“Many Faces of Humanity” unveiled at TUT’s International Translation Day celebration 

by Kgaugelo Selane

2 October 2023

In celebration of International Translation Day, which was held on Friday, 15 September, the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in partnership with the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, and the Gauteng Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) hosted a dialogue to highlight the importance of translation.

Lance Schultz, CEO of PanSALB.

Honourable Morakane Mosupyoe, the MEC of the Gauteng Province in Sport, Arts, Culture, and Recreation delivered the keynote address, in her speech, she emphasised the pivotal role of translation in understanding and unity across linguistic and cultural boundaries. She further touched on the role played by translation of the Bible into South African indigenous languages in the 18th and 19th century.

Her words served as a reminder of the power of languages to bridge gaps and create connections. “In our increasingly interconnected, the importance of translation cannot be overstated. It is through translation that we gain access to the vast tapestry of human knowledge, literature and the ideas that exist beyond the boundaries of our native languages. Translation enables us to explore the richness and different cultures to empathise with experiences of others and to engage in meaningful dialogue with people from diverse backgrounds”, she said. In her conclusion, she challenged the university to translate one of the academic books in any of the South African indigenous language cited in the Section 6 (1) of the Constitution and she committed that her department will support such a project.  

Dr Tebogo Rakgogo, HOD of Applied Languages at TUT.

A panel discussion was held on the realities of translation, editing, and interpreting careers, Chaired by Mr. Ernest Baloyi, a distinguished member of the Gauteng Provincial Language Committee (GPLC). The session provided valuable insights into the opportunities, challenges, and rewards of pursuing a career in translation, editing, and interpreting. 

The panellists who are in the applied language(s) field, shared their personal experiences, offering guidance and inspiration to aspiring linguists.

Dr Lutamo Shaddy Ramuedzisi, the deputy chairperson of the GPLC moderated another crucial panel session, on translation and interpreting in public services. The necessity of precise and effective communication in public sectors was covered by the panel. The speakers stressed the significance of inclusion and accessibility in terms of language to guarantee good service delivery to various groups. They spoke about ways to overcome language barriers and foster an atmosphere where everyone feels heard and understood.

In his vote of thanks, Dr. Tebogo Rakgogo, Head of the Department of Applied Languages, gave a vote of thank. Dr. Rakgogo expressed deep appreciation to all participants, organizers, and partners for their invaluable contributions in making the event a resounding success. He further highlighted the significance of continued efforts to promote the importance of translation in advancing intercultural understanding and unity. 

From left: Mr Shane Maja – Director for Heritage and Language Services; Dr Sally Maepa – PanSALB Provincial Manager; Honourable Morakane Mashupyoe – MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation; Mr Lance Schultz – PanSALB CEO; Prof Lolie Makhubu-Badenhorst – Chairperson of the Board (PanSALB); Dr Elikanah Lumadi – Acting Campus Rector for Garankuwa Campus; Dr Tebogo Rakgogo – HoD for Applied Languages. 

From the left: Dr Tebogo Rakgogo, Dr Sally Maepa, Ms Lolie Makhubu-Badenhorst, Dr Madikwa Segabutla and Mr Lance Schultz.

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology, please contact Phaphama Tshisikhawe, Corporate Affairs and Marketing.
Tel: +27 12 382 4711   Email: tshisikhawerpt@tut.ac.za