Publication details [#58]

Musau, Paul M. 2002. Disseminating scientific knowledge in African languages: the experience of translating an agriculture manual into Kiswahili. Babel 48 (2) : 163–173.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language
Source language
Target language
Journal DOI


The paper discusses how an agriculture manual in English was translated into Kiswahili.In particular it describes the problems encountered in the translation exercise. Such problems include the inadequacy of the translation tools and the lack of suitable terminology in Kiswahili for expressing different technical concepts. The paper further shows how the problems of terminology were overcome through borrowing, compounding and the use of periphrases. The author concludes (i) that translation can be used to transfer useful knowledge from other languages into African languages. (ii) that translation into African languages will be easier if the necessary tools such as dictionaries and word-lists are developed; (iii) that successful translation is not the job of linguists only, but must involve professionals from relevant disciplines.
Source : Based on abstract in journal