Functions and tasks of the division

Language editing and translation

The University of the Free State Management and Administrative Language Service is responsible for the language editing and translation of the following documents in Afrikaans and English, the two official mediums of communication at the University: 

  • Agendas and minutes of the following meetings as well as appendices to the aforementioned agendas:

    - Rectorate
    - Council
    - University Management Committee (UMC)
    - Executive Committee of the Senate (ECS)
    - Executive Committee of the Council (ECC)
    - Institutional Forum
    - Faculty Boards
    - Support services departments (chief departments)
    - Internal Audit
  • Policy documents
  • Rules of support services departments
  • Documents from divisions of the Rectorate
  • Documents from divisions of the support services
  • Post advertisements (submitted by Human Resources)
  • Thesis appraisals for graduation ceremonies
  • Official media releases by the University (only if the Marketing and Communication Department does not deal with these itself)

Please note:

  • Apart from faculty board minutes, the aforementioned thesis appraisals, and post advertisements submitted via Human Resources, no documents are edited or translated for academic faculties or student organisations (with the exception of constitutions of student representative councils).
  • Documents must be submitted via the head of Language Service, as only the email of the head of the division is checked regularly by all the staff members for incoming work.
  • A deadline for completion must be indicated regarding all documents submitted, in order to make it possible to determine priorities. If work pressure makes it impossible to meet a deadline, the principal will be contacted to negotiate an alternative deadline or to determine the urgency of the document in comparison to other documents with the same deadline.

Dealing with telephonic enquiries

In this regard, brief language enquiries can be made by academic departments.


The Management and Administrative Language Service makes use of the latest electronic aids, including the translation assistance programme Wordfast and the newer version, Wordfast Professional. The programme breaks the source text up into segments (usually sentences), and the source text and translation are recorded in a translation memory. 

ICT Services created a shared translation memory for Language Service on the University's server so that all translations can be stored in the memory, and a considerable body of translated segments has already been developed in this way. When a new translation is done, segments that have already been translated previously are made available to the translator. This speeds up the translation process and promotes consistency, particularly in the case of agendas and minutes where the same matter is discussed at more than one meeting. 

The programme also makes provision for glossaries in which words and phrases are stored. This function is particularly useful for the translation of difficult words/phrases that create problems because they are not traced easily in dictionaries. All four translators add words and phrases to the glossaries (which are also stored on the University server) on a daily basis.

  • The Management and Administrative Language Service endeavours to always keep abreast of the latest developments in die field of language, and regularly purchases new aids.

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