n Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa - A corpus-based appraisal of shifts in language use and translation policies in two Zulu translations of the Book of Matthew : parallel / bilingual corpora

Volume 35, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-5986



This article seeks to illustrate that translation policies that translators adopt may result in different linguistic choices. The recurrent preferences shown by the translators of the 1986 Zulu translation of the Book of Matthew can only be explained in terms of certain external, socio-cultural constraints. In this article it will be demonstrated that Toury's concept of the initial norm (the socio-cultural constraints) seems to have guided the translators of these translations in their selection of the options at their disposal. The initial norm governs the translator's choice between two polar alternatives regarding the translation's overall orientation. Using a corpus-based approach, the linguistic choices of both translations will be analysed to discern whether these translations adopted the norms of the source text and culture or the norms of the target culture. In the analysis it will be shown that the translators of the 1959 translation adopted source text norms and culture, whereas the translators of the 1986 translation adopted the norms of the target culture.

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