amahlongwane amaxwebhu amabini karhulumente, wawanika nabanye abantu ukuba bakhe bawajonge yaye banike izimvo zabo ngawo. KwiSahluko sesi-4, Izizathu ezenza ukuba la maxwebhu angafundeki kamnandi zichaziwe ze kwiSahluko sesi-5 nesesi-6 kwanikwa iingcebiso nezisombululo eziya kunceda ukuba kuguqulwe ngendlela engcono. Umphandi lo unomnqweno nethemba lokuba olu phando luya kubangela ukuba lo mba ukhe uqwalaselisiswe. Ukwathemba kananjalo ukuba ngenxa yolu phando kuya kuthi kuntshule ezinye izifundo ezijonga le ngxaki, ukuze urhulumente ayithathele ingqalelo into yokuba uguqulo-lwimi lufanele ukwenziwa ngabo bantu bawuqeqeshelweyo okanye bawufundeleyo lo msebenzi.

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