1st Edition

Decolonizing Translation Francophone African Novels in English Translation

By Kathryn Batchelor Copyright 2009
    290 Pages
    by Routledge

    290 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    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





    Kathryn Batchelor