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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The limits of translation: translating an African writer
Author:Oye, Adetola OlujareISNI
Periodical:Journal of Oriental and African Studies
Geographic term:Africa
About person:Mariama Bā (1929-1981)ISNI
Abstract:The question often arises as to whether translation can really convey the complete meaning and content of a text, or to what extent it does this. To see what it entails to pass information from one language to another, the author considers types of translation (intralingual, intersemiotic, interlingual), the task of the translator and the techniques of translation. The ways in which some of the techniques work is illustrated through the English version of Mariama Bā's 'Une si longue lettre', translated by Modupe Bode-Thomas. Bode-Thomas has included explanations in endnotes to deal with the abundant use in the original novel of expressions borrowed from Wolof, Arabic and French. He has used literal or word-for-word translation in order not to betray the original text, though the present author feels that some expressions which have been translated literally could have been better translated through equivalent options. Difficult areas in translation include abbreviations, and academic certificates or degrees. In translating African novels extralinguistic knowledge is crucial: the translator has to search out the terms which best convey the culture of the original language in the culture of the target language. Bibliogr., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]