An encounter with some translators: Challenges they faced when translating <em>Long Walk to Freedom</em>

Research Article

An encounter with some translators: Challenges they faced when translating Long Walk to Freedom

DOI: 10.2989/16073614.2023.2243301
Author(s): Francinah Mokgobo Kanyane University of South Africa, South Africa

Abstract

Scholars of translation studies are on record as saying that the translation process is not an easy task, because languages are unique. What can be easily expressed in one language may not be easily expressed in another. Added to the problem of lack of equivalent linguistic elements in translation are the challenges of culture. Translators feel compromised when encountering translation challenges which they cannot address though they possess mastery of both the source and target languages. The challenges faced by the four South African translators of Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom into Sesotho sa Leboa, isiZulu, isiXhosa and Afrikaans respectively are a case in point. Although these translators translated the same text into their languages, they each had unique challenges. This article examines the obstacles to the translation of the source text into the four languages mentioned above and the strategies used to address the obstacles. This study is qualitative in nature, where the responses of the translators during interviews are exposed, assessed and analysed.

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