Soyinka´s Death and The King´s Horseman in Translation: A Critique of Translation Theory and Practice

Festus Ayodeji SOYOYE and Olusola BANIGO


This study used the translation of Soyinka´s Death and the King´s Horseman into French and Yoruba, as representative of Europhone African literature, to examine some current translation theories and practice. Descriptive terms and concepts like: "source text", "target text", "source language", "target language", "translatability", "untranslatability", "domestication" and "foreignization" seem not to be adequate as they show that translation theory is yet to cope with the challenges and realities of the Europhone African literature type. The peculiarities of the Europhone African text demands a re-appraisal of the principles and concepts of translatability. Such a re-appraisal will reveal that a source text oriented theory will be more amenable and effective in dealing with translation of Europhone African literary texts if the target-audience is the literary critic, otherwise a target text oriented theory will do if the target-audience is the non-specialised reader.


Dr. Festus Ayodeji SOYOYE is a Senior Lecturer of French in the Department of Foreign Languages, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. His recent works are in Morpho-Syntax and Evaluation of Translation. Mrs. Olusola BANIGO is a Lecturer of French at the Lagos State University, Ojoo, Lagos, Nigeria. She is at an advanced stage of her doctoral studies at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Her recent works are in Text Linguistics and Translation Studies.

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