Strategies of Achieving Pragmatic Equivalence in Interpreter-mediated Sermons: Insights from a Group of Churches in Busia County, Kenya



Equivalence, Interpreter-mediated sermons, Interpreting Strategies, Pragmatic equivalence, Source Language, Target Language


This paper examines the linguistic strategies employed by interpreters in dealing with the absence of pragmatic equivalence when interpreting church sermons from English into selected Luhya varieties. The effective delivery of church sermons relies so much on careful application of communication strategies for proper interaction with the target audience. The Relevance Theory by Sperber and Wilson (1986) provided the background for the discussion of the data. Data was collected through key-informant interviews of interpreters, Focus Group Discussions by the congregants, and the researcher’s non-participant observation during church services. Audio recording was used to collect corpus for analysis. The following strategies were revealed: compensation, calquing, paraphrasing, borrowing, ellipsis and adaptation. The findings further established that although church interpreters played a significant role in interpreting the preachers’ utterances from the SL to the TL, there was a discrepancy between what the preachers said and what the interpreters relayed to the TL speakers. It was therefore imperative for the interpreters to come up with strategies that would enable them to communicate the SL message to the TL speakers so that the pragmatic equivalence of the message is achieved. 



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How to Cite

Khachula, A. A. (2022). Strategies of Achieving Pragmatic Equivalence in Interpreter-mediated Sermons: Insights from a Group of Churches in Busia County, Kenya. Research Journal in Modern Languages and Literatures, 3(1).