the translation of the cultural concepts from Xitsonga into English

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This chapter provides an overview of the methodology used in the study. The discussion in the chapter is structured around research approach, research design, data collection, data analysis, research report, ethical consideration and summary.

 Research Approaches

“Research approaches are plans and the procedures for research that span steps from broad assumptions to detailed methods of data collection, analysis, and interpretation,” (Creswell, 2014: 32). There are three types of research approaches namely; qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods.” (Ibid, 2014:32) According to De Vos et al (2002:79) the qualitative research paradigm in its broadest sense “refers to research that elicits participant accounts of meaning, experience or perception.” This means that it produces descriptive data in the participant’s own written or spoken words “Qualitative research is an approach for exploring and understanding the meaning individuals or groups ascribe to a social or human problem,” (Creswell, 2014: 32). He also states that:
The process of research involves emerging questions and procedures, data typically collected in the participant’s setting, data analysis inductively building from particulars to general themes, and the researcher making interpretations of the meaning of the data. The final written report has a flexible structure. Those who engage in this form of inquiry support a way of looking at research that honors an inductive style, a focus on individual meaning, and the importance of rendering the complexity of a situation. (Ibid, 2014:32)
Maxwell (1998:100) enumerates five research purposes for which qualitative studies are particularly useful:

      • Understanding the meaning that participants in a study give to the events, situations and actions that they are involved with; and of the accounts they give of their lives and experiences.
      • Understanding the particular context within which the participants act, and the influence the context has on their actions.
      • Identifying unanticipated phenomena and influences, and generating new, grounded theories about them.
      • Understanding the process by which events and actions take place and;
      • Developing causal explanation.
      • “Quantitative research is the investigation of phenomena that lend themselves to precise measurement and qualification, often involving a rigorous and controlled design,” (Polit & Beck, 2004:729).
        According to Creswell (2014: 32) “quantitative research is an approach for testing objective theories by examining the relationship among variables. These variables, in turn, can be measured, typically on instruments, so that numbered data can be analyzed using statistical procedures.” This means that:
        The final written report has a set structure consisting of introduction, literature and theory, methods, results, and discussion. Like qualitative researchers, those who engage in this form of inquiry have assumptions about testing theories deductively, building in protections against bias, controlling for alternative explanations, and being able to generalize and replicate the findings.
        “Mixed   methods   research   is   an   approach   to   inquiry  involving  collecting   both quantitative and qualitative data, integrating the two forms of data, and using distinct designs that may involve philosophical assumptions and theoretical frameworks,”(Creswell 2014: 32). The purpose of this form of research is that both qualitative and quantitative research, in combination, provide a better understanding of a research problem or issue than either research approach alone.
        The main focus of this study is on the translation of the cultural concepts from Xitsonga into English, therefore the research approach is a mixed method since the data will be collected using both qualitative and the quantitative methods. The researcher will arrange a questionnaire wherein respondents responded based on the knowledge they have on translation, the questionnaires were distributed amongst all the respondents.
        From the table above the researcher opts to use both qualitative and quantitative approaches because he is the data gathering instrument, which means he doesn’t have to rely on other people to assist him, the data collection is unstructured, and this gives the researcher a chance to ask almost anything related to the research topic. It also gives respondents a freedom to participate. Another thing is that when it comes to sampling, the selected participants are in small numbers and they are experienced in the research topic. In the qualitative approach, the researcher becomes subjective in the subject matter.

Research Strategy

According to Mouton (1996: 175) “the research design serves to plan, structure and execute the research to maximise the validity of findings. It gives directions from the underlying philosophical assumptions to research design, and data collection”, Yin (2003:19) adds that “colloquially a research design is an action plan for getting from here to there, where ‘here’ can be defined as the initial set of questions to be answered and ‘there’ is some set of (conclusions) answers.” Kothari (2004:48) states that “a research design is the arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure.” In fact, the research design is the conceptual structure within which research is conducted; it constitutes the blueprint for the collection, measurement and analysis of data. As such the design includes an outline of what the researcher will do from writing the hypothesis and its operational implications to the final analysis of data.
Different research designs can be conveniently described if we categorize them as “research design in case of exploratory research studies, research design in case of descriptive and diagnostic research studies, and research design in case of hypothesis-testing research studies,” (Kothari, 2004: 52)
Since there are numerous types of research designs that are appropriate for different types of research projects, the researcher chooses a research design in case of descriptive and diagnostic research studies. This is mainly because it is the design that the researcher knows make him/her understand the data from the respondents.

      • Descriptive research studies are those studies which are concerned with describing the characteristics of a particular individual, or of a group, whereas diagnostic research studies determine the frequency with which something occurs or its association with something else. The studies concerning whether certain variables are associated are examples of diagnostic research studies. As against this, studies concerned with specific predictions, with narration of facts and characteristics concerning individual, group or situation are all examples of descriptive research studies. Most of the social research comes under this category. From the point of view of the research design, descriptive as well as diagnostic studies share common requirements and as such we may group together these two types of research studies. In descriptive as well as in diagnostic studies, the researcher must be able to define clearly, what he wants to measure and must find adequate methods for measuring it along with a clear cut definition of ‘population’ he wants to study. Since the aim is to obtain complete and accurate information in the said studies, the procedure to be used must be carefully planned.
        The research design must make enough provision for protection against bias and must maximise reliability, with due concern for the economical completion of the study. The design in such studies must be rigid and not flexible and must focus attention on the following:
      • Formulating the objective of the study (what the study is about and why is it being made?)
      • Designing the methods of data collection (what techniques of gathering data will be adopted?)
      • Selecting the sample (how much material will be needed?)
      • Collecting the data (where can the required data be found and with what time period should the data be related?)
      • Processing and analysing the data.
  • A research design is different from the method by which data are collected. Many research methods texts confuse research designs with methods. It is not uncommon to see research design treated as a mode of data collection rather than as a logical structure of the inquiry. But there is nothing intrinsic about any research design that requires a particular method of data collection. Data for any design can be collected with any data collection method. How the data are collected is irrelevant to the logic of the design. Failing to distinguish between design and method leads to poor evaluation of designs. Equating cross-sectional designs with questionnaires, or case studies with participant observation, means that the designs are often evaluated against the strengths and weaknesses of the method rather than their ability to draw relatively unambiguous conclusions or to select between rival plausible hypotheses.
    It should indicate the various approaches to be used in solving the research problem, sources and information related to the problem and, time frame and the cost budget. Essentially, the research design creates the foundation of the entire research work. The design helps perform the chosen task easily and in a systematic way. Once the research design is completed the actual work can be initiated. The first step in the actual work is to learn the facts pertaining to the problem. Particularly, theoretical methods, numerical techniques, experimental techniques and other relevant data and tools necessary for the present study have to be collected and learnt. It is not necessary that every theory, technique and information in the topic of research is useful for a particular problem.
    A researcher has to identify and select materials which are useful to the present work. Further, the validity and utility of the information gathered should be tested before using them. Scientific research is based on certain mathematical, numerical and experimental methods. These sources have to be properly studied and judged before applying them to the problem of interest. This study used the mixed method wherein participants took part in the study by completing the questionnaire put together by researcher, selected participants also took part in the semi structured interviews. This enabled the researcher to collect the right data from specific individuals purposefully selected by the researcher.The participants chosen were people dealing with translation issues on a day-to-day basis. This means data was collected through the use of questionnaires and also the question and answer method where the researcher raised questions to the participants with the expectation that they respond accordingly. The research design for this study is a descriptive and interpretive case study and was analysed thoroughly after the respondents have completed the questionnaire. Thereafter their answers were evaluated. Participants’ observation and questionnaires were used as data collection.

 Data Collection

  • Yin (2011:129) states that “Data can be defined as a collection of organised information or facts through experience, observation, experiment or similar situations external to the researcher.” This study therefore looks into the three types of data collection methods namely; survey, observation and case study.


  • Fellegi (2003:1) states that “a survey is any activity that collects information in an organised and methodical manner about characteristics of interest from some or all units of a population using well-defined concepts, methods and procedures, and compiles such information into a useful summary form.” (ibid, 2003:1) continues to say that:
    A survey can be thought to consist of several interconnected steps which include: defining the objectives, selecting a survey frame, determining the sample design, designing the questionnaire, collecting and processing the data, analysing and disseminating the data and documenting the survey.
  • The questionnaire in the survey method is selected as it is relatively economical and has the same questions for all the participants and the respondents will remain anonymous. The main reasons for the questionnaires to be administered is to get information from all the respondents who are familiar with the translation as a whole

1.1 Introduction
1.2 Definition of Concepts
1.3 Background of the Study
1.4 Research Problem
1.5 Aim and Objectives
1.6 Rationale of the Study
1.7 Scope of the Study
1.8 Plan of the Study
1.9 Ethical Considerations
1.10 Summary
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Literature review
2.3 Theoretical Framework
2.4 Summary
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Research Approaches
3.3 Research Strategy
3.4 Data Collection
3.5 Research sampling
3.6 Population
3.7 Sample size
3.8 Data Analysis
3.9 Writing the Report
3.10 Ethical Considerations
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Observation Results
4.3 Results of Survey (Questionnaires)
4.4 Summary
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Analysis and interpretation of results on observation
5.3 Analysis and interpretation of survey results
5.4 Summary
6.1 Introduction
6.2 The research findings on observation
6.3 The research findings on survey on the translation of Xitsonga cultural concepts into English
6.4 Summary
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Conclusion
7.3 Summary of the Chapters
7.4 Recommendations of the study
7.5 Limitations of the study
7.6 Summary


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