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Title: Norms of Swahili translations in Tanzania : an analysis of selected translated prose
Author: Hadjivayanis, Ida
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2011
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This study is about the Norms of Swahili translations as analysed through a selection of translated prose. The selection comprises Alfu lela ulela (The thousand and one Nights) and Mabepari wa Venisi which is a translation of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. These two canonical Swahili translations have been done in conjunction with a more modern translation of Naguib Mahfouz's The Search, translated as Msako in Swahili. For comparative purposes a number of translated prose and some narratives that are part of Swahili children literature have been included. I have set forth the argument that there are a number of Swahili translation norms operating within the polysystem. These norms have been influenced by a number of active agents including patronage and the interference of English which led to translation occupying a central position within the Swahili polysystem for a number of decades. This is why translation has been crucial in the formation of Swahili literature although this situation was reversed in the 1970s from whence translation has occupied a marginal position in Tanzania. A number of translation strategies have also become the norm and these include appropriation, omission and the use of an unmistakable form of ideological and cultural manipulation. Similarly, there has been extensive use of situational equivalence where what is Swahili substitutes the foreign contexts. Nevertheless one of my arguments is that this trend is being re-defined. Despite the ambiguous status of some of these strategies. and their perceived marginalized position in the West, to the Swahili, these have been regarded and accepted as part of the entire Swahili translation system. To a large extent, I have used a target oriented approach since the translations themselves have largely prioritized the target Swahili language and culture. The analysis has been undertaken through a comparative depiction of the processes and strategies that were undertaken by translators. This was done at a macro as well as micro level. At the macro level, I have examined the extra-textual materials in relation to the socio-cultural and political context of Tanzania while at micro level I have investigated the textual sources which are the translations themselves. The thesis concludes with the presentation of translation norms that range from the ready acceptance of indirect translations being embraced as Swahili literature to the practise of translator's self-commissioning. I have argued that factors that have led to the categorization of norms are often inter-dependent. I sought to categorise Swahili norms broadly into norms that domesticate and those that foreignize translation literature. The future of Swahili translations in Tanzania will emerge through the struggle between what is alien and what is familiar, which can also be portrayed as the global and the local.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral