Evaluation of German Translations of Soyinka’s Aké: Years of Childhood and Achebe’s Arrow of God


African Humanities Program Dissertation Fellowships


Department of Foreign Languages


This study evaluates the German translations of Wole Soyinka's Aké, Years of Childhood and Chinua Achebe’s Arrow of God as prototypes of Anglophone African Literary text-type. It uses Katharina Reiss’ Text-typological Evaluation Approach (1971) to evaluate data collected, which include the various intra- and extralinguistic elements of the source texts and the translators' choices in the German translations. It pays special attention to the analysis of linguistic elements in the texts as adopted by the authors to bring out the socio-cultural realities of the source-culture. It deviates a little from existing studies of this nature, which have mostly focussed on issues of equivalence, domestication, alienation etc. The study reveals how the use of appropriate analytical tools can reveal the socio-cultural elements in Anglophone literary text-type as exemplified in Soyinka and Achebe’s writings, especially Aké, Years of Childhood and Arrow of God.