Oscar trial interpreters could 'complicate' matter

2014-03-27 20:56
Lawyer Barry Roux speaks to his client Oscar Pistorius in the North Gauteng High Court. (Themba Hadebe, AP)

Lawyer Barry Roux speaks to his client Oscar Pistorius in the North Gauteng High Court. (Themba Hadebe, AP)

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Cape Town –  South African language interpreters continue to make international headlines, for all the wrong reasons Kwintessential Multilingual Services for Africa said on Thursday.

Last year SA became a laughing stock when it was discovered the sign language interpreter used at former president Nelson Mandela’s funeral was a fake.

But this time the interpreters at Oscar Pistorius’s trial have caused delays and disruption by arriving late, emotional outbursts and inaccuracies.

Pistorius is on trial for shooting and killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on 14 February 2013.

Kwintessential’s Simona Gallo-Mosala said: “Interpreting is an inherently delicate process. Court interpreting is particularly sensitive because it is set into the rigid rules of legal procedure and shrouded in the intricacies of legal language and it is, after all, part of the interpretation of facts.”

Kwintessential Multilungual Services for Africa works with language experts, translation and interpretation in SA and Africa.

Gallo-Mosala said interpreters at the Pistorius trial have made numerous mistakes.

“[These mistakes] raises the suspicion that interpreting could have been used to further complicate a very murky matter.”

Interpreting is a live performance, which requires great skill, nerves of steel and no emotional involvement, Gallo-Mosala said.

She said: “Interpreters are trained to meet these requirements. In fact, bad interpreting is actually a rare occurrence in an industry that relies on skilled, often freelance, professionals who cannot afford to make mistakes if they want to remain a player in a very competitive business.”

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  pistorius trial  |  crime

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