How does the work environment affect court interpreters working in Zimbabwe's magistrates courts?
Keywords:Court interpreting environment, Stress factors, Stress-related symptoms, Stress coping strategies
This study investigated stress factors caused by the working environment, and stress coping, by court interpreters in Zimbabwe. The research adopted a case study approach anchored on a mixed-methods design. The researchers planned to collect data for the study through focus group discussions, interviews, document analysis, and questionnaires. However, due to the Covid-19 environment in the country at the time of the study, an online questionnaire, virtual focus group discussions and telephonic interviews were used to collect data from the research participants. The study participants were court interpreters at Marondera Magistrates Court, and BA Honours Translation and Interpretation students at the University of Zimbabwe who were attached at various magistrates courts in the country as part of their industrial attachment. Among the main stress factors identified by the study are autonomy, the workload, insufficient resources, poor organisation of work, and working hours. Court interpreters were found to experience fatigue, back pain, headaches, and throat irritation. Task-oriented coping was identified as one predominant coping style used by study respondents. The study recommends that court interpreter training programmes should include content on the impact of common stressors, and provide self-care education, because court interpreters must be able to identify and address the negative impacts of such stressors at an early stage, to avoid it affecting their physical and mental health. The results of the study are, therefore, a valuable contribution to translation and interpreting studies, stress research, and the human factors in court interpreting.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Tawanda Matende, Paul Svongoro, Tatenda Munyaka
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.