An analysis of English - Kiswahili translation of sampled pesticides instruction leaflets
Odinga, Jeniffer Naika
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Accurate translation of information in the pesticides instruction leaflets is necessary in that it informs users on the intended use and directions to be followed.This enhances communication among those who can not understand instructions in the source language text. As a result, cases of misuse and mishandling of pesticides that lead to negative consequences are curbed. However, research that assesses the need for accurate translation of information from English-Kiswahili with respect to pesticides instruction leaflets in Kenya remains scarce. This study therefore sought to assess the translation from English (source text) to Kiswahili (target text) in the sampled pesticides instruction leaflets with a view to establishing the effects of mistranslation on small scale horticultural fanners in Ruiru District. In this regard, the study sought: to identify and categories the mismatches in meaning in the English- Kiswahili translation of sampled pesticides instructions leaflets, to examine the interpretation of target text by target audience and lastly to determine the effects of the mistranslations on small scale horticultural fanners. A qualitative research design is used to describe the mismatches in meaning between the source and the target texts. Data was collected from 10 purposively sampled pesticides instruction leaflets from two manufactures. This was done using content analysis technique where the researcher read through each of the sampled leaflets with a view to noting any mismatches in meaning between the source and the target texts. On the other hand, unstructured interview schedule was used to elicit data on the respondents' interpretation of the target text and the effect of this interpretation on themselves. These respondents were 20 in number and were purposively selected.The Interpretive Theory by Seleskovitch (1960-1980) is used in the analysis of the mismatches in meaning between the source and target text while the Speech Act Theory by Austin (1962) is used to analyze the respondents' interpretation of the target text and the effects of the same interpretation on themselves.This study found out that there are mismatches in meaning between the source text (English) and the target text (Kiswahili) in the sampled pesticides instruction leaflets.It was further discovered that these mismatches in meaning could be categorized into: Syntactic, Ambiguity, Addition and Omission categories. In addition, the findings indicated that the target respondents interpreted the target text at two levels. Firstly, those who interpreted the target text contrary to what the original text intended stood at 56% while those who interpreted the target text as intended by the source text were 44%. Lastly, the study found out that the negative effects experienced by the target respondents as a result of their execution of mistranslated instructions was at 33%. On the contrary, the positive effect experienced by the target respondents stood at 66%. This study consequently recommends that the translators of information in the pesticides instruction leaflets be professionals who are competent in both English and Kiswahili languages. As a result, cases of negative effects on target audience will be reduced.