Translation, Tone Marking and Context: Implications for the Igbo Language Translator

Published: September 2019

AuthorComfort Ijeoma Ebiringa

About Author: Department of French. Imo State University, Owerri

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All human societies fall back on translation to carry the richness of their cultural values and traditions across borders. Language is culture as it is being said and translating people’s language into another one goes a long way to sell the culture of such people to others who can read and understand the translated works in their own language. Generally, translation has to do with two or more languages which, in most cases, have different structures. This makes the work of the translator more tasking given that literal translation in some situations will never work out. The translator therefore focuses on the contextual meanings of words he is translating. He is faced with many challenges in a language like Igbo where a particular word may have different meanings. In such a situation, we have established the fact that tone marks are very essential tools that can help to facilitate the translator’s activities. In this work, we have selected a certain number of Igbo words, indicating their meanings with tone marks and illustrating these meanings in sentences. This is aimed at highlighting the usefulness of tone marks regarding the contextual meanings of words and also to buttress the fact that a word has meaning only in its context.


Key words: Translation, Tone marks, Context, Diacritics, Tongue-twisting.