Towards Effective Interpreter-Mediated Biblical Sermons in English and Kiswahili in the Tanzanian Charismatic and Pentecostal Churches: Any Challenge or Complexity Faced by the Church Interpreter?

Dr. Simon Mlundi


Interpretation is considered to be one of the most challenging professions in the world. This is due to its involvement of several abilities beyond language competence. Church interpretation is done predominantly by the untrained volunteering interpreters who in return, face a number of challenges. This paper examined the stakeholders’ perceptions towards the interpretation challenges facing the church interpreters by drawing examples from Charismatic and Pentecostal churches in the Tanzanian context. The study was conducted in Dar es Salaam, one of the largest commercial cities located in the Eastern Coastal regions of Tanzania in Africa. Data were collected through observation, interviews, questionnaires, and focus group discussions. It was found out that church interpreters encountered numerous challenges due to a lack of linguistic competence, experience, and professional training. Some of these challenges include; lack of enough biblical knowledge, difficulties in pronunciation, the use of difficult vocabulary, and poor preparations. It is recommended that church sermon interpreters should be provided with professional training in Translation and Interpretation Studies.

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