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HTS Theological Studies

versión On-line ISSN 2072-8050
versión impresa ISSN 0259-9422


KOTZE, Herculene. Exploring the role of the pastoral interpreter. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2018, vol.74, n.2, pp.1-9. ISSN 2072-8050.

This article investigated the role of the pastoral interpreter within this contextually specific environment, taking cognisance of the debate regarding professional and non-professional interpreting and what this debate means for future research on interpreting role descriptions. Generally, pastoral interpreters in South Africa are untrained and not remunerated for their work as interpreters. Considering the foregoing, this investigation aimed to define the role of the pastoral interpreter in South Africa by using existing interpreting role models as a point of departure. The population of respondents involved in the study included all the freelance pastoral interpreters voluntarily working as interpreters at a Dutch Reformed Church in Pretoria, South Africa. Primary data collection took place in the form of (1) a structured self-administered questionnaire and (2) a semi-structured focus group interview. The data were analysed using qualitative data analysis software, Atlas.ti. From the results of the study it can be deduced that pastoral interpreters' perception is that it would be unethical to not act according to what they believe in, and that is to deliver a message received from the Holy Spirit, thus becoming a spiritual conduit. The results of the study also indicated that formal training would enhance pastoral interpreting practices as there are gaps in untrained pastoral interpreters' theoretical knowledge and knowledge of standard interpreting practice.

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