Translation As A Whole

In the novel Baho! written by Roland Rugero, there is a trend shared throughout this novel is that is called “belly politics”. Belly politics are basically something that is expressed heavily throughout this novel that in a simple assumption can mean the people in this civilization are very objective.

People in this civilization are often objectified at birth and whatever happens when they are born will reflect the life they end up living. Throughout this poverty filled area throughout Africa. This group or mob mentality throughout the novel really made me think about the different perspectives to think from. People are able to achieve things as long as they work together regardless if it is for better or worse. Throughtout his course we have seen many different ways of translation. Translation really is one of the most difficult thinks to achieve.

All of the true beauty and meaning of the original language ca truely never be captured and translated properly. Its still amazes me that these translators are able to achieve the things they do. The ability for these authors to capture these languages as close to the original as possible is truely outstanding. Every author is different and has there own unique way of translation and capturing the beauty of the origial language. These authors and this class made me really appreciate the hard work and dedication that is related to translation. Everyone has there own translation of that someone is saying but it is up to these authors to be able to translate these texts as close to the original as possible. Throughout the classroom meetings, i really got a sense of translation as a whole and really got a bigger understanding of what the true meaning of translation is. Overall this class has shown me a lot about how to understand the true meaning of the translation that the author was trying to convey.


Double Standards


In Baho! written by Ronald Rugero translated from the french by Christopher Schaefer, we get a different point of view of how women are viewed in a different country. They are objectified and often treated as sexual subjects who are allowed to be touched and grouped whenever a man pleases. The main character’s name is Nyamuragi and he gets confused for sexually revealing a girl when he was just trying to use the restroom by the river. If anyone would have been able to understand him then he wouldn’t be in the situation he found himself in. After being chased down by a mob and beaten Nyamurai was distraught and confused.

“Nyamuragi had never been beaten like this before, not by his parents (may God keep them in His holy palms!) nor by anyone else. You cannot strike a mute: It’s like drowning a blind man in light.”(54)

burundiI found this to be very powerful in the way that they are right. A mob going after someone and won’t even give them the time to say something says a lot about a groups intentions. They were out for blood and in a way were looking to start trouble.

“Numbered among them is Yvonne Barabigize, whose elbow was recently broken by a Primus bottle briskly pitched at her by her husband af- ter an evening of binging. The aforementioned bottle had joyfully accompanied the husband from the music hall to the dwelling, before causing the terrible accident.”(24)

Men weren’t even justifying their actions. After throwing a bottle at his girlfriend, he says it was an accident. Not only were there gender standards placed on males and females, but also to those who act wrong to women when every man has in some way done something illegal because it was seen as normal behavior for centuries. Women have had struggle for years as it is and do not need to be faced with another issue. The men discussed by Roland are truly disgusting at times and show little to no respect to women and treating them as an object that has less value than they do.

Where’s your happy place?

We all have that one special place that we go to escape from he hustle and bustle of everyday life but the real question is, Where’s your happy place?

In Tram 83 written by Fiston Mwanza Mujila, he describes the very dark and cynical place in the DRC in central Africa. The book has many different examples of repetition as well so you get a sense of where the author is trying tomato you convey something. This story starts with two main characters; Lucien and Requiem.tram83

These two characters are dramatically different in many ways. Lucien is and ugly writer while Requiem is a known criminal. These two friends meet at a well-known nightclub called Tram 83. A common phrase heard throughout the novel is ” Do you have the time?” Now this is used in many different context throughout the novel but to me had the same underlining meaning. Do you have the time is basically asking if that person would give you the time of day. Whether it be for something as small as passing the salt to as far as prostitution. People go to Tram 83 to escape their everyday lives.congo

Tram 83 is filled with live music, fighting, drinking, and lots of sex. “Your breasts quench my thirst.”(pg.8). Requiem says this to one of the girls inside Tram 83 showing us how sexualized and open their society is towards sex. People in this area tend to flock to this area I feel for one reason in particular. It’s their safe place. There one place that they can go at the end of the day to get their mind off things. In western culture things like this would be like going home, your favorite bar after work, or even to one of your buddies houses. This is a place of solitude to its occupants but also is the one thing these people look forward to at the end of their long days. these people are used to routine and you get a sense of that throughput the novel as we find ourselves back at Tram 83. The congos happy place.

Makina Breaks Border’s

When America is looked at by other countries, what is the first thing you think they think of. High class society, privileged citizens, no sickness, war and death. These things are some of the things we take for granted. In the Yuri Herrera novel Signs Proceeding to the End of the World we are given the viewpoint from an immigrant named Makina.


Makina is a young women that in my point of view is kind of badass tomboy. From a small run down silver mining town, she is faced not only with the feet of not only crossing a border but also the gender border being that she is a female. She doesn’t let anyone talk to her disrespectfully or touch her in any way, shape or form. At one point a man decided to touch her and she nearly breaks his fingers telling him to never do it again. When she crosses to find her brother, you would think that she would have this amazing guide but she is given this fat sweaty coyote. She gets chased by border patrol and is left in the US with no sense of direction or where she has to go. After finding her brother and delivering the note, she is amazed by the anger and rage brought from the US people.

Throughout the novel, Makina shows outstanding acts of courage and sheer determination. Borders can be used in very creative ways represented by geographical  and stereotype borders. Both of which Makina breaks down throughout the context of the novel.

Human or Humane?

Ahmed Khaled Towtif’s novel Utopia portrays two vastly different societies. There is a divide among society where there is a small percentage living in the “Utopia”, while the other vast majority of the population “Others” live in the outer parts. As you could imagine, the outer parts of the Utopian society is a scattered wasteland. Most of the society is filled with tattoos, piercings, sex, drugs, hair dying and body modifying. Violence was unprecedented in the others society. Things like murder, rape and doing drugs was an everyday regular thing that would often be seen on the streets. Throughout the novel, he refers to the others as a kind of animal and are running around, doing as they please causing mayhem.

The novel has a very animalistic vibe to it. Often times referring to the actions of common animals but using them in context referring to humans. The poor are more savage animals that are somewhat sought after in the Utopian society as a trophy. The rich are also still referred to animals but more of a king of the jungle way making them still superior in the society. The idea of death is thrown around and often romanticized throughout the novel in both the Utopian society as well as within the Others. The others are known to be savage, heartless beasts so having Gaber ,one of the main character decided to leave the Utopian society, shows us that not all of the others are the same. He displays is desires to have hopes, dreams and to fall in love one day.

Being that he was imagining this type of society in 2023, only 6 years from now, Towtif is trying to show us the consequences if we do not show empathy for our fellow human species. Will the divide among social classes ever reach this extent? Is Towtif foreshadowing something that could come in the near future in our society?