Applying Toury’s Three-Phased Methodology to “Los ” /“Loose ” to “Los’7“Loose”
Toury’s model for DTS remains popular because it provides a framework within which researchers can work to ensure “intersubjectively testable and comparable” studies which are “replicable” (Toury 2012:xiii). His approach consists of three phases and incorporates a description of the product and the role of the sociocultural system (Toury 2012). The first phase is to situate the translated text within the target culture’s literary (poly)system (Even-Zohar 1978). This phase assumes that the translator opted for a translation procedure that will render either a foreignised or a domesticated translation, according to translation norms that Toury (2012:81-85) postulates. The second phase is to undertake a textual analysis of both the ST and TT to identify relationships between corresponding segments in both texts. Toury (2012:33) refers to these as ‘coupled pairs’ used to identify translation shifts. Catford (1965:73) defines translation shifts as “departures from formal correspondence” between the ST and TT. These shifts can be either obligatory or non-obligatory. The final phase entails attempting to generalise any patterns identified in the two texts on the basis of Toury’s translation norms, in an effort to reconstruct the translation process.
The first phase of Toury’s methodology is based on Even-Zohar’s (1978) polysystem theory, which proposes that every literary culture consists of different types of literature (including novels, science-fiction, children’s literature, adult literature, as well as translated literature), all connected in a certain way, with some assuming dominant positions in the literary systems, and others less dominant or peripheral positions. According to Even-Zohar (1978:24), translated literature will generally be in a less dominant position, except in cases where the literary culture is young, peripheral, weak (or all three), or experiences a vacuum. He states that the position of the translated text in the target literary polysystem will determine the translation strategy, guiding the translator to render either a foreignised or a domesticated translation. If translated literature takes up a dominant position, the translation may follow the ST as closely as possible, resulting in a foreignised translation. On the other hand, if translated literature occupies a non-dominant position, the translation may conform to the language and cultural norms of the target literature—hence a domesticated translation. This is brought about by what Toury (2012) refers to as translation norms, which in turn influence the translation strategy and decisions. Initial norms (Toury 2012:79) comprise general choices that translators make, either to subject themselves to the norms actualised in the ST (foreignisation), or to the norms of the target culture and language (domestication). Preliminary norms entail translation policy (the choice of texts to be published) and directness of translation (Toury 2012:82). Operational norms entail matricial norms
Self-Translation of an Afrikaans Short Story by SJ Naude 137 (omissions, relocation of passages, footnotes, etc.) and textual-linguistic norms (Toury 2012:83) which direct decisions about how to translate words, phrases and stylistic features during the act of translation itself.
In the Afrikaans literary system, the collection of short stories Alfabet van die voels, of which “Los” forms part, is included in serious (i.e. canonical) literature. In the English literary system, Alphabet of birds (and therefore “Loose”) fits into the translated literature category on the periphery of the literary system. If one applies Even-Zohar’s theory to “Los” and “Loose”, it follows that the translation should adhere to English language and cultural norms rather than those of Afrikaans. The position of the book will therefore move from a dominant position in the Afrikaans literary polysystem to a peripheral position in the English one.
Toury (2012:33) contends that any omissions or additions should be justified—in other words, translators should only omit words and phrases that are “untranslatable” into English or would be unfamiliar to an English readership; conversely, translators should only add words and phrases to explain concepts that might be unfamiliar to an English readership. To illustrate this, consider the Afrikaans concept of‘boeretroos’— a well-known Afrikaans word for coffee that has no English equivalent. To translate this simply as “farmer’s comfort” will not make it clear that the word refers to coffee - an English-speaking person may even think that the word refers to the farmer’s wife! In this case, a better translation technique would be to translate it as “coffee - the farmer’s comfort”. For the purposes of this study, this therefore constitutes an obligatory addition.
The second phase of Toury’s methodology involves an analysis of the two texts. The short stories “Los” and “Loose” were therefore aligned in a spreadsheet to produce a parallel corpus for the purposes of the analysis. All omissions and additions were then identified and classified as either obligatory or non-obligatory.
In the third phase, we attempt to identify patterns in Naude’s translation decision-making process on the basis of Toury’s translation norms.