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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

National Certificate: Specialised Translation 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
48785  National Certificate: Specialised Translation 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Translation, Interpreting and Language Editing 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
National Certificate  Field 04 - Communication Studies and Language  Communication Studies 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  120  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2021-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2022-06-30   2025-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
The purpose of this qualification is to enable learners to render specialised text in specialised context professionally and ethically. The impact of errors when translating specialised text between (two) languages for specialised readership can have serious negative consequences, and attention to detail is essential. The status of technical translating in the South African economy, and earning ability of qualifying learners can be improved.

The qualification requires of learners to be able to use computers in the context of technical translating, collect the information required for technical translating, and earn a living by providing quality specialised translation services professionally, ethically and with a focus on customer service.

Qualifying learners can contextualise text within a target culture when translating specialised text, to ensure an autonomous text. Competent specialised text translators are able to involve specialised readers, translate between two cultures, edit between two languages, proof read, and analyse specialised text by consulting references and sources.

Specialised translation facilitates equal access to specialised text in a variety of languages. This improved access results in, for example, improved judicial system, nursing, and health service delivery, improved occupational safety and health, improved productivity, and better informed share- and stakeholders.

Qualifying learners are capable of:
  • Selecting correct technical terminology
  • Using standardised technical language
  • Contextualising technical information of source texts
  • Identifying field-specific technical information of source text
  • Planning the encoding process for technical translation
  • Encoding specialised information
  • Describing research problems

    To qualify, a learner has to be competent in specialised translation in one field, with competence in specialised translation relating to this field as part of the core of the qualification. In addition, the qualifying learner is equipped to pursue related career paths and contribute economically, by electing to attain outcomes for:
  • A third language, and/or
  • Managing delivery of specialised translation products

    Rationale

    A National Certificate in Specialised Translation (NQF Level 6) is required because there is a need for entry-level competence and recognition for competence in the area of specialised translation. The qualification is intended to build on general translation competence.

    The attainment of a qualification in specialised translation allows the transfer of specialised knowledge by the translator to specialised audiences. Applying specialised translation competence fosters and promotes multi lingualism, and improves the accessibility of specialised text for specialised readers. Specialised translation facilitates the formation of social relationships and empowerment by making accessible specialised information and knowledge.

    This qualification is aimed at providing access to education and training by means of Recognition of Prior Learning within the competence areas. The qualification design includes a planned combination of outcomes aimed at meeting the demand for:
  • Increased employability of qualifying learners
  • Enhanced quality of products in all fields (for example, manuals)
  • Reader involvement
  • Optimal sales impact by improving readability and thus marketability. For example, translating financial information well can improve stakeholder and shareholder confidence.

    The qualification is set to improve employment opportunities for learners in this field. Learners include users of all official South African and any other languages. Qualifying learners are required to have specialised knowledge of at least one field of information. Fields include agriculture and nature conservation; culture and arts; business, commerce and management; communication studies and language; education, training and development; manufacturing, engineering and technology; human and social sciences; law, military science and security; health sciences and social services; physical, mathematical, computer and life sciences; services; physical planning and construction. Qualifying learners are able to find employment in companies, universities, and government departments, and also as freelancers. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    The qualification design is based on the assumption that the following competencies have already been attained prior to learning towards this qualification:
  • Building information resources
  • NQF level 6 competence in at least one technical field
  • Writing various texts in different contexts in source language
  • Assessing source text
  • Adapting source text
  • Transforming text types in source language
  • Processing general (pragmatic) texts in source language
  • Writing various texts in different contexts in target language
  • Assessing target text
  • Adapting target text
  • Transforming text types in target language
  • Processing general (pragmatic) texts in target language
    Because of the impact of language and technical field competence of the effectiveness of specialised translation, it is assumed that learners have attained the above NQF Level 5 translation competence in two languages. Credit can be attained through recognition of prior learning

    Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

    Learners who have met the requirements of any Unit Standard in this qualification may apply for recognition of prior learning to the relevant Education and Training Quality Assurance body (ETQA). The applicant will be assessed against the specific outcomes and with the assessment criteria for the relevant Unit Standard or Unit Standards. A qualification will be awarded should a learner demonstrate that all the exit level outcomes have been attained. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    Rules of combination

    This qualification is designed as follows:
  • All Fundamental Unit Standards (20 Credits) are compulsory
  • All Core Unit Standards (80 Credits) are compulsory
  • At least 20 credits must be attained from the Elective Unit Standards in the following two areas of competence:

    1. Communicate proficiently in an additional language:
  • Engage in sustained oral communication and evaluate spoken texts (5 Credits)
  • Read, analyse and respond to a variety of texts (5 Credits)
  • Write for a wide variety of texts (5 Credits)
  • Use language and communication in occupational learning programs (5 Credits)

    2. Manage delivery of specialised translation products:
  • Implement systems to meet the flow of information in a team, department or division (3 Credits)
  • Investigate and explain marketing communications concepts (8 Credits)
  • Participate in the estimation and preparation of cost budgets for an element of work and monitor and control actual cost against budget (6 Credits)
  • Monitor, evaluate and communicate project schedules (4 Credits)
  • Implement project administration processes according to requirements (5 Credits)
  • Identify and interpret related legislation and its impact on the team, department or division and ensure compliance (4 Credits) 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Write and transfer specialised text within a specific context using standardised language

    2. Select correct technical terminology showing responsibility to others - Range: terminology includes both target text and source text

    3. Solve specialised translation problems

    4. Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate field-specific technical information in relation to the field

    5. Work within the context of a group of role players to encode technical information into the target language
    Range: role players include experts, clients, colleagues, etc.

    6. Identify and contextualise technical information taking into account relationships between source language and target language systems
    Range: system can include culture, norms, genre conventions, political systems, etc

    7. Contribute to translation research in a specific field

    8. Communicate effectively using language skills in the mode of written presentation in a third language

    9. Manage delivery of specialised translation products 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    1. > Specialised text transfer is efficient, effective, appropriate and relevant
  • Language structures used are based on recognised text conventions of technical writing
  • Target text meets requirements of standardised language of the relevant field
  • Information is transferred correctly in terms of brief
  • Information is transferred in a way to optimise ease of reader processing
  • Content is relevant in terms of ease of reader processing
  • Words are selected based on ease of reader processing
  • Information is transferred correctly in terms of recognised principles of textuality

    2. > Technical terminology selected is from recognised sources, for various levels, clients, texts, readers and tools
  • Brief is adhered to
  • Technical terminology selected is based on target conventions
  • Selected terminology meets context requirements

    3. > Identification of problems is justified in terms of relevant text types
  • Selected problem solving strategies result in effective and efficient text
  • Target text meets the requirements of the brief

    4. > Information collected is from recognised field-specific sources
  • Methods of analysis are appropriate for purpose of analysis
  • Organising systems are in place
  • Organising systems are accessible for future use
  • Target text reflects encoding and decoding strategies based on relevant evaluated information

    5. > Technical text translation is relevant for briefed purpose
  • Translation reflects consultation with relevant role players
  • Translation reflects use of appropriate resources
    Range: resources include tools for consultation e.g. e-mail, telephone, PC
  • Agreement about process of translation reflects awareness of agreed organisational roles
  • Style adheres to organisational conventions
  • Conduct in relation to the group is not unethical

    6. > Conventions used are justified in relation to target language and source language norms
  • Contextualisation of technical information/language is accurate in terms of source language conventions and no misinterpretations and mistranslations are present
  • Vocabulary, idiom, and register is appropriate for context, target language and target language system
  • Identified technical information is coherent in terms of target language system

    7. > Identification of research problems are appropriate for the context within a specific field
  • Existing information sources consulted are appropriate for the field
  • Processes followed to develop a rationale are well described in the field
  • Hypotheses formulated are appropriate for specific research questions
  • Research methodologies employed to collect information is from the existing body of knowledge within the relevant field
  • Analysis and evaluation of results are in terms of stated hypotheses
  • Communication of results is appropriate for specific familiar, predetermined audiences

    8. > Text types, text features and text functions are correctly identified, selected and verified in relation to parallel texts
  • Texts are designed based on context-specific requirements
  • The writing process is planned effectively
  • Errors in text are accurately identified and analysed
  • Feedback regarding text is obtained and provided
  • Linguistic or textual features are accurately assessed
  • Text assessment findings are justified
  • Strategies selected to improve and transform text are context-appropriate and justified
  • Comparison of own composition with similar text types is relevant
  • Text quality is improved where relevant
  • Adaptations of text for different readerships is appropriate for specific readership profiles
  • The conceptual level of text is adjusted to correct readership level

    9. > Systems are implemented to meet the flow of informationĚ Investigation of marketing communications concepts is appropriate for purpose of communication
  • Cost budgets are accurately prepared and estimated
  • All actual costs are monitored and controlled against budgets
  • Project schedules are communicated to all relevant persons
  • Monitoring and evaluating of project schedules is against agreed criteria and meets project objectives
  • Project administration processes are according to requirements
  • All relevant legislation is complied with

    Integrated assessment

    Before qualifying, the learner will be expected to demonstrate competence, as specified in the exit level outcomes and assessment criteria, that integrates the assessment of all specific outcomes, for all Unit Standards, for example, applying competence in a practical scenario. This will require learners to translate specialised text in at least one language combination. In addition, during the learning process to attain the outcomes of each Unit Standard, learners will be expected to give evidence that they have attained the embedded knowledge and specific skills contained in specific outcomes for the relevant Unit Standard. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    These standards have been developed in line with international standards for the same level of learning and application. Specific comparisons have been made with the standards employed in New Zealand, Australia and Scotland.

    New Zealand

    The New Zealand National Qualifications Framework has ten levels of progression. Relevant Unit Standards (no qualification exists on the New Zealand framework) are registered at Levels 6 and 7. Level 6 is described as involving carrying out processes that require a command of wide-ranging highly specialised technical or scholastic skills, a wide choice of standard and non-standard procedures, often in non-standard combinations, in highly variable routine and non-routine contexts. This is the equivalent of the South African NQF Level 5 or 6.
  • The New Zealand standards also include credits for Management practice, at Level 6
  • The New Zealand standards include 20 credits each at Level 7 for conference interpreting, court and legal interpreting, and interpreting in health care settings
  • The New Zealand standards include translating literary text (Level 7) from one language to another, assigned 15 credits
  • Credits assigned to each unit standard are generally higher for the South African standards.

    Australia

    Australia has one Translation qualification, pegged at a higher level that this qualification, namely, an Advanced Diploma of Translating. The Advanced Diploma recognises capacity for initiative and judgement across a broad range of technical and/or management functions. It is more specialised than this qualification, and signifies skill and knowledge of a higher complexity and level of personal accountability.

    Scotland

    Scotland provides a range of registered Unit Standards that comprise a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Translation.
    The Unit Standards, which compare well to this qualification's Unit Standards include:
  • Mandatory Unit Standards: Translate specialised texts; and Translate creative texts
  • Optional Unit Standards: Research, prepare and present information for translation purposes, and Assess the requirements for the translation service

    Other

    Other countries that have qualifications in translation that compare well to the current qualification include France and Canada. These countries have a range of qualifications across a range of levels. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
  • Vertical articulation upwards is possible with various Honours degrees (NQF Level 7), as well as the National Certificate in Specialised Translation (NQF Level 7).
  • Horizontal articulation on the NQF is possible with Bachelor degrees (NQF Level 6). 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    Assessment of learner achievements takes place at providers accredited by the relevant ETQA (RSA, 1998b) for the provision of programs that result in the outcomes specified for the National Certificate in Specialised Translation (NQF Level 6). The ETQA is responsible for moderation of learner achievements of learners who meet the requirements of this qualification. Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this qualification must be registered as an assessor or moderator with the ETQA. Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this qualification must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA. The ETQA will oversee assessment and moderation of assessment according to their policies and guidelines for assessment and moderation, or in terms of agreements reached around assessment and moderation between the relevant ETQA and other ETQAs and in terms of the moderation guideline detailed below.

    Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments at exit points of the qualification, unless the relevant ETQA policies specify otherwise. Moderation should also encompass achievement of the competence described in Unit Standards as well as the integrated competence described in the qualification. Anyone wishing to be assessed against this qualification may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor or provider institution that is accredited by the relevant ETQA.

    To register as an assessor, the following are required:
  • Detailed documentary proof of relevant qualification/s, practical training completed, and experience gained (a portfolio of evidence)
  • NQF recognised assessor credit

    In particular, assessors should assess that the learner demonstrates an ability to consider a range of options by:
  • Measuring the quality of the observed practical performance as well as the theory and underpinning knowledge.
  • Using methods that are varied to allow the learner to display thinking and decision making in the demonstration of practical performance.
  • Maintaining a balance between practical performance and theoretical assessment methods to ensure each is measured in accordance with the level of the qualification.
  • Taking into account that the relationship between practical and theoretical is not fixed but varies according to the type and level of qualification. 

  • CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this qualification was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    NOTES 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARDS: 
      ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
    Core  115023  Contextualise technical information of source text  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6  10 
    Core  115022  Describe research problems  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6  20 
    Core  115021  Identify field-specific technical information of source texts  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6  10 
    Core  115024  Plan the encoding process for technical translation  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6  20 
    Core  115019  Encode specialised information  Level 7  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L7  20 
    Fundamental  115020  Use standardised technical language  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6  10 
    Fundamental  115018  Select technical terminology  Level 7  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L7  10 
    Elective  8974  Engage in sustained oral communication and evaluate spoken texts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  10139  Implement project administration processes according to requirements  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  10143  Monitor, evaluate and communicate project schedules  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  10134  Participate in the estimation and preparation of cost budgets for an element of work and monitor and control actual cost against budget  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  8975  Read analyse and respond to a variety of texts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  8979  Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  8976  Write for a wide range of contexts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  15225  Identify and interpret related legislation and its impact on the team, department or division and ensure compliance  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  15226  Implement systems to meet the flow of information in a team, department or division  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  10064  Investigate and explain marketing communications concepts  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 


    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.