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Translation of prose falls under “literary translation” that involves these other
genres: poetry and drama. In literary translation enough works have not actually
been done in prose, drama and poetry. In translating these genres, a lot of
problems are usually encountered. This work is therefore aimed at examining
these problems and highlighting some cultural elements in the text. This could
not be done in isolation and for this reason, the text, Eze Goes to School by
Onuora Nzekwu and Michael Crowder was selected and translated from
English into Igbo. The translated work was analyzed. For the analysis,
examples from the source and target texts were placed side by side and suitable
techniques employed. The problems encountered were highlighted.
Recommendations were made. This work will be of immense value to the target
language users, would-be translators and linguists. The highlighted cultural
elements will be greatly appreciated by the owners. This will help to resuscitate
some of the cultural elements that are about going extinct. Having seen some of
the problems and adequate techniques employed in solving them, literary
authors and translators will be stimulated to produce more literary translated
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page i Certification Page ii Dedication iii Acknowledgments iv Table of Contents v Abstract vi
CHAPTER ONE 1.0 Introduction 1 1.1 Significance of the Study 3 1.2 Scope of the Study 4 1.3 Background of the Study 4 1.4 Methodology 5 CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Theoretical Studies 7 2.2 Empirical Studies 11 2.3 Types of Literary Translation 13 2.4 Importance of Literary Translation 16 2.5 Problems of Literary Translation 18 2.6 Translation Techniques and Definition of Concepts 21
CHAPTER THREE: RELEVANT ISSUES IN LITERARY TRANSLATION 27
CHAPTER FOUR: ANALYSIS OF THE TEXT 4.1 Analysis of the Translated Work 105 4.2 Problems Encountered 116 CHAPTER FIVE: RECOMMENDATIONS, SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION 5.1 Recommendations 119 5.2 Summary and Conclusion 121
APPENDIX i – The Source Text 127
The place of translation as a means of giving out information makes
translation very necessary. Any needed information which is in another
language could be re-expressed into other languages through translation for
proper communication. Translation as a means of communication has the basic
role of educating and informing. The importance of sharing information cannot
be over stated because of what it can accomplish in the lives of individuals,
organizations and nations. In fact, there is no area of endeavour that is excluded
in this aspect.
Important facts and truths that are locked up in every piece of
information which in turn is often expressed in some foreign languages are
exposed through translation. Such facts, be they in sciences or arts, when
translated are made accessible for the benefit of others.
Translation as a veritable tool for any human activity has been viewed
and explained by various people. Th8/4riveni (2000:1) states that “translation is
not simply a matter of seeking other words with similar meanings but of finding
appropriate ways of saying things in another language”.
Commenting on the communicating role of translation, Ajunwa
(1991:13) views translation as “a means of communication born of cultural
contacts and interactions between speakers of different languages”. This goes to
suggest that translation cuts across the cultures of the world. Therefore, if
people should know about other people’s culture and other aspects of their
lives, then the need for translating from one language to the other is very
Buttressing the above explanations, Edebiri (1982:1) states that;
“Translation, one of the most important cross-linguistic and cross cultural
practices has been going on in Nigeria for over a century now”. The inference is
still on translation cutting across different cultures of the world.
Translation actually started in Nigeria with the coming of the missionaries in the 17th century. During this era, some religious materials were
written and translated by these missionaries, to aid the work of spreading the
gospel. Not long, some indigenous writers joined in writing either in the Igbo or
English languages. But it was observed from the works produced that the
interest of these indigenous writers was more in writing than in translating.
With this, many works were produced in the area of Prose, Drama and Poetry.
These works were written in English or Igbo.
In the area of Prose, works like Things Fall Apart, only Eze Goes to School, Drummer Boy, The Only Son, Efuru, Omenụkọ, Ije Odumodu Jere, Ala Bingo, Isi Akwụ dara N’ala and Mbediọgụ were produced. In Drama, we have works like, Ọjaadịlị, Nwata Rie Awọ, Obidiya, Akụ Fechaa, Akụ Ụwa, Eriri Mara Ngwugwu and Ọkụ Ụzụ Daa Ibube. Poetry though a more difficult area is
not left behind. Some works have actually been produced in this area. We have works like, Abụ maka Ụmụntakịrị, Ụtara Ntị, Akpa Uche, Echiche, Akọ na Uche, Ụyọkọ Mbem and Uche Bụ Ahịa. Surprisingly, of all the listed works, Things Fall Apart, Mbediọgụ and Omenụkọ have recently been translated into Igbo and other languages. It has
been realized that not having enough translated Igbo works in other languages
and also works in other languages being translated into Igbo has actually locked
up facts and ideas about these people that own these languages, especially as it
concerns the rich culture of the parties involved.
Against this backdrop, the researcher has taken up the task of translating
the text Eze Goes to School into the Igbo language. This text produced in 1963
is one of the oldest literature texts for the Junior Secondary Schools all over the
federation. As an old text with an Igbo background, there is the need for it to be
re-expressed in the Igbo language so as to be of great benefit to the grassroot.
Also, we should understand that no matter how educated or experienced one is
in a foreign language, it is still a foreign language. “Honest and Dynamic
people are generally more comfortable speaking, writing and reading in their
own language”, Nwadike (2008:18). There is also the sense of fulfillment,
independence and belongingness in using one’s language.
1.1 Significance of the Study
In a multilingual nation like Nigeria, the importance of a study of this
nature is obvious. The translation of the text Eze Goes to School will help some
Igbo people that are not literate enough to read and appreciate some of the
cultural elements that were highlighted in the text. Apart from this, the reading
of the entire book in their own indigenous language will also be highly
The work will also be of immense help to students and teachers of the
Igbo language who will find out through this study that Igbo is as good as any
other language for the expression and dissemination of some cultural element
seen in the text that are peculiar to the Igbo people. Finally, the study highlights
some translation problems and how these problems hinder good translation
1.2 Scope of the Study
This work is limited to the translation of the text Eze Goes to School from
English into Igbo. The work also covers the problems encountered in the
process of translating the text from English into the Igbo language.
1.3 Background of the Study
It is generally believed that translation is as old as written literature. In
Nigeria translation is viewed as an offshoot of missionary activities. According
to Edebiri (1982:15), “translation has been going on in Nigeria for more than a
century now”. When the missionaries came into Nigeria and launched in earnest
evangelization, they realized that availability of the bible in various local
languages will facilitate their work but the absence of a written tradition in the
indigenous languages was an obstacle. By the middle of the last century, the
Bible had been translated into some of the indigenous languages. The
personalities that helped in translation during this period were Bishop Ajayi
Crowther, Rev. J. C. Taylor, S. W. Kolle, Archdeacon Thomas Dennis and
Comparing the work of these missionaries, Edebiri (1982:20) said that by
the middle of the last century they (the missionaries) had already rendered the
Bible into the Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Ijaw, Efik and Kanuri languages. Apart
from translating the Bible into some Nigerian indigenous languages, the
missionaries also showed some interest in translating some other aspects of
indigenous literature into the English language. Some English literatures were
also translated into some indigenous languages. For instance, The Pilgrim’s Progress (Ije Nke Onye Kraịst Jere) and some catechism texts were translated
by Archdeacon Thomas J. Dennis with the help of some Igbo indigenes.
So it could be rightly said that the foundation of translation in Nigeria
was actually laid by the early missionaries. They prepared the ground on which
the indigenous writers/translators started planting.
The research method and procedure adopted by the researcher were done
in two stages:
1. Through reading of the source text, Eze Goes to School.
2. Translating the source text from English into Igbo.
Some related literatures were reviewed to gather some useful information.
Dictionaries were also consulted.
In translating the source text, Eze Goes to School, the researcher will be
guided by the principles of translation as propounded by Ettin in Nida
(1964:14). She identified the text as a literary text. This text was thoroughly
read with interest and some difficult words and structures were fished out.
Some academics in this area (Linguists) were consulted for some clarifications.
First and second translations of the Source Text into the Target Language
were then made. These were given to some knowledgeable people to review.
Corrections and comments were made by these people with justifications.
After all these, the researcher then made her final rendering of the Source
Text from English to Igbo.
In the analysis of the translated text, the researcher employed some
techniques. The entire work was guided by the principles and theories of
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