TRANSLATING POETRY FROM FRENCH TO ENGLISH: THE CASE OF LEON DAMAS’ “HOQUET”

Published: March, 2020

Author(s):

Adedoyin Kanimodo &  Anthony Nwanjoku

 

About Author(s):

Department of French, School of Languages. Tai Solarin College of Education

Department of Foreign Languages and Literary Studies. Faculty of Arts. University of Nigeria

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Abstract

Literary works are written in literary language which is charged with connotative meaning. No wonder it’s translation poses a lot of problems for translators. To be able to translate a literary work from one language to another, a translator must understand all the nuances and render the message in the target language without losing its meaning and it’s informative value. Translation implies the passage from one language to another, the meaning and intention of the original text. According to the interpretative method, translation is extracting the meaning and intention of a given text in a language (language A) and rendering the same meaning into another language (language B) in order to produce the same effect. Literature on the other hand is a written or oral work with aesthetic purpose. It is the totality of works of the mind as they are produced by word or writing, and are reflected in terms of content, form and expression. Poetry which is one of the genres of literary texts is a piece of writing in which the words are carefully chosen for the images and ideas they suggest, and in which the sounds of the words when read aloud often follow a particular rhythmic pattern. This article examines the peculiarities of literary translation with particular reference to poetic translation and how it can be translated. A translation of Leon Damas’ “Hoquet” into English was undertaken. At the end, it was discovered that different translation techniques were applied while the ethnographic and historical knowledge played important roles.

 

Keywords: Literary translation, literature, translation, poetic translation, poetry.