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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Translating culture in West African drama
Author:Secovnie, Kelly O.
Periodical:Journal of African Cultural Studies (ISSN 1369-6815)
Geographic terms:Ghana
social relations
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13696815.2012.731778
Abstract:'Translation' has shown itself a key feature of the West African literary tradition, revealing the value placed on translation within the cultures of Ghana and Nigeria. Several works by Ghanaian writers feature a translation figure (the 'Linguist'), who, rather than translating between different languages, translates ideas and words among different categories of people within the same language. Following a description of the figure of the Linguist in Akan culture, this article provides an analysis of the Linguist in the works of earlier Ghanaian and Nigerian playwrights like Joe DeGraft and Wole Soyinka, and later ones like Jacob Yirenkyi and Tess Osonye Onwueme. Apart from showing the value of translation and the translator to the cultures represented, West African plays demonstrate the function of intracultural translation as a method to highlight and critique power differentials based on gender and class, as well as the power of translation to intervene in the political system. Some playwrights utilize female translator figures in their plays, highlighting potential places of power for women. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]