HAL will be down for maintenance from Friday, June 10 at 4pm through Monday, June 13 at 9am. More information
Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Le devoir de traduction. Pourquoi traduire un roman zoulou

Abstract : A propos the translation from Zulu to French of Mathews Mngadi's debut novel Asikho ndawo bakithi (We are done with, people), the paper argues in favour of translation of literature written in African vernacular languages, and dismisses its perception as mere didactic literature. In post-apartheid South Africa, its capacity of bearing witness to issues central to the life of Black people cannot be overestimated. Asikho, among other texts, centers on the lack of accommodation in townships for ordinary black people and the attending miseries and purposeless violence visited upon them as a consequence, culminating in the destruction of entire families and the negation of the social ethos as they find themselves at the mercy of slum lords. The author places the blame squarely on Apartheid selfish policies, not shying away though from denouncing misguided political lines among Black people. The strength of this testimony largely outweighs a somewhat artificial register which still reflects the purist norms set by the erstwhile language boards, making the text at times a challenge for today's readers. Translating, it is argued, is a condition for creative writing in African languages to proceed, and can be a trigger to innovate, so as to reach out to the potential 'born-free' readership.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata

Cited literature [39 references]  Display  Hide  Download

Contributor : Michel Lafon Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, December 24, 2014 - 4:41:13 PM
Last modification on : Monday, November 22, 2021 - 11:57:34 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 10:16:33 AM


Explicit agreement for this submission


  • HAL Id : halshs-01098428, version 1


Michel Lafon. Le devoir de traduction. Pourquoi traduire un roman zoulou. French Studies in Southern Africa, AFSSA, 2014, Ecrire et publier en Afrique francophone. Enjeux et perspectives, 44 (2), pp.190 - 214. ⟨halshs-01098428⟩



Record views


Files downloads