Insights in Translation for Specific Purposes
  • ISSN 2352-1805
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1813
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Police officers (hereafter referred to as ) have a fundamental role and function as both ‘interpreters’ and ‘translators’ in the process of the administration of justice. This role and function hinges, oftentimes, on how the two agents, that is, the and the complainants, relate to each other. What is it that they represent? What do they stand to gain? What mechanisms are at play that they exploit to reach their various goals and desires? In discharging these roles and functions, in particular become actively engaged in the activities of listening to, visualising, then retelling and rewriting the complainants’ isiXhosa oral narrative text into the English language. All these laborious and tedious activities are conducted to compile sworn statements that become essential in the leading of a criminal investigation, as well as in compiling the evidence that is ultimately used in court. In this context, the ‘voices’ that inform the ‘styles’ in and through which the original narratives are reconstructed (as translations) into police records remain critical as part of the legal discourse in the South African criminal justice system. These ‘voices’ and ‘styles’ signal the extent to which sworn statements are mediated and manipulated.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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