Friday, October 17, 2008

On Translation

Well, the Nobel fever of last week did achieve one thing: highlighted the importance of literary translation, which, by the way, is not an exclusive preserve of linguists.

What are my challenges as a linguist/translator in Africa? Besides the dearth of works by African writers in indigenous languages. I know that I do not make a new point when I comment that most of the literatures of indigenous Africa that need/mandate translation are not written but oral. Thus, it would seem that any serious work in that area by a willing linguist has to necessarily include lots of fieldwork and gathering of indigenous narrations that make for good textual literature.

I am discovering a few more blogs that explore the experience of living as a translator, and its challenges.

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