The translation of Chinua Achebe's Things fall apart into isiXhosa Lwadilik'udonga : a critical analysis

Ntwana, Thenjiswa (2005-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2005.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Things Fall Apart is an unsentimental novel which appeared in 1958 as Chinua Achebe's first novel. It is regarded as a classic of world literature. It is deemed vital that such rich literature as the one of Achebe, be made accessible to readers in as many language communities as possible. It is through the vehicle of translation that a multitude of readers are endowed with the power to make some form of contact with much of the world's great writings. But translation of literature is a very complex process, which poses some difficult yet interesting problems that demand particular notice and specific attention. In translation of literature one is not just dealing with words written in a certain. time, space and sociopolitical situation, most importantly it is the cultural aspect of the text that should be taken into account. Therefore, translation of literature is not just the transfer of information between languages, but the transfer of one culture to another. Literary texts in isiXhosa and English, which are not only written in different languages but also represent different cultures, differ greatly in terms of linguistic, literary and cultural-social conventions. Challenges such as these make it difficult for a translator, in this case K.S. Bongela, to render the source language text flawlessly in the target language. This study thus investigates how Bongela coped with transmitting the cultural issues in Things Fall Apart into Lwadilik'udonga. It will highlight the various problems the translator encountered in search for equivalence and adequacy, and also analyse the strategies he has employed in this transference of cultural elements to the target text. As will be seen, it is possible to relate the translation of this text to the six general rules mentioned by Bassnett-MacGuire (1988: 116- 117) for the translator.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Things Fall Apart is 'n onsentimentele roman wat in 1958 as Chinua Achebe se eerste roman verskyn het. Dit word beskou as fn klassieke werk in die wêreld van letterkunde. Dit is ook belangrik dat letterkunde wat so ryk is soos dié van Achebe aan soveel verskillende taalgemeenskappe as moontlik bekend gestel word. Dit is as gevolg van vertaling dat fn verskeidenheid lesers die geleentheid het om kontak te maak met die wêreld se beste geskrewe werke. Letterkundige vertaling is fn baie komplekse proses waar uitdagende maar interessante probleme voorkom, en dit verg besondere en spesifieke aandag. Met die vertaling van letterkunde word daar nie net gebruik gemaak van woorde in fn sekere tyd, plek en sosio-politieke situasie nie, maar belangriker is die kulturele aspek van die teks waarmee rekening gehou moet word. Daarom is vertaling van letterkunde nie net fn oordra van informasie tussen tale nie, maar fn verplasing van een kultuur na fn ander. Letterkundige teks in isiXhosa en Engels is nie net in verskillende tale geskryf nie, maar verteenwoordig ook verskillende kulture wat baie verskil in terme van taalkunde, letterkunde en kultureel-sosiale gebruike. Sulke uitdagings maak dit baie moeilik vir die vertaler, in hierdie geval K.S. Bongela, om die brontaal foutloos in die teikentaal te vertaal. Die studie gaan oor hoe Bongela met die vertaling van Things Fall Apart na Lwadilik'udonga, die kuturele uitdagings gehanteer het. Die verskillende probleme waarmee fn vertaler met die soeke na gelykwaardigheid en geskiktheid in aanraking kom, asook die analise van strategieë wat gebruik word in die oorskakeling van die kulturele elemente in die teikenteks, word aan die lig gebring. In die studie sal daar aan die lig gebring word dat dit moontlik is om fn verband tussen die vertaling van die teks en die ses algemene reëls wat deur Bassnett-MacGuire (1988:116-117) aangegee word, te sien.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/50530
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