Decolonizing Translation : Francophone African Novels in English Translation book cover
1st Edition

Decolonizing Translation
Francophone African Novels in English Translation

ISBN 9781905763177
Published October 4, 2009 by Routledge
290 Pages

USD $46.95

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Book Description

The linguistically innovative aspect of Francophone African literature has been recognized and studied from a variety of angles over recent decades, yet little attention has been paid to what happens to such literature when it is translated into another language. Taking as its corpus all sub-Saharan Francophone African texts that have ever been published in English, this book explores the ways in which translators approach innovative features such as African-language borrowings, neologisms and other deliberate manipulations of French, depictions of sociolinguistic variation, and a variety of types of wordplay. The implications of their translation decisions are drawn out with reference to the broader significances that are often accorded to postcolonial literature, and earlier critics' calls for a decolonized translation practice are explored from both a practical and theoretical angle. These findings are used to push towards a detailed investigation of the postcolonial turn in translation studies, drawing on the work of key postcolonial theorists such has Homi K. Bhabha and Gayatri Spivak.

This is a timely and incisive critical assessment of contemporary discourses on the ethics and politics of translation.

Table of Contents

Decolonizing Translation: Contents



1. Francophone African Novels and Their Translation into English


Corpus Boundaries

- African

- Genre

Translation into English

- Index Translationum

- PEN/IRL Report on the International Situation of Literary Translation

Presence on the UK/US Book Markets

Themes of Translated Novels

Style in Translated Novels

Linguistic Innovation: Creativity or Corruption?

Linguistic Innovation in an African context

2. Linguistic Diversity and Polyglossia

References to Polyglossia in the Corpus Texts

Depicting Polyglossia and Linguistic Diversity 

3. Visible Traces and Traces within Traces

Interpreting the Significance of Visible Traces

Translation of Visible Traces

-  Simplification of Orthography

-  Alterations to Typography

-  Eliminations of Visible Traces

-  Relocation of Glosses and Addition of Further Explanatory Material

- Omission of Glosses

Traces within Traces


4. Basilectal and Mesolectal French

Novels Set in the Colonial Era: français petit nègre

-  Pidgin-for-pidgin (or Pseudo-pidgin for Pseudo-pidgin) Approaches

-  Rendering petit nègre Using Inaccurate English

-  Retaining French

-  From Depiction to Description

-  Evaluation of Translation Approaches to petit nègre

Basilectal French in Post-Independence Novels

-  Rendering Basilectal Orthographical Variation with Orthographical Corruption in English

-  Rendering Basilectal Variation in Standard English

-  Retaining the French of the Original

-  Summary of Translation Approaches to Basilectal French in Post-Independence Novels

Depicting Children's Language

-  Translating Isolated Basilectal Expressions

-  Re-creating Idiosyncratic Basilectal Styles

Mesolectal French

-  Semantic Neologisms

-  Borrowing

-  Calqued Expressions

-  Derivation

-  Grammatical and Paralinguistic Variations



5. Relexification






6. Onomastics and Wordplay




7. Towards a Decolonized Translation Practice

Translating Visible Traces

Translating Relexification

Translating Onomastics and Wordplay

Basilectal and Mesolectal Features, or, Tranlsating Dialect

Decolonized Translation Practice: Some Conclusions

8. Exploring the Postcolonial Turn in Translation Theory

Berman, Venuti, Spivak: Ethical Translation, Erotic Translation and the Problem of Effect

Spaces Between and Intercultures

Further Applications of Bhabhian Theory




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