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n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - Translating culture : Matthee's as a case in point : research article

Volume 28, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0258-2279
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Abstract


The translation of "cultural identity" in a novel such as "Kringe in 'n bos" contributes towards the definition of a uniquely South African representation of time and space in the global context. When translation is studied as a product of its socio-historical context, the translator is faced with problems of translating ideology and cultural identity in literature. Realia constitute a particular challenge to the translator because, according to the definition, precise equivalents of these words do not exist in other languages, which could cause shifts in the target language text. This article considers the concept of translatability and concludes that, despite the problems encountered, an adequate and satisfactory German translation from the Afrikaans original should be possible.
The question of translatability assumes an interesting dimension as the Afrikaans novel was translated into English by the author herself. The privileged position of author-translator granted Matthee a near-perfect understanding of the different layers of meaning and intention of the source text and eliminated the gap between the author and translator. However, one gains the impression that the German translator (Stege) resorted to transference as a strategy to avoid translation and it emerges that most instances of definite mistranslations are, indeed, attributable to Stege's unfamiliarity with the South African context.


Die vertaling van "kulturele identiteit" in 'n roman soos "Kringe in 'n bos" dra by tot die definisie van 'n uniek Suid-Afrikaanse voorstelling van tyd en ruimte in die globale konteks. Wanneer vertaling bestudeer word as produk van die sosiohistoriese konteks, kry die vertaler te doen met probleme wat ten nouste verband hou met ideologie en kulturele identiteit in die letterkunde. Realia stel besondere uitdagings aan die vertaler, want dit word gedefinieer as woorde waarvoor presiese ekwivalente nie in ander tale bestaan nie. Dit kan klemverskuiwings in die doel-taalteks tot gevolg hê. In hierdie artikel word die begrip "vertaalbaarheid" onder die loep geneem en die gevolgtrekking word gemaak dat 'n toereikende en bevredigende Duitse vertaling uitvoerbaar behoort te wees.
Die vertaalbaarheid skwessie verkry 'n interessante dimensie aangesien die Afrikaanse roman deur die outeur self in Engels vertaal is. Synde in die bevoorregte posisie van skrywer-ver-taler het Matthee 'n onverbeterlike begrip van die verskillende betekenisvlakke en die oogmerke van die bronteks gehad. Die normale afstand tussen outeur en vertaler het ook nie bestaan nie. Dit lyk asof die Duitse vertaler (Stege) in probleemgevalle haar toevlug geneem het tot ontlening ten einde vertaling te vermy en dit blyk dat die meeste gevalle van definitiewe vertaalfoute inderdaad toegeskryf kan word aan Stege se gebrekkige kennis van die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks.

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/content/literat/28/3/EJC61988
2007-12-01
2016-12-11

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