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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

On-line version ISSN 2224-7912
Print version ISSN 0041-4751


VYVER, Corné Van Der. The intralingual translation or rewording of a Bible text into non-standard Afrikaans: the artistic and creative aspects behind it. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2011, vol.51, n.3, pp.289-303. ISSN 2224-7912.

People who are proficient in a language to the extent that they can communicate confi dently and comfortably in it, are not always aware of the technical points and artistic aspects which need to be considered when translating/interpreting/transmutating from one language into another. These manifest in the following situations: (a) texts of which the original has been recorded in Standard Afrikaans, but which should be received by the variety user in his or her own dialect/code in order to be better understood; and the reverse, (b) original texts of the variety user which exist as spoken texts in the source language/code/dialect only, and have to be translated into the standard language so that other speakers of this language can also access them. It is sometimes thought that anybody who is proficient in a specific language, be it the standard language or a variety thereof, can translate from one into the other. In this process, however, a treasure of creativity, art and knowledge is overlooked, thus diminishing the enjoyment of reading a text. If, on the contrary, the art behind the translation of a text is comprehended, enjoyment when reading the translation is enhanced. Because language is descriptive, the reader who is exposed to a translation of the text will be introduced to the idiomatic use of the source language and thus obtain a view into the world, culture, habits and traditions of the variety user. The research reported in this article was directed by the following: the translation of a part of the Bible into Non-standard Afrikaans should be considered a rewording (intralingual translation) and not a translation (interlingual translation) or adaptation (intersemiotic translation). Intralingual translation recognizes the aspects of creativity and art to introduce and discuss the defence of this claim to the broader academic society. If a text cannot be identified as an intralingual translation the artistic and creative elements underpinning it cannot be recognized or appreciated. Intralingual translation attempts to give configuration to the creativity and verbal art of the original variety of e.g. Afrikaans, even though it has never been recorded before. Something of the creativity and artistic principles involved in intralingual translation manifests in the attempts of the translater to transpose the text from Standard Afrikaans into the variety. It requires an artistic approach to transpose a text from Standard Afrikaans into a code of Afrikaans in such a way that it will read as a text with which the varietal speaker will be able to identify. According to Munday (2004: 24) it is essential that the transposer has the ability to use both codes of a language like a mother tongue speaker, with knowledge of and insight into the cultural background, humour and customs of both codes. With knowledge of both codes the transposer does not merely reset the text into readable format, but also recreates those elements that are not apparent in words. The claim made above has been approached from three points of view, viz. the reality that very few texts have been recorded in Non-standard Afrikaans, Jakobson's theory that the signs in the source text must be replaced with signs of equivalent value or meaning in the target text; and some findings by Du Plessis (2006) that it is important that the intralingual translation takes place on three levels, namely: the language level, the geographic level and the religious level. After a short theoretical-technical discussion, an intralingual translation of a part from the Bible in Standard Afrikaans into Tsotsi-Afrikaans is presented. This is followed by a discussion of the creative, technical and artistic aspects involved in the specific intralingual translation.

Keywords : Translation; interpretation; resetting; adaptation; recreation; Non-standard Afrikaans; Bible translation; variety; linguistic level; living environment level; religious level.

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