n Scrutiny2 - Translation and transformation : Antjie Krog's translation of indigenous South African verse into Afrikaans

Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0041-5359


This article discusses Antjie Krog's translation of verse written in the indigenous South African languages in the anthology <I>Met woorde soos met kerse&lt;/I&gt; [`With words as with candles''] into Afrikaans. It looks at Krog's work as a translator as well as her ideas about translation as a means of empowering the speakers and writers of languages smaller and institutionally less powerful than English and Afrikaans in South Africa. The translations in <I>Met woorde soos met kerse&lt;/I&gt; are discussed against the background of Lawrence Venuti's view of translation as a practice in which processes of `domestication'' are set off against processes of `foreignization''. Venuti maintains that the translator inscribes the foreign text with domestic intelligibilities and interests, drawn from the receiving language and culture, to enable the foreign text to be received there. Because of this, he also argues for a need to preserve the foreignness of the foreign text in order that the hierarchies that rank values in the domestic culture can be `disarranged to set going processes of defamiliarization, canon formation, ideological critique, and institutional change''. The article tries to demonstrate that Krog's translation of the foreign texts (the poems in South Africa's indigenous African languages) domesticates them in various ways, while at the same time foregrounding their foreignness in such a way that it promotes transformation and change in the domestic culture (the literary system and culture of Afrikaans).

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