Equivalence in English Translations of Fágúnwà's Igbó Olódùmarè: A Focus on The Forest of God by Gabriel Àjàdí

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Department of Languages, Federal University of Kashere, Gombe State, Nigeria


Translation as the interpretation of meanings from one language to another is essential for intercultural exchange among people in multilingual societies. However it is not as easy as may be imagined. More challenging is the translation of literary text due to its characteristics. Many studies have shown that finding perfect equivalents for culture-specific expressions (CSEs) usually poses major challenges to translators because of some differences in the ways cultural values are expressed The aim of this paper therefore is to examine equivalence between Fágúnwàs novel, Igbo Olódùmarè, the source text (ST) and one of its English translations, The Forest of God the target text (TT) by Gabriel Àjàdí. This aspect is yet to receive the required attention in Yoruba-English literary studies. The study adopts qualitative research methodology to analyse how the CSES such as names and proverbs from the ST have been reproduced in the TT. Aspects of a Translation Equivalence Analysis (TEA) model, designed by the researcher serves as our theoretical guide. Findings of the study among others are that: to a large extent there is equivalence between the ST and the TT messages. The translator employed retention, substitution, omission and direct translation strategies. However, the abuse of the omission strategy and excessive use of annotations are reasons why the target text readers might not enjoy pleasurable reading like the ST readers. The paper therefore concludes that perfect equivalence between ST and TT is impossible; as such translators need to employ varied translation strategies to minimize translation challenges as exemplified in this paper The paper is in six sections. Section one is the general introduction. Section two introduces and discusses equivalence in translation culture-specific expressions and translation strategies. Section three presents the Synopsis of the ST while four explains the Translation Equivalence analysis model. Section five analyses the text and highlights the findings. Section six is the conclusion.



Culture-specific expressions, Descriptive Translation Study, Equivalence, Igbọ́ Olódùmarè, Translation Equivalence Analysis (TEA) model