The International Federation of Translators has an international translation award designed to promote the translation of literary works written in languages of limited diffusion. The objectives of the award are to improve the quality of such literary translations and to draw attention to the role of translators in bringing the peoples of the world closer together in terms of culture.
The Karel Capek Medal 2011 for Translation from a Language of Limited Diffusion is awarded to
Prof. Daniel Kunene
for My Child! My Child!, his translation from Zulu into English of CLS Nyembezi's novel Mntanami! Mntanami!, first published in 1950. The translation was published by Maskew Miller Longman in 2010.
|The fact that Daniel Kunene was a contemporary of Sibusiso Nyembezi (1919-2000) makes the translation all the more interesting. This classic Zulu novel, now available for the first time in English, explores many issues still relevant today and offers readers valuable insights into life in both rural and urban South Africa during the early years of apartheid. Mntanami! Mntanami! was usually the first novel read by Zulu readers in South Africa in the 1950s. Its intellectual power and critical realism have not diminished since its publication over half a century ago. Sibusiso Nyembezi belongs to a group of Zulu intellectuals such as HIE Dhlomo, Benedict Wallet Vilakazi, EHA Made and Jordan Kush Ngubane, who revolutionized South African culture in the 1940s, comparable to what Xhosa intellectuals had achieved in the 1880s.|
Among the comments made in the citation for the award were that the translation is a "commendable effort to bring literature written in Zulu … to other South Africans … as well as to the international English-reading public." The jury chairperson felt that Kunene was the most deserving candidate because "apart from his very large experience in translating literary works and the awards he [has] received, Kunene translates from African languages into English. This means that he is opening these languages and cultures to the world via English." Comments on the translated work show Kunene's resourceful thinking on how to convey linguistically foreign concepts in the target language. My Child! My Child! was seen as an ambitious translation that not only effectively bridges the gap between extremely dissimilar languages, races and cultures in general, but also deftly revives a milieu of decades past for a gratifying presentation to today's diverse worldwide readership. The translated work has an almost global reach in terms of bringing together both the nations of the world and the different communities within the country of its origin. The translator's career and professional exploits tell a story of avid pioneering and capable stewardship in the field of literary cross-cultural communication. [More... ]
Jury: Benny Hoedoro Hoed (Indonesia), chair, Manzo Khulu (South Africa), Sarina Phan (Australia), Gisela Odio (Cuba), Andreja Bricelj (Slovenia), Istvan Orban (Austria), Šimon Pellar, medal donor.
The Karel Čapek Medal has been attributed to:
||2006 Dr. Christa Rothmeir
RULES(Approved by the FIT Council at its meeting in Geneva in April 1998)
Article 1The Fédération international des traducteurs has an international translation award designed to promote the translation of literary works written in languages of limited diffusion. The objectives of the award are to improve the quality of such literary translations and to draw attention to the role of translators in bringing the peoples of the world closer together in terms of culture.
Article 2Karel Čapek was a famous Czech author of fiction and non-fiction literature. The KAREL ČAPEK MEDAL was presented for the first time at the Xllth FIT Congress in 1990, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Karel Čapek's birth, which is observed as a UNESCO anniversary. The medal may be awarded either for the single translation of outstanding quality or for the entire body of work of a literary translator of books written in languages of limited diffusion.
Article 3This medal may be awarded at FIT World Congresses, that is, normally once every three years, pursuant to the decision of an international jury as provided in Article 5.
Article 4Candidates must be nominated by a FIT member and must be members in good standing of such an organization. No FIT member may nominate more than one candidate for this prize each time it is announced.
Article 5The Medal shall be awarded on the basis of a decision made by an international jury consisting of at least five members appointed by the FIT Executive Committee. Jury members may be re-appointed. The jury shall convene not less than three months prior to the opening of the Congress during which the prize is to be awarded. The jury shall elect a chairperson and a rapporteur from among its members. The jury must be selected in such a way as to ensure that the jury always includes experts in the language areas covered by the nominations.
Article 6The award shall be an honorary prize consisting of a Certificate of Merit and a Medal bearing a likeness of Karel Čapek (provided by the Czech translators' association).
Article 7Nominations shall be accompanied by the following information:
Nominations shall be submitted in French or in English. The file shall not exceed 10 pages.
- A general report on the nominee's merits and/or work, including in particular his or her titles, any awards which he or she may have received and the articles written about his or her work.
- A detailed analysis of the merits of the translation under consideration or of the quality of all the works of the candidate.
Article 8Nominations shall be submitted in six copies, and be in the hands of FIT'S Secretary General no later than six months prior to the opening of the Congress at which the prize will be awarded.
Anything not provided for in these rules may be decided by the FIT Committee on Translation Prizes.