n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - A critical analysis of domestication in Makhambeni's translation of Chinua Achebe's novel (1960)

Volume 32, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0258-2279



Through translation the target reader is exposed to other cultures. Translators, therefore, have to use the target language to convey the source text message to the target reader. There are various choices at their disposal as to how they wish to convey the source text message. They may choose to adopt the norms and conventions of the source text message, and therefore those of the source language and culture, or choose those of the target language. Commonly, adherence to the target language norms and conventions leads to a strategy in which the foreignness of both linguistic and cultural conventions is reduced. According to Venuti (1995) this is domestication. Since translations are rarely equivalent to the original, this article seeks to examine how Makhambeni uses Venuti's domestication as a translation strategy, with the purpose of rewriting the original to conform to functions instituted by the receiving system. The descriptive approach to translation, which advances the notion that translations are facts of the target culture, will be used to support the arguments presented in this article. It will be shown that, although Achebe has used a lot of Igbo expressions and cultural practices in his novel, Makhambeni has not translated any of the Igbo expressions and cultural practices into Zulu. Instead Makhambeni used Zulu linguistic and cultural expressions such as similes, metaphors, idioms, proverbs and of cultural substitutions to bring the Igbo culture closer to her audience. It will be concluded that through the use Zulu linguistic and cultural conventions Makhambeni has effectively minimised foreign culture and narrowed the gap between the foreign and target cultures. She has successfully naturalised the Igbo culture to make it conform more to what the Zulu reader is used to.

Deur 'n vertaling word die teikenleser blootgestel aan ander kulture. Vertalers moet dus die teikentaal gebruik om die boodskap van die teks vanuit die brontaal aan die teikenleser oor te dra. Daar is verskillende keuses tot hulle beskikking om die teksboodskap vanuit die brontaal oor te dra. Hulle kan kies om die norme en konvensies van die brontaal se teksboodskap aan te neem en dus dié van die brontaal en kultuur te behou, of om dié van die teikentaal kies. Gewoonlik lei navolging van die norme en konvensies van die teikenleser se taal tot 'n strategie waardeur die vreemdheid van die linguistiese sowel as die kulturele konvensies verminder word. Venuti (1995) beskou dit as inburgering ('domestication'). Aangesien vertalings selde ekwivalent aan die oorspronklike is, beoog hierdie artikel om vas te stel hoe Makhambeni gebruik maak van Venuti se inburgering as 'n vertalingstrategie met die doel om die oorspronklike te herskryf om aan te pas by funksies wat deur die ontvangende sisteem (teikentaal) ingestel word. Die beskrywende benadering tot vertaling wat die idee voorhou dat vertalings feite van die teikenkultuur voorstel, sal gebruik word om die argumente wat in hierdie artikel aangevoer word, te ondersteun. Daar sal aangetoon word dat, alhoewel Achebe baie Igbo-uitdrukkings en kulturele praktyke in sy roman gebruik het, Makhambeni nie enige van die Igbo-uitdrukkings en kulturele praktyke in Zulu vertaal het nie. In plaas daarvan het Makhambeni gekies om linguistiese en kulturele uitdrukkings in Zulu soos vergelykings, metafore, idiome, spreekwoorde en kulturele plaasvervangings in hulle plek te gebruik om daardeur die Igbo-kultuur nader aan haar Zulugehoor te bring. Die gevolgtrekking is dat Makhambeni deur die gebruik van Zulu linguistiese en kulturele konvensies, die vreemde kultuur suksesvol onderbeklemtoon het en die gaping tussen die vreemde en teikenkulture vernou het. Sy het die Igbokultuur suksesvol genaturaliseer om dit te laat aanpas by dit waaraan die Zululeser gewoond is.

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