Moderators

Table 13.2 presents the frequencies for modifying adverbs found in our corpus. (The left-hand column of the table gives an indication of the timelines of the agents’ comments on their revisionary interventions.)

In the Niggie and In bushveld and desert projects, it is the translator who most frequently makes use of moderators. In the case of Vaselinetjie, the author has the highest frequency, although the translator’s is almost as high. The author of In bushveld and desert also uses moderators (especially in the early stages of the production process), but is overshadowed by the translator in this regard, leading us to associate the translator especially with the use of moderators. For example, when the translator comments on her own revision of the author’s revisions of the English manuscript of Vaselinetjie, she uses a moderator to modulate her criticism:

“bull” —later ook “bullshit” —voel vir my darem net te modern, ’n Anachronisme, dalkf [“bull”—later also “bullshit”—somehow feels too modern to me. Maybe an anachronism?]

The Vaselinetjie project editor uses moderators similarly when she reflects on her actions to limit the author’s rewriting of the original text:

Op party plekke het Anoeschka aan die skryf gegaan en soveel bygeskryf dat daar non ’n hele “boggel” in die storie is. Dit word skielik op daardie plek ’n heeltemal ander soort storie, wat op ’n

Table 13.2 Frequencies of modifiers

Agent

Moderators

Intensifiers

Niggie

Translator

0

0

Author

0

0

Reviser

1

0

Editor

2

0

Total Niggie

3

0

Vaselinetjie

Translator initial + revision

29

3

Editor

23

1

Author

31

5

Total Vaselinetjie

83

9

In Bushveld and Desert

Translator initial + additional + after compiler +

62

3

after editor

Author

25

0

Proofreader

0

0

Total In bushveld and desert

87

3

ander manier werk as die res. Ek het in sulke gevalle bietjie ter-uggesnoei. [In some parts Anoeschka started writing and she has added so much that there now is a large “hump” in the story. There it suddenly turns into a totally different type of story that functions in a different way to the rest. I have trimmed somewhat in those instances.]

It is therefore evident that the translator and editor do not always agree with the author’s decisions, and do act upon that, but without positioning themselves as the dominant agents. The translator similarly uses moderators in In bushveld and desert to criticise the compiler’s editing, adding to her profile of being less assertive:

“The female members of Mike’s circle of English friends were cute.” Dis darem nie’n lekker sin nie. Wat van “The females among Mike’s English friends were cute”. Of werk dit ook nie? [“The female members of Mike’s circle of English friends were cute.” The sentence somehow does not read well. What about “The females among Mike’s English friends were cute”. Or does that not work either?]

It is interesting to note that the author of Niggie does not use moderators at all, which we interpret as an indication of her assertiveness. However, taking into account her use of statements containing implicit imperatives, this might reflect her writing style as a novelist, which tends towards a neutral, yet assertive, authorial voice. Hence she is possibly using language “to express [her] own poetics” (Scocchera 2015:180).

Intensifiers

For Niggie, none of the intensifiers listed above can be found in the discourse. In the case of Vaselinetjie, intensifiers are mainly used by the author, specifically to emphasise or justify her textual preferences:

Ek hou ook absoluut niks van bootie nie en sal regtig verkies dat dit nie gebruik word nie. [I also do not like bootie at all and shall really prefer it to not be used.]

Ek het beide die kinders, maar veral die gangsters en Vaselinetjie, asook haar ouma en oupa, toegelaat om ’n baie “gemengde Engels ” te praat. Dis myns insiens, nog eg genoeg en sal beslis as werklike dialoogvorm in die kleurlinggemeenskap aanvaar word. [I have allowed both children, but particularly the gangsters and Vaselinetjie, as well as her grandmother and grandfather to speak a very “mixed English”. In my opinion it’s real enough and will definitely be accepted as true dialogue in the coloured community.]

All three intensifiers in the discourse on In bushveld and desert are used by the translator. In the following example, her insistence not to add any text to the translation is underlined by the use of “absolute”:

Ek wil nie “moeilik” wees nie, en ek verstaan ek is maar een rat in die groot masjien wat die boek publiseer en op soek is na die beste produk moontlik, maar vir my as literere vertaler is dit absoluut taboe om iets by ’n vertaling te voeg wat nie in die oorspronklike ver-skyn het nie. Ek is ook nie by magte om iets weg te laat wat wel versky n het nie. Myns insiens is dit slegs die skrywer wat dit mag doen. [I do not want to be “difficult”, and I understand I am only one cog in the big wheel publishing the book and looking for the best possible product, but to me as literary translator it is an absolute taboo to add anything to a translation that did not appear in the original. I also do not have the authority to omit anything that did appear. In my opinion only the author is allowed to do that.]

It is ironic that where the translator is assertive, she actually declares her subservience to the author. However she even undermines this assertive stance by declaring that she does not want to be “difficult”, and emphasising that this is only her point of view. The same happens when another intensifier is used, but loses impact through the rhetorical question that acts as a marker of unassertiveness:

Jack Daniels moet definitief “whiskey” gespel word, of hoe? [Jack Daniels should definitely be spelled “whiskey”, isn't it?]

 
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