TRANSLATION: A PANACEA FOR BRIDGING COMMUNICATION GAP IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT SYSTEM
Translation as a vehicle for effective communication has contributed in so many ways in education, information dissemination, cultural transfer, etcetera. However, in the rural area where majority are not literate in the use of English language, translation seems not to have been effectively utilized as government communicates to the teeming population there mainly in the English language, which is the country’s official language. As a result, there is a total breakdown in communication as the masses are kept in the dark about activities of government, some of which require participation by the people. This has devastatingly affected the pace of rural development. The question is whether translated materials can enhance information dissemination at the rural area considering that many people can hardly read materials written in their indigenous language? This study intends to provide answer to this question. In the end, we hope to contribute towards the efficiency of local government system as a veritable tool for grassroots mobilization. We investigated the impact of Igbo translation of the law stopping all forms of traditional/ cultural maltreatment against anyone who loses spouse and the law permitting women to bear children by the Women’s Aid Collective (WACOL). We were guided by five research questions and four hypotheses in the formulation of the questionnaires used in gathering information. We first used systematic sampling technique to select the 15 Local Governments sampled for this study and later applied random sampling technique to distribute the questionnaires. Our analyses were presented in tables with each table accompanied by a description of the decision arising from the analyses. We presented summary of our findings based on the result of our analyses. Our conclusion is that the people at the rural area are not always aware of the translated versions of government policies and programmes. As a result, translation has not contributed much in information dissemination at the rural area. Government should therefore ensure that these policies and programmes, which are originally in the English language, are translated into the indigenous languages and circulated widely to the people for their understanding and appreciation. We made some recommendations which we hope will help to ameliorate the problems.