Preliminary norms in the selection of children’s books for translation in South Africa

  • Haidee Kruger


This paper presents the results of a macrotextual and paratextual analysis of a sample of 42 English and Afrikaans children’s books (21 source texts and their translations). The sample consists of books for the age group six to 12, and includes readers and picture books, and books of South African as well as international origin. The aim of the analysis is to explore some of the preliminary norms that may influence the selection of books for translation in the Afrikaans/English language pair. In this, the focus is on perceived function (specifically as evident in paratextual material), cultural content, and verbal style, as three dimensions that may affect text selection in particularly salient ways. The analysis (primarily of the source texts) indicates potentially significantly different selection criteria for different subgroups of children’s books (for example, readers and picture books, local and international books, Afrikaans and English books).

Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 2011, 29(3): 293–311

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eISSN: 1727-9461
print ISSN: 1607-3614