Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Previous Archive
10 March 2020 | Story Rulanzen Martin | Photo Victor Sguassero (kykNET)
Chris Vorster
Chris was on stage in 'Die Hart Verklap' at the Toyota US Woordfees in Stellenbosch recently.

“Difficult and very strange,” is how Chris Vorster, veteran actor and Drama lecturer at the University of the Free State (UFS) describes his role as Bas Koorts in the supernatural thriller Die Spreeus

For Chris, the biggest challenge during the filming of Die Spreeus was to work in front of a green screen. “You never see the monsters and things attacking you, it is only added later on during the editing process,” he said. Therefore, he and his co-actors were expected to use their own imagination “to be frightened, and to duck and dive from something that does not exist.” 

This Afrikaans thriller series has recently been nominated in five categories of the South African Film and Television Awards, including Best Television Drama, Best Cinematography, and Original Sound and Sound Editing. 

Chris was also nominated for a Fiësta award in 2019 for his one-man performance in the theatre production, Die Hart verklap. “It is fantastic to still be recognised for my work,” he said, “but I also have to give recognition to Dion van Niekerk, because without a good director, any actor will be lost.” Van Niekerk also lectures Drama at the UFS.

Being a lecturer broadens his knowledge 

Chris joined the UFS Department of Drama and Theatre Arts in 2015 as lecturer in the programme for Film en Visual Media. “Everything I learn in the industry I apply as lecturer, and research and teaching feed more knowledge on acting, directing, and especially writing,” he said. After five years, being involved with the UFS Department of Drama is still exciting to him. “This is where both lecturers and students get encouraged to do more than just breathing.” 

With his busy schedule of teaching and acting, it remains important to him that South Africans are still able to tell stories – “in any language”. He considers it a privilege for anyone to work in their mother tongue. This is also why the symbiosis between his work as actor and lecturer is so appealing.

News Archive

Traffic in translation between French and Afrikaans follows unique direction
2017-11-21

 Description: Traffic in translation between French and Afrikaans  Tags: Traffic in translation between French and Afrikaans

At Prof Naòmi Morgan’s inaugural lecture were, from the left:
Profs Corli Witthuhn, Vice-Rector: Research; Morgan;
Heidi Hudson, Acting Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities;
and Angelique van Niekerk, Head of the Department of Afrikaans
and Dutch, German and French.
Photo: Stephen Collett

Translation is normally done from a so-called weaker language into a mightier one. This is one of the ways, according to author Antjie Krog in her book A Change of Tongue, which is used by a ‘weaker’ language to help it survive.

However, according to Prof Naòmi Morgan, Head of French in the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French at the University of the Free State (UFS), this is not the case with French, which is the mightier language, and Afrikaans.

Influence of translators on Afrikaans

“The number of translated titles from French into Afrikaans, from ‘great’ into ‘lesser’ language, is far more than the other way round, almost as if the translators wanted to make the Afrikaans-speaking readers literary self-sufficient, but did not feel the same need to extend the Afrikaans literature into other languages.”

This was Prof Morgan’s words on 8 November 2017 during her inaugural lecture entitled, Van Frans na Afrikaans: 100 jaar van byna eenrigting-vertaalverkeer, in the Equitas Auditorium on the Bloemfontein Campus. A PowerPoint presentation, with a symbolic background of the South African and French flags and relevant texts, formed part of her lecture. She also played video clips and pieces of music to complement it.

Among others, she has a doctorate in Modern French Literature from the University of Geneva, and her translations have earned her a French Knighthood and various prizes. She is also well-known for her translations and involvement in dramas such as Oskar en die Pienk Tannie and Monsieur Ibrahim en die blomme van die Koran.

Greater challenges in this direction

In her lecture, she looked at the two-way traffic from French into Afrikaans and from Afrikaans into French.

Three French citizens, Pierre-Marie Finkelstein, Georges Lory, and Donald Moerdijk, have translated from Afrikaans into French. Of course, their background and ties with South Africa also had an influence on their work. “In Moerdijk’s case, translation from Afrikaans, his second language, was a way in which to recall the country he left in his mind’s eye,” she said.

Prof Morgan is one of only two translators who translates works from Afrikaans into French, the other being Catherine du Toit. However, translations in this direction pose greater challenges. She said it involves “not only knowledge of the language, but also knowledge of the French target culture and literature”. In addition, there aren’t any good bilingual dictionaries, and the only Afrikaans-French dictionary is a thin volume by B Strelen and HL Gonin dating from 1950.

Prof Morgan still believes in translation

She believes there is a need to hear foreign languages such as French in the form of music in Afrikaans, and the speaking of a language alone might not be enough to ensure its survival. 

She still believes in translation, and quoted Salman Rushdie’s Imaginary homelands: essays and criticism 1981-1991 in this respect: “The word ‘translation’ comes, etymologically, from the Latin for ‘bearing across’. Having been borne across the world, we are translated men. It is normally supposed that something always gets lost in translation; I cling, obstinately to the notion that something can also be gained.”

Click here for Prof Morgan’s full lecture (only available in Afrikaans).

 

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept