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Translating Wolof in the Francophone Senegalese Text Georgina Collins 11 March 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Translating Wolof in the Francophone Senegalese Text Georgina Collins 11 March 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Translating Wolof in the Francophone Senegalese Text Georgina Collins 11 March 2011

2 Key Areas for Discussion the growing influence of Wolof in Senegal different literary forms of Wolof/French hybridity examples of Wolof in Francophone texts how the informed translator may translate these texts how an understanding of Wolof may amend the strategies of the translator

3 Learn her mother tongue! Rather than imagining that women automatically have something identifiable in common, why not say, humbly and practically, my first obligation in understanding solidarity is to learn her mother tongue. You will see immediately what the differences are. You will also feel the solidarity every day as you make the attempt to learn the language in which the other woman learnt to recognize reality at her mothers knee. This is preparation for the intimacy of cultural translation. (Spivak 379)

4 Wolofisation Many Francophone writers...make use, in their work, of words, expressions and grammatical structures that come from local languages and cultures, not because they are unaware of French norms, but through pure realism, and with the view to translating their real daily life. Respecting the standard norm no longer seems to be very important. (Mbaya 78; translated from French)

5 Wolofising French overt linguistic hybridity (switching between two languages) selective lexical fidelity code-switching le français sénégalais discreet linguistic hybridity (one language or its structures, grammar and idioms articulated in another)

6 Le Français Sénégalais Stabilité politique su amul, économie bi du muna dox (Mbaya 121) Political stability if there is none, the economy will not work If there is no political stability, the economy will not be good.

7 Wolofising French overt linguistic hybridity: selective lexical fidelity code-switching le français sénégalais discreet linguistic hybridity: semantic hybridity (a form of calquing) syntactic and grammatical hybridity /relexification

8 Example: Selective Lexical Fidelity Le long des trottoirs, sous le froid mordant et dans la neige, traînent des sabadors, des boubous en flammes jetés par les fenêtres.... (Seck Mbacké 41) Along the pavement, in the snow and biting cold, there is a trail of sabadors, flaming boubous which have been thrown from the windows....

9 Wolofising French overt linguistic hybridity: selective lexical fidelity tagging /cushioning contextualisation code-switching le français sénégalais discreet linguistic hybridity: semantic hybridity (a form of calquing) syntactic and grammatical hybridity /relexification

10 Example: Semantic hybridity La poignée de mains traditionnelle et symbolique et les salutations en longueur, les salamalecs ne manquèrent pas avec des nouvelles sur la santé des vieux amis. (Seck Mbacké, Froid 93) The traditional, symbolic handshake and lengthy hellos, the greetings werent lacking in news about old friends and their health.

11 Example: Common Wolof Introduction Na nga def? Maa ngi fi rekk. Sa yaram jàmm? Jàmm rekk. How are you doing? I am only here. Your body peace? Only peace. How are you? I am fine. Are you well? Very well.

12 Deliberate repetition of clichéd phrases Des conneries! Des conneries! Je vais en dire. Je vais en dire parce que jen ai trop vues. Jen ai trop vues de toutes les couleurs. (Seck Mbacké 85) Bullshit! Bullshit! Thats what I say. Thats what I say because Ive seen too much of it. Ive seen too much of it, in every shape and form.

13 Wolofising French overt linguistic hybridity: selective lexical fidelity tagging /cushioning contextualisation code-switching le français sénégalais discreet linguistic hybridity: semantic hybridity (a form of calquing) syntactic and grammatical hybridity /relexification deliberate repetition of clichéd phrases lack of (variety of) prepositions imitating the sound of the language

14 Imitating the Sound of Wolof Lhorizon est vêtu De pourpre et dor Et se mire dans la mer Pour parfaire ses plis. Spectacle grandiose À nul autre pareil, Offert chaque soir Par lARTISTE éternel. The horizon is clothed In crimson and gold And is mirrored in the sea Perfecting its pleats. A magnificent show Unparalleled, Presented each evening By the eternal ARTIST.

15 Conclusions and future study influence of Wolof varies from writer to writer knowledge of Wolof/cultural context of a piece of work is essential for awareness of all textual interpretations Senegalese women writers – clever linguistic manipulation rather than violence some cultural words raise issues of untranslatability future – more in depth studies across a range of local languages

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