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Intimate EnemiesTranslation in Francophone Contexts$
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Kathryn Batchelor and Claire Bisdorff

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318672

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846318672.001.0001

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Literary Translation and Language Diversity in Contemporary Africa

Literary Translation and Language Diversity in Contemporary Africa

(p.17) Literary Translation and Language Diversity in Contemporary Africa
Intimate Enemies

Moradewun Adejunmobi

Liverpool University Press

This chapter considers how literary translation might advance the principle and practice of language diversity in African literary writing. In responding, the paper calls into question the assumption that encouraging writing in every indigenous language spoken will reverse the trend towards literary publication in a shrinking number of languages. This is because the oral multilingualism of highly multilingual societies cannot be fully replicated in mediated texts without eroding the dynamics that foster language diversity itself. Indeed, and whenever texts are disseminated using diverse communication technologies in a highly multilingual society, regular translation of texts between a selected number of languages will do more to reinforce diversity in the language of textual circulation than attempts to represent every possible language in use. Thus, the viability of writing in indigenous languages, and thus of language diversity in writing, will depend on systematic translating of literary texts written in vernacular languages into selected languages of wider communication.

Keywords:   language diversity, textual mediation, literary translation, multilingualism, languages of wider communication

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