Translation Challenges of Swahili Plays: A Case Study of Maua Kwenye Jua La Asubuhi By Kithaka Wa Mberia (2004) and Kinjeketile By Ebrahim Hussein (1986)
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This paper presents the results of a Case Study on the challenges encountered by translators when translating Swahili Plays as a source text into English as a target text. The plays under study are: Maua Kwenye Jua la Asubuhi by Kithaka Wa Mberia (2004) Kinjekitile by Ebrahim Hussein (1969) The study followed the framework of communicative Translation. The main objective was to investigate the challenges encountered when translating proverbs, puns and cultural terminology, which are cultural bound from Swahili as a source text to English as target text. We delved into the study by introducing our background and stating the problem we researched on. The objectives and hypothesis that guided us were clearly stated and the rationale and scope were well laid down. The theoretical framework and review of related literature was exhaustively discussed and finally the methodology and significance was elaborated. Focus on the translation of the Swahili play follows very closely, by defining the crucial terms relevant to the study and by comparing the culture bound elements used in the two plays. The theory of communicative translation ws tested by subjecting the elicited data through the comparative analysis and determining the translatability/untranslatability of the culture bound elements. Subsequently, we concluded our project by providing the research findings which were that, proverbs particularly those that are regional are not translatable as they are created in the specific cultural region and in that particular language. In the same vein, puns generally belonging to a specific culture and language are untranslatable due to the difference in language codes. As we found out cultural bound terms can be borrowed into the target culture, in the process enriching it. We finally drew our conclusion on the entire project and gave recommendations on further research particularly on the Swahili play. Then we cited all the references that gave us direction and footing.