oa Marang : Journal of Language and Literature - Problems faced by court interpreters in Botswana

Volume 19, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1816-7659



Court interpreting is a rather complex task. Inaccuracies in legal interpreting or translation can have serious consequences. Using oral interviews and a written questionnaire, this study set out to establish the problems faced by court interpreters in Botswana in the course of their duties, the kind of training offered to court interpreters in Botswana, the court interpreters familiarity with court procedure, etiquette and legal terminology; to find out the interpretation and translation techniques that court interpreters use; and, to establish the problems that may make the dispensing of justice difficult in the courts in Botswana. The findings show that interpreters in the Magistrate and High Courts in Botswana perform their duties under very difficult circumstances which have serious implications on the delivery of justice. The problems established include lack of training for interpreters, the absence of a job descriptionption and guidelines for interpreters, long hours of work, lack of a forum for interpreters to share ideas on their job, lack of security for case files as most of the offices used by interpreters in the magistrate courts are also used by other staff, and lack of equipment such as microphones during interpreting. Recommendations to ameliorate these problems are also made.

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