Traduction et Langues
Volume 22, Numéro 1, Pages 80-91

Traduire Les Cultures : Quelles Stratégies Pour Traduire L’intraduisible Au Sein Des œuvres Littéraires Africaines ?/ Translating Cultures: Which Strategies For The Translation Of Untranslatable Terms In African Literary Works?

Auteurs : Adzalo Kossi Gerard .


Among the problems that surface in the field of translation, untranslatability is one of the most acrimonious to deal with. It is not only a question of terms that are not translated, but of terms that are retranslated over time, and which divide authors and translators. Sometimes, this leads to the omission of important terms that convey messages which are keys to the understanding of the works. We notice the plurality of African works aiming to defend their language-cultures and whose authors adopt a heterolingual language composed of their native languages and Western languages. This creates untranslatable terms that challenge the most skilled translator. Since these languages are not standard languages, many questions arise, such as whether all the untranslatable terms are rendered in the target language? If not, how do translators handle these untranslatable terms? Are there specific approaches to render them? These are the different questions we will address in our article. First, we will present the different cases of untranslatable terms in African literary works. After, we will talk about the cultural wealth they represent. Finally, we will propose some translation approaches that would make it possible to translate cultures without obstructing the knowledge they contain.

Mots clés

Approaches; Multilingualism; Problems of translation; Translation studies; Transmission