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Department of the Languages and Cultures of Africa

Practical translation from and into Swahili

Course Code:
15PAFC029
Unit value:
1
Taught in:
Full Year

The objective of the course is to train students in advanced level translation, from Swahili into English and from English into Swahili. By the end of the course, the students should be able to translate a variety of text-types including modern prose and literature, and poetry written in Swahili. This course will help students to acquire an understanding of a variety of approaches, methods and theories in relation to translation, with an overall aim to bridge the cultural distance that exists between such non-kindred languages as Swahili and English.

This course will strengthen the translation theory component, emphasize the place and role of linguistics in translation, expand current bibliography, and increase the range and choice of practical translation texts.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

The objective of the course is to train students in advanced level translation, from Swahili into English and from English into Swahili. By the end of the course, the students should be able to translate a variety of text-types including modern prose and literature, and poetry written in Swahili. This course will help students to acquire an understanding of a variety of approaches, methods and theories in relation to translation, with an overall aim to bridge the cultural distance that exists between such non-kindred languages as Swahili and English.

This course will strengthen the translation theory component, emphasize the place and role of linguistics in translation, expand current bibliography, and increase the range and choice of practical translation texts.

Workload

Total of 22 weeks teaching with three hours classroom contact per week, 2 hours lecture and 1 hour tutorial.

Scope and syllabus

Students will be taught a variety of approaches, theories, methods of translation, and a general overview of Swahili translation. They will also be engaged with areas of linguistics that are most relevant to translation theory and practice, such as semantics and pragmatics, and their bearing on translation. They will gain a systematic understanding of relevant issues of translation theory such as equivalence/non-equivalence between languages, discourse structure, register and grammatical categories. Students will also be engaged with critical evaluation of some existing translations.

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination taken in May/June (60%); one essay of 3,500 words to be submitted on the last day of term 1 (20%); portfolio of translated texts assigned during term 1 and term 2 (20%).

Suggested reading

  • Baker, Mona (ed), The Routledge Encyclopaedia of Translation Studies, London and New York Routledge, 1998
  • Bassnett, Susan & Andre Lefevere, Translation History and Culture, London : Cassell, 1995
  • Bassnett, Susan, Translation Studies, London: Routledge, 1991
  • Biguenet, John and Rainer Schulte, The Craft of Translation, London: University of Chicago Press, 1989
  • Gentzler, Edwin, Contemporary Translation Theories, London: Routledge, 1993
  • Kamusi ya Kiswahili Sanifu (Swahili Dictionary) 2nd Edition, Oxford University Press (East Africa). Nairobi, Kenya 2004
  • Lefevere, Andre, Translating Literature, Practice and Theory, New York: Modern Language Association. 1992
  • Lodhi, Abdullaziz, Oriental Influences in Swahili: A Study in Language and Culture Contacts, Acta Universitis Gothoburgensis, Sweden, 2000
  • Mohamed, Mohamed Abdulla and Said A. Mohamed. Kamusi ya visawe = Swahili dictionary of synonyms. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Educational Publishers, 1998
  • Mwansoko, Hermans, Kitangulizi cha Tafsiri: Nadharia na mbinu, Dar es Salaam: TUKI, 1996
  • Nassir, Abdilahi. A concise dictionary of English-Swahili idioms. Nairobi, Kenya: Shungwaya Publishers, 1975
  • Saavedra Caso, Jose Arturo, Utenzi, War Poems, and the German Conquest of East Africa: Swahili Poetry as Historical Source, Trenton: NJ, Africa World Press, 2007
  • TUKI English Swahili dictionary=kamusi ya kiingereza-kiswahili. 1st ed. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Institute of Kiswahili Research, University of Dar es Salaam, 1996
  • Venuti, Lawrence (ed) The Translation Studies Reader, London: Routledge, 2000 (MAIN TEXT)
  • Venuti, Lawrence, The Translator’s Invisibility, London: Routledge, 1995
  • Zawawi, S.M. Loan words and their effect on the classification of Swahili. Nominal Leiden. 1979.