n Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig - Die sekuriteitswag, my finansiële adviseur

Volume 43, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-9570



In contrast to other (mainly European countries) where liaison interpreters act as intercultural brokers and interlingual facilitators between state service providers and immigrant communities, the South African situation calls for interpreting between service providers and citizens. This form of interpreting however mainly takes place within an unregulated and informal setting. Since 2004 the larger financial sector had to put measures in place to ensure that all relevant documentation were available in the 11 official languages of the country. However, due to inter alia high levels of illiteracy, it was found that the bottom end of the banking population still employ the services of bank security staff to act as interpreters on their behalf. This paper reports on this well-established form of liaison interpreting in the financial sector. It is argued that the non-provision of trained interpreters who are also bound to a code of ethics leads to the exploitation of linguistic marginalised groupings and thus perpetuates asymmetrical power relations in financial discourse.

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