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Interpreting in Tanzania from the perspective of Tanzanian interpreters

Elizaveta Getta

Abstract: The study overviews the role of interpreting services in Tanzania, presenting mainly the experience of practicing freelance interpreters. The two official languages of Tanzania – English and Swahili – have separate roles in the country. Although most Tanzanians accept English as a necessary medium of intercultural communication, Swahili is perceived as an important part of Tanzanian national identity. It is the country’s lingua franca. On the one hand, Tanzania aims to preserve communication in Swahili; on the other hand, there is an inevitable need for intercultural communication with the rest of the world that grows especially in the context of globalization. The paper focuses on the role, status, education, working languages, conditions of Tanzanian interpreters, and the requirements of local and international clients. The study also creates a broader context that mentions crucial historical moments that have influenced the country’s current character of intercultural communication.
Keywords: Tanzanian interpreters / English / Swahili / languages / intercultural communication

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