Access to information through translation

a case of multilingual OER robotics project at a South African university

  • Napjadi Letsoalo University of South Africa
  • Delvah Mabaso University of South Africa
  • Patricia Gouws University of South Africa


Translation into indigenous languages has a potential to promote access to information in order to transform the teaching and learning of robotics programmes. Developing open educational resources (OER) for indigenous language speakers is even more beneficial as it provides a choice to access education information in the language of their choice. Though South African has 11 official languages, the indigenous languages are still marginalised in the education sector. This study examines the translation methodology used in rendering the Inspired towards Science Engineering and Technology (I-SET) robotics terminology from English into indigenous language for the purpose of creating a multilingual OER. The study is based on the investigation of indigenous languages translations of robotics terms of the I-SET project. The study aimed to identify the translation techniques used in translating terms in context, and to evaluate the adequacy of the translation equivalents for better access to robotics information through indigenous languages. The examining of the translation of the contextual English robotics terms into indigenous languages took a qualitative, descriptive analytical approach. The findings indicate that individual terms determine the relevant translation techniques used to create the most appropriate and quality contextual equivalents. The products of the robotics translation activities will be catalogued, and an inventory of words are produced as an OER. The contents of the translation process will be included in module curricula to embrace the use of the newly created indigenous robotics words for the awareness and inspiration of science engagement using robotics.
Research Articles