Translating South Africa's transition : Ivan Vladislavi*c's Missing persons in French.
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This short dissertation is based on the comparative analysis of Ivan VladislaviC's short-story collection, Missing Persons (1989) and its French (Belgian) translation, Portes Disparus (1997). The thematic concerns of the source text - produced in South Africa at a time of "increasing socio-political upheaval and transition" (Wood 2001: 21) - add interest to such an investigation, providing insights into how South Africa's transition to democracy has been re-written for a Belgian Francophone audience. In line with recent debates in the field of Translation Studies, the study addresses the central problem of cross-cultural transfer, by embracing two essentially systemic approaches to the study of translated literature: Descriptive Translation Studies (or DTS), and Polysystem Theory. In addition, Lambert and Van Gorp's "Hypothetical Scheme for Describing Translations" is used to investigate and explain the strategies adopted by the translators to transfer concepts that are culturally and historically specific to a transitional South Africa. The initial hypothesis to be tested is that, while Portes Disparus is mainly the product of strategies of 'domestication', it also displays traces of 'foreignisation', which suggest broadly ideological, rather than purely linguistic, motivations on the part of the translators.