The Lexical Problems of Court Interpreters in a Botswana High Court

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Kethapile Mojuta
Arua E Arua


This article explores the lexical problems of court interpreters interpreting from Setswana to English and from English to Setswana in Botswana. Data for the study were collected from audio CDs and transcripts of court proceedings of criminal trials at Lobatse High Court. Among the major fi ndings are the poor interpretation
of some of the lexical items in Botswana’s elaborate kinship and cattle naming systems into English, and that of certain English legal jargon and slang expressions into Setswana. Evidence of a tacit collective resolve, especially by judges, to ensure that interpreters perform adequately in the Botswana law court exists in the data.

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