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  • Die Taalsekretariaat
  • Doelstelling
  • Shortlist announced for the SATI Award for Outstanding Translation

    The South African Translators’ Institute today announced the shortlist for its newly instituted SATI Award for Outstanding Translation.

    The award was launched in June and aims to promote the translation and publication of fiction and non-fiction work into and / or from the official languages, in order to -

    1. improve the quality of such translations;
    2. promote multilingualism and in particular the use and development of the indigenous languages;
    3. promote cross-cultural understanding; and
    4. raise awareness of the role of translators in uniting the people of South Africa.

    The award will alternate between fiction and non-fiction works each year, and is being made for fiction this year.

    This is the first award of its kind to involve all the indigenous languages. Thanks to very generous sponsorship by the Billiton Development Trust and support from Die Taalsekretariaat, an NGO devoted to the promotion of the indigenous languages, the Institute is offering the largest prize ever made available for translation in South Africa. The winner — who will be announced at a function at the Aardklop Arts Festival in Potchefstroom — will walk away with R25 000. The award is appropriately being made on International Translation Day, celebrated world-wide on 30 September.

    The response to the award has been very encouraging, particularly in the light of the short period between the announcement of the award and the closing date for nominations at the end of July. Fourteen nominations were received. Six are translations into Afrikaans and eight translations into English, but the source texts vary between Dutch, Xhosa, Venda, Zulu, Afrikaans and English and also cover a variety of genres — novels, poetry, folktales, plays. A Xhosa novel written by Pallo Jordan’s father, Mr AC Jordan — Ingqumbo Yeminyanya — has been entered in both its English and Afrikaans translations, The wrath of the ancestors translated by Mr AC Jordan himself together with his wife Patricia and Die toorn van die voorvaders translated by Prof. Bertie Neethling. The Venda novel A si Ene by ES Madima was translated into English by his son, Tenda. The entry that could possibly be seen as doing most to promote cross-cultural understanding is a collection of indigenous folktales being published in English and Afrikaans by Van Schaik Publishers.

    The full list of nominations is as follows:

    • Leon de Kock for the translation of the Afrikaans novel Triomf into English (SA & British versions) (Triomf)
    • Daniel Hugo for the translation of the Dutch novel Kartonnen dozen into Afrikaans (Kartondose)
    • Daniel Hugo for the translation of the Dutch novel De aanslag into Afrikaans (Die aanslag)
    • Daniel Hugo for the translation of Onbegonnen werk, a collection of Dutch poetry by Herman de Coninck, into Afrikaans (Liefde, miskien)
    • SJ Neethling for the translation of the Xhosa novel Ingqumbo Yeminyanya into Afrikaans (Die toorn van die voorvaders)
    • AC Jordan & P Jordan for the translation of the Xhosa novel Ingqumbo Yeminyanya into English (The wrath of the ancestors)
    • Maren Bodenstein and Linda Rode for the translation of the English youth prose collection I, a living arrow into Afrikaans (Ek, ’n lewende pyl)
    • Chris van Wyk for the translation of the Afrikaans novel Vatmaar into English (A place called Vatmaar)
    • Rachťlle Gauton for the translation of the Zulu one-act play collection Inkundlanye into English (One-act plays)
    • Alwyn Lubbe for the translation from English of the collection of indigenous folk tales Folk Tales of the Rainbow Nation into Afrikaans (Volksverhale van die ReŽnboognasie)
    • Tenda Madima for the translation of the Venda novel A si Ene into English (A victim of circumstances) (two nominations received)
    • Catherine Knox for the translation of various novels from Afrikaans into English (eg Marita van der Vyver’s Griet skryf ’n sprokie, Etienne van Heerden’s Casspirs en campari’s and Kikoejoe)
    • Malcolm Hacksley for various translations from Afrikaans into English (eg Etienne van Heerden’s Toorberg, GA Jooste’s Blou sweet)

    The three entries that have been selected for the shortlist are Triomf - translated by Leon de Kock, Die toorn van die voorvaders - translated by Bertie Neethling and A victim of circumstances - translated by Tenda Madima.

    The jury’s comments on these translations are as follows:

    The translation has received very wide acclaim in the media. It is innovative and creative, able to stand on its own as a literary work. In the effecting of a bridge between highly idiomatic and colloquial Afrikaans and equally colourful and idiomatic SA English, this work is a triumph of the art of the translator.

    Die toorn van die voorvaders
    What impresses one most about this nomination is the fact that the original Xhosa novel was manifestly far in advance of its time in respect of theme and structure. Besides the fact that the theme still has a resonance for modern Afrikaans-speakers, the translation appears to succeed in giving readers an interesting view of the culture and world of the Xhosa — exactly what is needed to promote understanding between black and white in our country. The translation is regarded as a literary work in its own right and makes an outstanding contribution to the promotion of multilingualism and the development of the indigenous languages of South Africa.

    A victim of circumstances
    The accurate reflection by the translator of the original tone of this novel has played a very significant role in the rating of the translation. It is very important to convey the atmosphere of the original creative work when translating, and this translation has succeeded admirably in transcending both linguistic and cultural barriers. The translation of a work of this standard from a language the size of Venda makes a fundamental contribution to both the society that speaks the language of the original text and the one that speaks the language into which the text has been translated.

    The jury evaluating the entries combines translation, language and literary expertise. It comprises the following persons:

    1. Prof Annette Combrink, chairperson of the SA Translators’ Institute and director of the School of Languages and Arts and vice-dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Potchefstroom. Prof. Combrink is a long-standing translator and translation teacher. She was also elected chair of the jury.
    2. Dr Alet Kruger, a SATI executive member and senior lecturer in translation in the Department of Linguistics (Translation Studies) at Unisa. She recently received her doctorate in literary translation.
    3. Prof NS Zulu, head of the Department of African Languages at the University of Stellenbosch and a creative writer in the Sotho and Nguni languages. Prof Zulu recently received the ALASA Literature Prize for his literary criticism.
    4. Dr L Molefe, head of the Department of African Languages at Unisa and also a writer in the Nguni languages.
    5. Mr Ron Madiba, head of the Venda Section of the Department of African Languages at Unisa and a language expert.

    Issued by the South African Translators’ Institute.


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