Interview Campaign for Translators: Japhet Mphande from Zambia
Japhet Mphande: The principal linquistic and intercultural problems for translators in the languages that I handle are:A first problem is the lack of words to use in the ICT sector, but for closer understanding the pronunciations still flow same, for instance, internet = intaneti, twitter = twita,so the pronunciations are the same as for the English words. A second challenge I often face concerns the lack of standardization of words in my working languages, especially in the ICT sector. Apart from the problems of terminology, there is another area of words which create problems to me, and they are the words that seem to be culturally offensive. It is a big problem to translate them as well either because of one’s cultural background or because of certain traditions which are still strong in certain people.
MR: What do you think is important to promote intercultural dialogue?
JM: It is very important to promote intercultural dialogue because things are constantly evolving, which means we need to keep abreast with what’s happening and with developing trends in culture and language.
Technical terms may not be so well known in Nyanja or Chewa or limited. But when translating from English to Nyanja or Chewa one still faces the problem of technical terms and also terms which have come because of technological change, for example, internet, twitter, facebook, google. Internet would still be “intaneti” and on facebook for example yu say“Mcezo wa manyado ya pompo” to express that you are chatting and showing off while you are online.
If such words are not published so that they can easily fall into circulation and be used, in the process people come up with a lot of other words as well on the same word or thing. WE NEED ORGANIZATIONS that can support the publication of such technical terms and not only online but also as hard copy books.
On the one hand the problem has to do with how education is structured. Translation is not taken seriously in a situation where all things are learnt in major foreign languages. And this is a contradiction we have to solve in our country.