Das konzept der äquivalenz und seine relevanz bei der übersetzung von Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’os und Ngũgĩ wa Mĩriĩs „i will marry when i want“ ins deutsche
African literature has in the course of time curved its niche in several European countries including Germany. Translation has played a key role in this process, and thus the need to increase awareness on the necessity of translating African literature into other languages. As a contribution to this, the following study seeks to investigate the translational problems that arise in the process of translating Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s and Ngũgĩ wa Mĩriĩ’s play entitled “I will marry when I want” into German. In order to achieve this, a portion of the play was translated into German based on the concept of equivalence as propagated by Nida (1964) and Koller (2011). Eugene Nida differentiates between two major types of equivalence namely formal and dynamic equivalence. Werner Koller on the other hand highlights the necessity of definition of context when handling the issue of translational equivalence, and differentiates between several types of equivalence including denotative, pragmatic and formal-aesthetic equivalence among others. The translation was then followed by an analysis where the challenges encountered are mentioned and possible solutions suggested, with focus on the translation of proverbs. This play was first written in Gikuyu language under the title “Ngaahika Ndeenda” and was later translated into English by the authors and the study also critically analyses the authors’ own translation of the play. Subsequently, the proverbs analyzed in this study are those that have their roots in the Gikuyu language, were then translated into English by the authors, and were further rendered into German for purposes of this study. The original proverbs contained in the Gikuyu version of the play are therefore reflected on in the process of analysis. Two main challenges were identified by the study pertaining to the translation of proverbs as follows: (1) ‘Gaps’ of understanding as Waltraud Kolb (2011) calls them. (2) Translation of culture specific elements. Several solutions were suggested for these problems including the use of equivalent proverbs in the target language, literal translation of proverbs aided by footnotes to eliminate misunderstandings among others. A general conclusion was also drawn that neither strict formal equivalence nor complete dynamic equivalence would be best suited for the translation of African literature into German, but rather a blending of the two, whereby the translator considers both orientations in the process of translation and applies them accordingly corresponding to his / her goals.