Handling technical translations: the case of translations of computer programs from english into kiswahili

No Thumbnail Available
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Dar es Salaam
The major purpose of this study was to examine the techniques, search procedures and principles which were being employed in the translation of computer programs from English into Kiswahili. The undertaking was guided by a text-type theory of translation which encourages translators and translation scholars to work with a text from a text-type perspective. Using selected documents and strategically designed interviews and questionnaires, data for the study was collected from a range of translation practioners and Kiswahili speakers. Upon analysis and correlation of the data the following were the findings: First, the findings revealed that there are mainly two phases in the translation of technical texts from English into Kiswahili. The first phase involves terms creation and the second is the actual translation practice. During the first phase, translators of computer programs adopted similar strategies as terminology developers to create terms relevant to the text at hand. Thereafter, they embarked on drafting and redrafting the target language (TL) text. Second, lack of uniformity in the equivalents created among the translators which was caused by the lack of genuine attempts at collaboration and cross-fertilization as well as insufficient efforts to disseminate the created terms regularly and systematically. Third, technical translations were judged difficult by the majority of the TL consumers because of the newness of the terms created and unfamiliarity with the field of discourse. In view of the findings, the study recommends that efforts be stepped up to harmonize terminology creation through such strategies as regularized collaboration and systematic dissemination of terms. Furthermore, TL speakers should be educated to adjust themselves in learning the new terms entering the language instead of clamoring for long and clumsy descriptive equivalents in the TL, which tend to be vague and imprecise and therefore unsuitable for scientific purposes.
Available in print form
Translations, Technology, Translating, English language, Swahili language
Malangwa, P. S (2010) Handling technical translations: the case of translations of computer programs from english into kiswahili. Ph.D dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at