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The semantics of language translation using mobile systems in South African healthcare
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As in many parts of the world, the need for healthcare services is increasing rapidly in South Africa. Owing to many official languages in the country, health service delivery is continuously challenged by spoken language and semantics. The challenges result to poor health services in many areas of the country. Thus, this study was undertaken with the aim: to develop a framework which can be used to guide the selection and implementation of mobile systems in the translation of language semantics for improved healthcare service delivery in South Africa. For this purpose, the study was based on one significant research question: How can the challenge(s) of semantics and language translation in South African healthcare delivery be addressed using mobile systems? In achieving the aim of the study, a qualitative study was conducted using the semi-strtructured interviews to collect the data. The analysis of the data was carried out using the hermeneutic approach within the interpretative paradigm, which was guided by two theories, actor network theory (ANT) and diffusion of innovation (DOI). The ANT was used to focus on the interaction and relationship between human and non-human actors within a heterogeneous networks, in the activities of healthcare. The DOI was employed to examine how mobiles systems can be diffused, in addressing the challenges and barriers which the health facilities encounter from language perspective. The case study approach was followed, based on three cases, two healthcare organisations, and a community in the northern part of South Africa were used in the study. Based on the analysis of the data, the influencing factors were found, and interpreted. The interpretation helps gain deeper understanding of the challenges, from which a framework (see Figure 6.5 in Chapter 6) was developed. From an understanding of the factors that influence language semantics, and its translaton by using mobile systems, challenges in the South African healthcare can be reduced, and quality improved. The way in which the theories were used brought a fresh perspective to the study. In practice, the framework can be used by both healthcare practitioners and ICT specialists to guide the selection, use and support of mobile systems for the translation of language semantics in South Africa. The complementary use of ANT and DOI in the study contributes methodologically.