The Bemba Version of the Zambia National Anthem as Compared to the Original Version in English
International Journal of Applied Linguistics and Translation
Volume 3, Issue 4, August 2017, Pages: 50-57
Received: Oct. 26, 2017; Accepted: Nov. 27, 2017; Published: Dec. 21, 2017
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Gerald Chishiba, Department of Linguistics, the University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia
Mutale Charles, Department of Linguistics, the University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia
Chola Musonda, Department of Linguistics, the University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia
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The original version of the Zambia national anthem was written in English and then translated into most of the 73 Zambian languages. This article looks at how the Zambia national anthem was translated from English into the local languages. However, due to many factors, we chose to limit our study to one language, namely Bemba, which is considered as the most widely spoken Lingua franca in Zambia. In this study, great emphasis has been placed on the various translation processes and strategies used to translate the Zambia national anthem from English into Bemba, in the light of the equivalence theory. The concept of equivalence has often been used to indicate that the source text and the target text share what a number of scholars refer to as “sameness” or similarity. Vinay and Darbelnet as cited by Munday [6] explain that equivalence applies to cases where languages describe the same situation by different stylistic or structural means. Translation is therefore perceived as a way of establishing a straight forward correspondence between individual words [14]. This article shows that various translation strategies were used to manage equivalence within the accepted proxies of optimum translation and weaker version translation. In other words, the equivalence levels between the source text (ST) and the target text (TT) were analysed. This work shows evidence of semantic and socio-cultural variance between the original English version of the Zambia national anthem and the translated Bemba version. It also highlights the fact that the translation of a number of lines are close to approximations of the original lyrics, while others have substantially been modified to communicate the message in the original version. The ingenuity and innovativeness shown by the translator(s) of the Zambian national anthem into Bemba encompass what Lederer [5] refers to as linguistic competence and world knowledge to grasp the sense of the source text and convey it to the target text. This article shows that equivalence between the source text and the target text can be established at different linguistic levels and using different techniques. Without equivalence, it would be difficult to consider any given translated text as a successful translation of the source text. In this study the translation from English into Bemba can be seen as the product of the translator’s choices.
Translation Equivalence, Translation Strategies, National Anthem, Bemba and Textual Analysis
To cite this article
Gerald Chishiba, Mutale Charles, Chola Musonda, The Bemba Version of the Zambia National Anthem as Compared to the Original Version in English, International Journal of Applied Linguistics and Translation. Vol. 3, No. 4, 2017, pp. 50-57. doi: 10.11648/j.ijalt.20170304.13
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