Translating diabetes brochures: challenges encountered
Javu, Mirranda Thobela
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The aim of this study was to develop isiXhosa terminology for diabetes brochures written in English or in medical terms, to enable diabetes patients to access information on their disease. Lefevere (1992a: xi) describes translation as “rewriting of an original text”. This study re-evaluated Lefevere's concept of translation by examining English brochures and translating them into isiXhosa brochures. In order to demonstrate how the translator of the English brochures transported the source text messages to the target language, literature was reviewed. Translation theories or approaches are discussed to assess their impact on the researcher’s attempt in translating diabetes brochures into isiXhosa. Data was collected through questionnaires and interviews, and analysed to assess and answer the problem statement and hypothesis posed by the researcher that there will always be a high death rate of people with diabetes in South Africa, due to a lack of access to materials translated into indigenous languages on how to manage the disease. Since the available information is written in English or medical terms, it is difficult to reach a large sector of people who cannot read, write and/or speak English. Also, diabetes patients who speak the isiXhosa language lack knowledge on diabetes because they do not have access to information written in isiXhosa, or there is no written information at all. The study also aimed to translate English terminology including signs and symptoms, and causes and management of diabetes as these are crucial elements to be understood by diabetes patients in order to monitor their health. Furthermore, the researcher is of opinion that isiXhosa-speaking diabetes patients will be at less risk of dying if they are well informed by means of information in their mother tongue. Language is the soul of people. Without access to information, people are left in the dark and are prone to danger. On this backdrop the research was focused on translating diabetes brochures as a means of disseminating information to diabetes patients whose language is isiXhosa. Challenges encountered during the translation process are highlighted.