Translation of "Ogboju ODE..."':A Critique in Trilingual Dimension

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Ariole, V.C
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Faculty of Arts, University of Lagos, Akoka, Nigeria.
This paper, an initial work on trilingual translation critique - Yoruba, English and French - aims at deconstructing and reconstructing reciprocally colonial languages' capacity or incapacity to contain the seemingly polysemous degree of expressivity of the African discourse seen in different shades of literary genres. Such works on other - Nigerian languages are to follow. Two works or two great polyglots are in focus here - Wole Soyinka translating from Yoruba to English and John Abioye translating from Yoruba to French. Four semio-syntactic and stylistic constructs attract our interest here. They are: the use of noun clause/phrase, adverbial phrase, adjectival phrase and African proverbs. Our discoveries serve as guides for further translation enterprise of African document replete with African expressive specificities indicating special worldview for a better syncretic globalisation. The statement here under corroborates and necessitates this exercise. The most famous and enduring of Fagunwa's works, most readers will agree, is OGBOJU ODE NINU IGBO IRUNMALE, which I translated nearly fifty years ago as The Forest of a Thousand Daemons. At that time, I had resolved to translate nothing less than ALL of Fagunwa's novels and other writings, in order to make them accessible to non-Yoruba readers both within and outside the African continent. Based on my translation, there have been others into Italian and French. That raises the obvious question - why has it taken me nearly half a century to translate another of his works? After all, the resolve - and challenge - continued to hover round the filling of lily skull... The real inhibiting factor for me however was, and still is - Fagunwa is not an easy writer to translate! When I set out to subdue the OGBOJU ODE with my self-assured literary armoury, it was to be a labour of love, a tribute to a writer on whose verbal pyrotechnics my generation had been weaned... I thought I could undertake the translation of his works sleepwalking, one hand tied behind my back, the other cradling afrothing calabash of palm-Wine! Well, I learnt the hard way. After the unexpectedly tasking experience of struggling through that text, I came to the conclusion that I had better attend to my own writing - at least for some time - before attempting to tackle another product of that master of the Yoruba language!
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Trilingual Translation , Languages
Ariole, V.C (2014), Translation of "Ogboju ODE..."':A Critique in Trilingual Dimension. Faculty of Arts, University of Lagos, Akoka, Nigeria.