Development of an interpreting service model at the Durban University of Technology
Makhubu, Rosethal Loli
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This research deals with the development of a model of interpreting services for a newly merged multilingual University of Technology, the Durban University of Technology. The rationale for the study was the urgent need to give students whose mother tongue is not the medium of instruction (i.e. English) equity of access to higher-degree education. The research was carried out within a critical realist approach, which seeks to transform society by practical application of theory. Unlike previous studies in interpreting, this research focuses on the service provision aspect of interpreting. It falls within the field of educational interpreting, but goes beyond the classroom situation in considering other university interpreting needs, such as seminars and in-house conferences, graduation and other ceremonies, operational meetings and labour-related meetings. Franck‟s modelling process was used to formulate a theoretical model of the interpreting service delivery mechanism using data gathered during visitations to local and international universities. The theoretical model, or system of essential functions, was used to arrive at the applied aspect of the mechanism, termed an empirical model of interpreting service delivery. The model was then validated in terms of its application in various contexts at the Durban University of Technology. It is suggested that the theoretical and practical models developed have application not only for educational interpreting, but also in other interpreting contexts. The models are also considered to have relevance for service delivery in general, which is a critical issue at present in South Africa.