Diary of Anne Frank (Het Achterhuis / Die Agterhuis) now available in Afrikaans

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Here's an article about a week old from JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) about how the Diary of Anne Frank has now been translated into Afrikaans:

The Afrikaans translation of "The Diary of Anne Frank" had its launch at the Cape Town Holocaust Centre.
Richard Freedman, the center's director, described the translated diary at its launch on Youth Day, June 16 -- four days after Frank's birthday -- as an important addition to the resources available to teachers of the Holocaust.

Translator Lina Spies, a poet, writer, teacher and professor of Afrikaans and Nederlands, describing the disparaging reference to Afrikaans -considered the language of the oppressor under apartheid - expressed the wish that the translation of the diary would "help people not think of Afrikaans in that way."
and that:
The new translation will take its place alongside 60 existing translations.
There's not much info in the article (especially on exactly what the book looks like in Afrikaans), but I found much more information in Afrikaans (about ten screens full) from the Department of Theology from the University of Pretoria (Fakulteit Teologie van die Universiteit van Pretoria) written by the professor herself. Coincidentally it also happens to feature a passage that I have both the Dutch and the English versions of at hand, so I'll include it here. First the original Dutch that she wrote:
"In die nacht wist ik eigenlijk dat ik sterven moest, ik wachtte op de politie, ik was bereid, bereid zoals de soldaten op het slagveld. Ik wou me graag opofferen voor het vaderland, maar nu, nu ik weer gered ben, nu is mijn eerste wens na de oorlog, maak me Nederlander! Ik houd van de Nederlanders, ik houd van ons land, ik houd van de taal, en wil hier werken. En al zou ik aan de Koningin zelf moeten schrijven, ik zal niet wijken vóór mijn doel bereikt is."
Then in Afrikaans:

“Daardie vreeslike nag het ek eindelik geweet dat ek moes sterwe; ek het op die polisie gewag, ek was bereid, bereid soos soldate op die slagveld. Ek wou my graag opoffer vir die vaderland, maar nou, nou dat ek weer gered is, sal my eerste wens na die oorlog wees: maak my Nederlander! Ek is lief vir die Nederlanders, ek is lief vir die land, ek is lief vir die taal en wil hier werk. En al sal ek aan die koningin self moet skryf, sal ek nie wyk voor my doel bereik is nie!”
Then in English:
During that night I really felt that I had to die, I waited for the policy, I was prepared, as the soldier is on the battlefield. I was eager to lay down my life for the country, but now, now I've been saved again, now my first wish after the war is that I may become Dutch! I love the Dutch, I love this country, I love the language and want to work here. And even if I have to write to the Queen myself, I will not give up until I have reached my goal.
Lastly, if you're in Cape Town (Kaapstaad), there's a talk on the 12th of July about this very subject, translating from Dutch to Afrikaans:
A talk in Afrikaans by Dr. Daniel Hugo entitled Valse Vriende: die gevaarlike avontuur van vertaal uit Nederlands.
Daniel Hugo has translated 10 books from Dutch to Afrikaans. These books include works by Dutch and Flemish authors such as Harry Mulisch, Gerrit Komrij, David van Reybrouck and Herman de Coninck. His translation of Tom Lanoye's short stories entitled ‘n Slagterseun met ‘n brilletjie, was published recently. In his talk he will look at the tense relationship between South Africa and the Low Countries over the past fifty years. He will also give examples of the differences and apparent similarities between the two languages and how they can lead a translator up the garden path.
Enquiries: Tel. 021-5315831 of info@hdn.co.za

So what does that mean? "Valse Vriende: die gevaarlike avontuur van vertaal uit Nederlands." --> "False Friends: the dangerous adventure of translating from Dutch", I think.

Still no page on the Afrikaans Wikipedia about Anne Frank or the book, but it's still relatively small in terms of articles so there are still a large number of areas that are missing. As I wrote before, the Afrikaans Wikipedia tends to focus on quality of articles rather than upping its article count like a lot of other languages do, so that means a relatively low number of articles but lots of detail in most of them.

Edit 12 November 2010: Checking back on this entry two years later, it seems that a page on Anne Frank was created in September, just a few months after the book was translated, and it's quite extensive. This user took the page from 5000 to 55000 bytes one day, so it's largely thanks to her that the article is now so detailed.


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