Publication details [#2048]

Vermeulen, Julien. 1994. Translating Léopold Sédar Senghor: the notion of prototext in describing translational strategies. In Robyns, Clem, ed. Translation and the (re)production of culture (CETRA Publications 2). Leuven: The CERA Chair for Translation, Communication and Cultures. pp. 107–124.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language
Source language
Target language
Person as a subject


The poem Elégie pour la reine de Saba by Léopold Sédar Senghor constitutes the main focus of this paper. In the first part, the author attempts to discover some dominant translational strategies adopted by two translators who have translated the text into Dutch. This requires a detailed investigation of various textual levels, an analysis that may lead to a classification of some translational shifts and to the formulation of some strategies governing both translations, leading to a second topic, namely the fact that the French source text does not only belong to the French source literary system and to the French cultural system, but also to a particular African (literary and cultural) tradition. In the second part of the paper, the author wants to introduce the concept of ‘prototext’ , which clarifies some dynamic relations that take place in the course of the translation process. In a third section, the author goes back to the two translations and determines how the underlying prototext features have been translated.
Source : Based on abstract in book