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Translating Francophone Senegalese women’s literature : issues of change, power, mediation and orality

By Georgina Collins

Abstract

The main aim of this thesis is to demonstrate how interdisciplinary research\ud into the cultural background of Senegalese women writers can impact upon the\ud strategies of the translator of their works into English. It also proposes to illustrate\ud how Translation Studies theories can be applied to the practice of translation, by\ud analysing previously translated works as well as examples from texts that have not\ud been translated before. In this way, the thesis tests the hypothesis that a broad\ud knowledge of Senegalese history, languages and modern day realities is essential in the\ud translation of Francophone Senegalese women’s literature.\ud Literature and culture are analysed under four key themes – Change, Power,\ud Mediation and Orature, drawing upon issues of language and gender where\ud appropriate, and using extracts from texts and translations to support arguments.\ud Theoretical material is analysed from a number of different disciplines, some of which\ud was collated whilst studying at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar. Interviews\ud with writers and academics supplied rare insight into Senegalese literature and society,\ud and time spent living with Senegalese families provided first-hand experience of local\ud cultures, as well as an opportunity to learn Wolof for the purpose of textual analysis.\ud This thesis contributes knowledge to a number of different fields of study due\ud to its multidisciplinary approach. It also redresses the gender and geographical bias of\ud much previous research into postcolonial African translation, as well as expanding\ud critical work on Senegalese writers. By analysing a range of text types, this thesis\ud progresses many previous studies of Senegalese women’s literature that only focus on\ud novels, and it uniquely analyses the influence of the native language upon Francophone\ud African translation. This thesis supports the hypothesis that cultural research can\ud amend the way a translator works, but progresses beyond previous strategies for\ud cultural translation by promoting complete submersion in source text languages and\ud cultures. And through analytical debate it demonstrates how previously translated texts\ud may be rewritten differently today due to changing theories of translation

Topics: PQ
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:4517

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