Many languages are spoken in South Africa. This includes the
eleven official languages, and many other foreign languages. The
South African Police Service is committed to communicating
effectively internally and with their clients. To accomplish
this professional language practitioners provide a language
service in all the official languages and in many foreign
Language practitioners edit documents electronically or on
hard copy for language and style by scrutinizing them for
readability, logic, sentence structure, grammar and spelling.
They consult dictionaries and other sources of reference and
relevant web sites and discussion groups on the Internet to find
solutions to language- related difficulties that may arise. They
may also be expected to proofread documents before they are
They also translate documents from the source language, for
example, isiZulu, into the target language, for example,
English. For translation work, computer literacy and typing
skills are essential because all translations are done on
Language practitioners must be prepared to work under daily
and weekly deadlines.
Language practitioners may also specialize in interpreting,
in which case they interpret the words spoken by somebody into
Well-developed writing skills are essential in this career,
as language practitioners may be required, from time to time, to
write copy for brochures, publications etc. The must have
excellent social skills, as they have to deal with enquiries
about language related matters and work done in the office.
What are the minimum requirements to
become a Translator?
A language practitioner is a multiskilled person who has
obtained at least a BA degree in languages, and additional
qualifications in linguistics. The may include diplomas or post
graduate degrees in editing, translation, interpreting,
terminology, development or copywriting.
Before being appointed as a language practitioner in the
South African Police Service a candidate must pass a stringent
editing and translating test. In order to be promoted, one of
the requirements is to pass a translation and editing test set
by the National Language Service, Department of Arts and
Membership and accreditation with the South African
Translators Institute is a recommendation when appointments are
Language practitioners in service of the South African Police
Service receive in-service training and attend workshops and
training courses presented by universities and professional
Where can you be stationed?
Most of the language practitioners are stationed at Language
Management, South African Police Service, Head Office in
Pretoria although more opportunities are expected to arise in
the provinces in future.
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