Interpreting questioned in trial

The interpreting from Afrikaans to English was questioned in Oscar Pistorius’s murder trial in the High Court in Pretoria on Monday (03/03/2014).

Pistorius’s counsel Barry Roux, SC, had just heard witness Michelle Burger testify that the night after the shooting she was “deurmekaar” -which the interpreter translated as confused.

As Roux rounded in on the word “confused”, as part of a line of questioning on how many shots had been fired the night Pistorius shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp dead, the judge interrupted.

“Is there a difficulty between you and the interpreter,” asked Judge Thokozile Masipa.

Burger hesitated then said: “She is interpreting what I am saying. Some of the words are not what I am saying and then I am correcting in English.”

She said she was willing to speak English and then change to Afrikaans.

Her mother tongue is Afrikaans and she prefers Afrikaans but if it was easier for the court, then she would speak English, she said.

Masipa said she should make up her mind and she settled for Afrikaans. – Sapa

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