Research Article

Strategies utilised in translating children’s stories from English into isiXhosa

Published in: South African Journal of African Languages
Volume 41, issue 1, 2021 , pages: 76–82
DOI: 10.1080/02572117.2021.1902144
Author(s): Yolisa Madolo, South Africa


Translation scholars suggest various strategies for dealing with equivalence and non-equivalence. These popular strategies address non-equivalence, the converse of equivalence, that is commonly found in translation. Non-equivalence is found at word, phrase, sentence, and pragmatic levels. Not a great deal of research has been done in the translation strategies used between English and South African indigenous languages. It is possible that these languages employ some strategies that are not listed under current, popular strategies. These strategies may be necessitated by the linguistic and historical differences between English and African languages. For instance, what is acceptable in question form in English might be more suitable as a statement in African languages, specifically isiXhosa. The strategies to be presented are from an ongoing study of selected children’s stories translated from English into isiXhosa. The aim of the study is to scrutinise some of the strategies used by the translators in their translations. Preliminary results reveal that translators from English into isiXhosa may explicitate or implicitate the translation using various strategies like addition, infusing target language culture, translating source language idiom by another figure of speech or even omitting some words. This may have minimal or significant impact on the transferred message.

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