Interpreting the Administration: Burkina Faso's Courts in Translation

Tarr, Natalie. Interpreting the Administration: Burkina Faso's Courts in Translation. 2021, Doctoral Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/82765/

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The court, a state organization, defines and sets the rules of the game in what regards the handling of trials in plurilingual Burkina Faso. In spite of around 60 languages being spoken in the country, French is the only official language, codified as such by the constitution. In Bobo Dioulasso, second largest city in Burkina, the language of the public space is Jula, a large, international language spoken throughout western Africa. Citizens who, through a chain of unfortunate circumstances, are brought to court, need a court interpreter to translate for them. They thus need to be made to fit the French space that is the court. Court interpreters themselves, however, are everyday citizens and not trained in interpreting techniques. The decision to hire court interpreters is a purely bureaucratic one and not based on either merit or training.
On the one hand, I will describe these daily bureaucratic practices in the judicial system in Burkina Faso and their forms of rationalization, drawing on court interpretation. On the other, I will analyze the challenges to and shortcomings in these rationalization processes. The goal is to understand the role French plays in Burkina Faso’s courts – who insists or demands on using French in the courtroom? – in order to grasp the role the court interpreter plays and is made to play in this context.
Advisors:Macamo, Elisio and Duchêne, Alexandre
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Fachbereich Soziologie > Afrikastudien (Macamo)
UniBasel Contributors:Macamo, Elisio
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis Subtype:Doctoral Thesis
Thesis no:14076
Thesis status:Complete
Number of Pages:iv, 251
Identification Number:
  • urn: urn:nbn:ch:bel-bau-diss140761
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:23 Apr 2021 04:30
Deposited On:22 Apr 2021 06:58

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