Publication details [#63227]

Opperman, Susan. 2017. Translating Herman Charles Bosman's stories today: what about ethics? Language Matters: Studies in the Languages of Africa 48 (1) : 91–108.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher


Herman Charles Bosman (1905–1951) wrote over 150 English short stories that have established him as an enduring South African writer. The majority of these stories were only recently translated into Afrikaans: between 2011 and 2016 by the publisher, Francois Griebenow, and in 2013 by the poet, Johann de Lange. It would seem that ethical issues have been neglected as the translators have conformed to a simplistic fidelity-driven perception of ethics, while more attention should have been paid to “sensitive” aspects of the original. The research problem is how this gap that exists in translation practice may be handled. To date, the field of translation ethics has not been exhaustively studied in South Africa. While translators are not responsible for the content of the source text, they are certainly responsible for their translations. This paper upholds that responsibility be assumed for ethical choices, especially when translating racially prejudiced texts from the past.