Verbatim and Hansard for Official Parliarment Reporters

20 January to 31 January

In his presentation, Garrison stressed that aII revisions of Verbatim and Hansard shall be limited to the correction of grammar, spelling and punctuation, but no material alterations shall be made, nor any amendments which would in any way tend to change the sense of what has been spoken" (Commonwealth Hansard Editors' Conference, 1999:57). It should be kept in mind that around the world the editorial policy regarding Hansard is that it should remain an accurate and, as far as possible, an exact report of Parliamentary proceedings. This was again stressed by Gary Garrison, the Director of Public Information and Editor of the Hansard in Alberta, Canada, during the Sixth Triennial Conference of the Commonwealth Hansard Editors Association held in Ulundi from 12 to 16 July 1999.

Hansard is the informal title for the official printed reports of parliamentary debates. As the only complete, accurate and permanent record of the debates of Parliament, it means that Hansard contributes a necessary precision to the affairs of politics and provides an invaluable account of past parliamentary endeavors. While the interpreters during a legislative assembly have, to quite a degree, some measure of freedom in their verbal relaying of the speech, the onus rests on the translators who transcribe the recorded speeches to perform a word-perfect and far more meticulous task during the transcription process by attempting to transmit the original message in a word-by-word written form to its readers.

In this workshop, ATI emphasizes delegates to understand that Hansard as a publication and as a means of public record of parliamentary debate will play a prominent role, and there will be a strong focus on the interpretation, challenges, nature and functions of producing verbatim publications.

Target Audience: 

This course is aimed at Official Parliament Reporters, other Reporters, Translators, Senior Editors and Sub Editors who have responsibility of interpreting, recording and producing verbatim parliamentary proceedings.  Also accommodated are parliamentary reporters (Heads of offices or senior staff), as they need to understand the potential of ICT for their work and to know how to make effective use of newer ICT tools and methods for producing verbatim records

Included staff providing IT services and support to parliamentary reporters as well, as they are the ones who maintain the audio recording / transcript producing technology and provide appropriate services

Course Outcomes: 

Upon completing this workshop, the delegates should be able to:

  • Identify, Hansard regulations which strictly prescribe verbatim reporting, but is such verbatim translation at all possible
  • Understand the to be followed by Hansard translators in their decision to opt for a specific word or phrase
  • Understand how to translate, to open a path through a language by using its resources, to decide upon one meaning, a meaning that will convey the original intention
  • Identify the challenges of producing Hansard with its strict verbatim requirement and the full impact of this requirement on the translators
  • Identify a translation strategy which lies in recreating multiple relationships in both cultural association perspective and language dimension
  • Establish whether the verbatim convention pertaining to Hansard can possibly be adhered to in the parliament context