Vol 29 No 1 (2020): Nordic Journal of African Studies
Articles Linguistics

In search of quality interpreting services – The National Parliament of South Africa as a case study

Harold M. Lesch
Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Thomas Ntuli
Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Published March 30, 2020
Keywords
  • conference interpreting,
  • recruitment,
  • training,
  • quality,
  • parliament

Abstract

The aim of this study is to investigate the interpreting services in the Parliament of South Africa as it sets out to ascertain the standard of interpreting services. The impetus to embark on such an investigation arose after Members of Parliament (MPs) complained about the interpreting services. In seeking to determine why MPs made such claims, one has to explore the interpreting services rendered by Parliament’s Interpreting Unit.

Consequently, an investigation is undertaken into whether the simultaneous interpreters employed by the Parliament of South Africa possess the amalgam of skills and qualifications necessary for them to render interpreting services of a high standard. The methodology involves questionnaires distributed to MPs and to interpreters, interviews conducted with senior language practitioners (SLPs), and an analysis of recruitment interviews with interpreters. These methodological aspects of the study are employed in an attempt to chart the quality of the interpreting services.