Translator: HSRC- Cape Town Durban and Pretoria

Job Advert Summary

In delivering ‘social science that makes a difference’ the Research Programmes, Units, Institutes and Centres of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) undertake policy-oriented research from its offices in Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, Pietermaritzburg.  Our public purpose mandate is set out in the Human Sciences Research Council Act of 2008.

The Publishing unit of the Human Sciences Research Council requires the services of freelancers in the various functions below. The names of successful applicants will be placed on a database, which signifies that the freelancer has been approved by HR in terms of the criteria required for the particular function and is therefore employable. It does not, however, signal the existence of a contract or even a guarantee of work. Work will be assigned directly to freelancers by the relevant Editorial Project Managers on a project-by-project basis, depending on the project requirements and freelancer availability, and will include a project specific brief. The database will be valid for the period 01 November 2023 to 30 October 2026. Time frames and remuneration will be project specific.


 Ref No:07/2030

The Publishing unit of the Human Sciences Research Council requires a freelance translator to provide high quality translation services for its scholarly publications and for its database. In addition to the duties and requirements set out below, the freelancer will receive a project-specific brief.

Minimum Requirements

Must be an English mother tongue speaker with and excellent grasp of English grammar, English syntax and general English usage

Proven high competency in source languages, i.e. any one or more of the indigenous South African languages and any language spoken on the African, European, South American and Asian continents (provide qualifications or list experience here)

Proven minimum of THREE years translation experience in scholarly/academic/non-fiction publishing as well as a minimum of TEN published scholarly or academic books or academic journals translated into English

In your CV, provide a list of

Language/s that you’re able to translate from into English along with an indication of the years’ experience and level of competency in each language

ten relevant books/journals that you have edited (state publisher & date of publication)

for all titles in your list of relevant books, state which of the following referencing styles you followed: Oxford, Harvard, Modern Language Association (MLA), American Sociological Association (ASA), American Psychological Association (APA).

The following are not essential, but will be an advantage:

A major in English language/literature/linguistics or a tertiary qualification in any of the social- or health sciences

Proven accreditation from a bona fide translation institute

Translation or editing experience in the field of the social sciences will be an advantage.

Duties & Responsibilities

Using the MSWord files of the text supplied, translate the content according to the Press guidelines. Translations are mainly from source language to English but occasionally back-translation may be required to check the accuracy of a translation.

On completion of a translation, check the English text for grammatical errors and flag any content queries for the attention of the author.

Applications MUST include:

A detailed CV which should clearly indicate your highest qualification and details of your citizenship.

The details of two recent referees with telephone/cell number, e-mail, and institutional affiliation.

The HSRC will only consider applications that comply with the above requirements.

Please register and submit your application on-line at

Application Instructions:

Candidates can make use of their mobile devices or any browser to register on the Neptune recruitment site, as well as to make application for available vacancies;

Candidates will be prompted to upload their documents;

Attachments must be less than 1MB, there is an on-screen option to resize;

The Neptune system will only allow you to upload 1 attachment. Please ensure that all documents are merged into 1 file before uploading. 

For enquiries, not applications, please contact Ms S Hoaeane – [email protected] or Ms Siphokazi Mdidimba – [email protected]

Closing date: 20 July 2023 at 16:30. We encourage applicants to submit prior to the closing date. Due to high volumes of applications received, we can only correspond with short listed applicants.  If you do not receive any response from us within eight weeks, please accept that your application was unsuccessful.

We reserve the right to withdraw any of our vacancies at any time. The HSRC reserves the right not to make an appointment.


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