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Translation can refer to the general subject field, the outcome of translation, which is the text or product (book, report, poem, etc.), or of course also the act of producing the product, thus the act of translating. The process of translation takes place between two languages when a person changes a written text in the original language into a written text of another language (adapted from Munday 2008).

Profiles of professional translators:

Brenda Nomadlozi Bokaba: Chief Language Practitioner for isiZulu

Qualifications: BA; BA Honours, MA (Linguistics); Train-the-trainer Certificate

I was employed as an educator at Mamelodi High School and Hofmeyr High School teaching languages. I have also worked as a lecturer for languages at Vista University, Mamelodi Campus (Now University of Pretoria). Presently, I am employed as Colonel of the South African Police Language Management Unit. I am the Commander of the section, and my responsibilities include but are not limited to managing the section in the African Languages, English, Afrikaans and Foreign Languages.

I also manage the annual budget of the section. I also do projects which relates to Language Training. I am also a facilitator/trainer for the Executive Development Learning Programme of the SAPS. I have a lot of skills acquired from working in different environments including publishing skills which I acquired at the Gauteng institute of Education Development, where we were developing Learning Programmes for the Department of Education. As a freelance translator,  I have translated, edited, checked and co-authored books, for all levels in isiZulu and have worked with a number of publishers and publishing houses.​


Interpreting is regarded as translational activity, as a special form of Translation. Interpreting can be distinguished from other types of translational activity most succinctly by its immediacy: in principle, interpreting is performed ‘here and now’ for the benefit of people who want to engage in communication across barriers of language and culture. A common way of distinguishing interpreting from translation furthermore is that interpreting usually refers to the oral rendering or signing of spoken or signed languages (adapted from Pöchhacker 2004).

Profiles of professional interpreters:

Mangope Motaung:

“I joined the Department of Justice in February 1990 as a Casual Court Interpreter at Johannesburg Magistrate Court and was appointed permanent on the 01st November 1990.

I originate from the South Free State in Fauresmith where I was born on the 05th October 1966 and completed my school career at a very late stage due certain circumstances. I joined the department by default, because when I came to Johannesburg I have failed my matric in 1989, therefore I came to become a sales representative for a company that was based in Brixton.

I was informed by the daughter who was a Traffic Officer (Ms Green) of the family who took me on my arrival in Johannesburg that at Johannesburg Magistrate Court, their looking for individuals who are proficient in Afrikaans.

I am only proficient in four languages which is; English, Afrikaans, Setswana and Sesotho and Afrikaans is almost my first language at home.

I completed my Matric at Denver Adult Centre in 193/4 and in 2004 I achieved a mile stone in my life by graduating at the University of the North West with a University Diploma in Legal Interpreting, and my studies was funded by the Department of Justice, thus I am grateful for their contribution to me but still have the desire to further my studies in same.

I progressed up the levels in my job until I was appointed Principal Court Interpreter in 2008 at Evander Cluster (Magistrate Court) in Mpumalanga. I moved back to Johannesburg in 2010 on the same position and in October 2011 I was appointed Supervisor on a Pilot Project on Foreign Language Court Interpreters at Johannesburg Magistrate Court and Coordinated for the Cluster successfully. On the 01st August 2012 I was appointed Inspector Language Services for Gauteng Region to manage the service but from the 01st April 2013 I will be transferred to Johannesburg Magistrate Court to become a Cluster Manager Language Services, because my strength lies in the operation.

To be a Language Practitioner is an exciting career but only problem there is no Professional body.”​


Marne Pienaar: 

“Ek het oorsponklik BA met tale studeer (Engels, Afrikaans en Nederlands, Duits en Italiaans).  Daarna het ek honneurs in Afrikaans met die fokus op taalkunde gedoen en dit opgevolg met 'n MA in Kultuurgeskiedenis en 'n MA in Afrikaans.  Later het ek 'n D.Litt et Phil in Afrikaans behaal.  Alhoewel ek 'n akademiese loopbaan gevolg het, was ek nog altyd geïnteresseerd in vertaling en 'n aanstelling in die destydse Dept. Linguistiek en Literatuurwetenskap by die RAU (nou die Dept. Linguistiek by UJ) het my in die diep kant ingegooi.

Ongeag dat ek al vir meer as twintig jaar vryskut vertaling en redigering doen, is simultane tolking my werklike passie. Ek was bevoorreg om 'n geleentheid te kry om as simultane tolk by die Gauteng-wetgewer te werk en dit het daartoe gelei dat ek by SAVI as simultane tolk (Engels-Afrikaans/Afrikaans-Engels) geakkrediteer is.  Ek later ook tolke begin oplei by ander wetgewers en by die universiteit en ek is baie trots op sommige van oudstudente wat na my mening vandag uitstekende tolke is. My belangstelling in tolking het ook gelei tot 'n aantal referate en akademiese publikasies.

Simultane tolking neem 'n mens na plekke en mense waar jy nooit andersins sal kom nie (sal ek ooit die keer vergeet toe ek 2-uur in die nag in die hartjie van Bela-Bela uitbundig saam met 'n duisend landelike vroue gedans het?) Dit brei jou algemene kennis daadwerklik uit (as jy nie weet wat bek-en-klou-seer of vrotpootjie in Engels is nie, is dit nou die tyd om te leer). Simultane tolking is aanvanklik moeilik, maar dit is soos fietsry, as jy dit eers regkry, is dit heerlik.  Dis vinnig, dis nou, as dit klaar is, is dit klaar en die vergoeding is nie te versmaai nie.”