Section 78 contains two requirements:
(a) that the opinion is based on what the person saw, heard or otherwise perceived about a matter or event; and
(b) evidence of the person’s opinion is necessary to obtain an adequate account or understanding of the person’s perception of the matter or event.
While s78(a) is satisfied because Officer Murray’s opinion is based on what he heard, s78(b) is not satisfied. The matter or event is what Dundee said on the tape and Murray’s opinion of what Dundee meant is not necessary to explain that. Instead, Murray can give an adequate account of his perceptions of the event by saying ‘I listened to the tape and heard Dobbs say “I m-aay oing-gay o-tay ob-recan a snank-bay”’.
While a person could argue that the translation is necessary to properly capture the witness’ perception of the statement he heard, so far courts have held that translations are governed by s79, rather than s78.