Skills needed to interpret transcendental languages

The case of Bhasukuma spirit medium language mediation

  • Titus Mpemba University of Dar es Salaam
Keywords: interpreting, transcendental language mediation, interpreting skills


While interpreting is increasingly becoming important, some interpreting forms still have no visibility in the field and research landscape, transcendental language mediation (henceforth TLM) being a case in point. The present paper examines linguistic and nonlinguistic skills and competencies that are inherent and necessary in interpreting transcendental languages, in view of giving indigenous interpreting forms and sub-forms more visibility in the interpreting research landscape and discourse. As its theoretical underpinning, the paper is guided by ideas from postcoloniality and scriptocentrism. The data were obtained through observation of 24 spirit medium language mediation events and semi-structured interviews to 24 Bhasukuma spirit mediums and 24 mediators in Mwanza, Geita, Shinyanga and Simiyu administrative regions of the United Republic of Tanzania. Findings suggest that there are prior-to-mediation-process skills and during-mediation process skills, which provide more support to the previous studies which found that mediation of transcendental languages is an aspect of interpreting. It is recommended that African scholars should take it as their prerogative to expose more African realities to the world to better peoples’ understanding.


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How to Cite
Mpemba, T. (2018). Skills needed to interpret transcendental languages. JULACE: Journal of the University of Namibia Language Centre, 3(2), 100-111.