Cambridge-Africa

Dr Enoch Sebuyungo

Dr Enoch Sebuyungo (Makerere University)

Research title: Removing language barriers to regional cooperation: translating administrative documents from french to English for Ugandan and Ghanaian audiences.

Research project: Ghana and Uganda are Anglophone countries that border with French-speaking neighbours. Ghana is entirely surrounded by three Francophone countries: Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Togo. Uganda is bordered to the west by the Democratic Republic of Congo, the largest and most populated francophone country in the world. Regional cooperation with French-speaking neighbours is essential since it promotes peace and inspires development that is beneficial to both nations. It is imperative to find language equivalences in the different administrative frameworks of law, commerce, education and general governance. The different systems sometimes cause misunderstandings and without effective language translation, they can constitute a barrier to regional development. Quite often, international development initiatives overlook the importance of languages and yet their misuse can affect programme implementation. Translation theory and research in English and French is awash with Eurocentric examples. African examples can provide an interesting cultural dimension to translation problems. This study intends to examine the translation of administrative documents from French into English in Ghana and Uganda. It shall be based on Nida’s sociolinguistic approach which considers the outlook and culture of the receptor audience. Insights from this project shall improve French-English translation effectiveness and regional understanding in East and West Africa.

Collaborators: Dr. Edith Esch , Lucy Cavendish College , Cambridge