Problems of Equivalence in Shona-English Bilingual Dictionaries

Nomalanga Mpofu

Abstract


Abstract: In compiling bilingual dictionaries, lexicographers are mostly concerned with semantic equivalence. As a result, the practice of bilingual dictionary compilers is usually that of giving one-word equivalents. However, this equivalence is at times difficult to arrive at because of the disparities and incommensurability between languages and cultures. According to Sapir (1921) and Whorf (1956), one cannot expect an exact match between two languages that express different cultural realities. Given this scenario, compilers of bilingual dictionaries end up bridging the gap between languages by giving translational equivalents rather than relying solely on one-word equivalents. The Shona-English bilingual dictionaries, namely Hannan (1974) and Dale (1981), like other bilingual dictionaries, also display this characteristic. This article will discuss the problems of translation equivalents in Shona-English dictionaries where lexicographers will be dealing with divergent languages and cultures, traditional practices of lexicography and the absence of reliable corpora.

Keywords: BILINGUAL LEXICOGRAPHY, CORPUS, CULTURE, CULTURE-BOUND, CULTURAL GAP, DICTIONARY, EQUIVALENCE, INCOMMENSURABILITY, LEXEME, LEXICOGRAPHY, SHONA, SOURCE LANGUAGE, TARGET LANGUAGE, TRANSLATION, UNTRANSLATABILITY

Opsomming: Ekwivalensieprobleme in Shona-Engelse tweetalige woordeboeke.By die opstel van tweetalige woordeboeke, is leksikograwe meesal bedag op semantieseekwivalensie. Gevolglik is die gebruik by opstellers van tweetalige woordeboeke gewoonlik omenkelwoordekwivalente te gee. Soms is hierdie ekwivalensie egter moeilik om te bereik vanweë dieongelykheid en nieooreenstemming tussen tale en kulture. Volgens Sapir (1921) en Whorf (1956)kan 'n mens nie 'n presiese ooreenstemming verwag tussen twee tale wat verskillende kulturelewerklikhede uitdruk nie. Gegee hierdie scenario, oorbrug die opstellers van tweetalige woordeboekedie gaping tussen tale uiteindelik deur vertalende ekwivalente aan te gee eerder as om uitsluitlikop enkelwoordekwivalente staat te maak. Die Shona-Engelse tweetalige woordeboeke,naamlik Hannan (1974) en Dale (1981), soos ander tweetalige woordeboeke, vertoon ook hierdiekenmerk. Hierdie artikel bespreek die probleme van vertalende ekwivalente in Shona-Engelsewoordeboeke waar leksikograwe te doen het met uiteenlopende tale en kulture, tradisionele leksikografiesegebruike en die afwesigheid van betroubare korpusse.

Sleutelwoorde: BRONTAAL, EKWIVALENSIE, KORPUS, KULTURELE GAPING, KULTUUR,KULTUURGEBONDE, LEKSEEM, LEKSIKOGRAFIE, NIEOOREENSTEMMING, ONVERTAALBAARHEID,SJONA, TEIKENTAAL, TWEETALIGE LEKSIKOGRAFIE, VERTALING,WOORDEBOEK


Keywords


BILINGUAL LEXICOGRAPHY; CORPUS; CULTURE; CULTURE-BOUND; CULTURAL GAP; DICTIONARY; EQUIVALENCE; INCOMMENSURABILITY; LEXEME; LEXICOGRAPHY; SHONA; SOURCE LANGUAGE; TARGET LANGUAGE; TRANSLATION; UNTRANSLATABILITY

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5788/11-0-851

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ISSN 2224-0039 (online); ISSN 1684-4904 (print)

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