Original Research

Die 2020-direkte vertaling in Afrikaans: Waarom en hoe?

Gert J.C. Jordaan
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 55, No 3 | a2758 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v55i3.2758 | © 2021 Gert J.C. Jordaan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 April 2021 | Published: 25 June 2021

About the author(s)

Gert J.C. Jordaan, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the SA Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

The 2020 direct translation into Afrikaans: Why and how? The Bible Society of South Africa’s commission that the new 2020 translation of the Bible into Afrikaans should be soundly source-text orientated and at the same time easy to understand, set a difficult task to the translators. The 2020 translators would have to dig deep to make these two almost opposing goals meet. The ways by which the translators eventually put their commission into practice, was investigated in this article. The method of investigation was to inspect the decisions of the translators’ steering committee about how they planned to execute the commission they received from the Bible Society, and to test their decisions to its execution in practical examples from the 2020 translation itself. The investigation brought to light that the translators’ success in the execution of their task, to a large extent, resulted from the fact that they, from the outset, made a clear distinction between the linguistic characteristics and the textual characteristics of both the source and the reception language. This enabled them to make a directly reflecting type of translation without giving way to either formal equivalence or dynamic equivalence. The translators decided not to translate into modern terms typical historic-cultural matters such as measures and weights, currencies and military ranks. By retaining the Hebrew and Greek terms, they tried to conserve the local colour of the source text and to provide a historical credibility to the translation. Moreover, the language and linguistic register of the translation was brought into line with a pre-identified target audience thus contributing to the dignity of the translation text and, simultaneously, making sure that it would be easily understood.

Contribution: The investigation led to the conclusion that the translators rather successfully dealt with the difficult task that the Bible Society had put before them. They made every effort to present their readers with a directly reflecting type of translation in a neat, stylistically meticulous and clear Afrikaans. Therefore, readers can receive this new contribution to the treasure of Afrikaans Bible translations with gratitude, and use it freely as a welcome addition to the already existing translations.


Keywords

2020-translation; translators; objection scripts; Bible Society of South Africa; pilot committee.

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