Eileen Pooe’s Setswana PhD: an interview in three languages

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Eileen Elizabeth Pooe – a teacher, lecturer and head of North West University's Department of Setswana – has written the Mahikeng campus' first Setswana PhD. She talks to Naomi Meyer about her research. Below is the interview in Setswana, English and Afrikaans.

Eileen Pooe (https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/nwu-mahikeng-confers-first-setswana-phd-20191019)

SETSWANA

1. Re utlwa mo dikgang gore o kwadile tlhotlhomisi ya gago ya PhD ka Setswana: Tlhotlhomisi e bua ka ga eng?

Setlhotlhomiswa sa patlisiso eno ke Sol T Plaatje le padi ya gagwe Mhudi, e a e kwadileng ka Seesimane. Bothata jwa patlisiso ke gone gore padi e, le fa e kwadilwe ke Motswana e bile e bua ka ga Batswana, e kwadilwe ka Seesimane, mme e tumile lefatshe-bophara jaaka padi ya Seesimane. Patlisiso eno e tsaya seno e le bogole jwa go fekeediwa ke bokoloniale, mme e inaakanya le morero wa pusetso ya ditsa-Seaforika go beng ka go tshitsinya mmusetsagae wa ditlhangwa tsa Maaforika tse di mo Sekgoeng, e bong go di tlhamololela mo dipuong tsa Seaforika, ka tiriso ya se re se bitsang “Phetsolelo.”

2. Goreng o sweditse go kwala tlhotlhomisi ya gago ka Setswana?

Ke sweditse go kwala tlhotlhomisi ya me ka Setswana gonne ke ne ke le morutabana wa Setswana e bile ke le motlhatlheledi wa sona mo NWU gajaana. Ke ruta Setswana-ka-Setswana, ke modirakapuo, modibedi wa yona, motlamedi wa yona ka jalo ke maikarabelo a me go godisa puo ya gaetsho, Setswana. Ke puo e e tshwanetsweng go ithutiwa, go rutiwa le go dirisiwa mo dipatlisisong jaaka ke dirile. Ka go dira jalo go agela Batswana letlotlo, metswedi le go ba ribololela kitso e ntšhwa ka puo e. Kgoeletso ya go dirisa dipuo tsa Seaforika jaaka dipuothuto mo ditheong tsa thuto e kgolwane, ke kgang e e simologileng ka 1974 kwa Turfloop (gajaana Yunibesithi ya Limpopo) ka boporofesara Setshedi le Malope, ba ba neng ba goroga mo UNIBO (gajaana NWU, Mahikeng campus) ka mokgaphe o. NWU gajaana e na le pholisi ya puo e e amogetsweng ke Senate, go dirisiwa jaaka ya ‘dipountsi tse di dirang tota’ ka ge dipuo tsa semmuso mo yunibesithi di le NNE (Setswana, Sesotho, Seaforikanse le Seesimane) Setswana e le nngwe ya tse e bile di tshwanetseng go dibelwa le go tlhamelwa mareo le go se agela sefalana sa metswedi, ke jaaka ke simolotse ka tlhotlhomisi e go arabela se pholisi ya puo e NWU e se buang.

3. A o dumelana le mogopolo o o reng dipuo tse di rileng ke tsona fela di ka dirisetswang merero ya seakademi? Puo e nna “puo ya seakamedi” fa go rileng, go ya ka wena?

Ga ke dumelane. Puo e ka bonwa jaaka “puo ya seakademi” fa e na le dikwalo le ditlhangwa tse di tlhametsweng le go kwalelwa go ruta, go ithutiwa le go dira dipatlisiso. E nne le mokwalo, melawana ya mopeleto, e kanwe kgotsa go nitamiswa ke makgotla a seporofešenale le ka go tlhamelwa mareo a a ka dirisetswang mefama le makala otlhe a thuto le botshelo mo setšhabeng ka kakaretso. Mareo a teng, a dirilwe, a kwa Lefapheng la bosetšhaba la Botsweretshi, Setso le Merero ya Segosi. Lefapha la Setswana la NWU le nnile le seabe se segolo e bile le santse le na le batlhatlheledi ba ba tsweletseng ka botlhamamareo le gajaana, a dirwa e le mofama wa tirelo setšhaba go tswa mo boitseanapeng jwa rona jwa puo jaaka batlhatlheledi ba yunibesithi e e rutang Setswana. Ka go rialo, fa puo e direlwa ka mokgwa o, e nna puo ya seakademi. Dipuo tse dingwe tse go tweng ke tsa seakademi, di simolotse fela jalo mme le Setswana se mo tseleng, se tlaa kgona.

4. Ke mareo afe a a go tshwarisitseng bothata fa o kwala tlhotlhomisi ka Setswana? O dirisitse mekgwa efe ga tlhama mareo a a batlegang a Setswana?

Re ka se kgone go bua ka mareo/mafoko re ikgatholosa botegeniki jwa ona. Go ne go le thata fela go kgonega gonne fa motho a tlhamela tiro ya mofuta o mareo, o tshwanelwa ke go akanya, go buisana le go rerisana le bengpuo, a tsenelele kwa boteng jwa kitso ya puo le go fitlha kwa difalaneng tsa puo go tswa ga Lowe (jaaka go dirilwe mo tlhotlhomising e) le gore batho ba amogele le go a dirisa mo kitsong ya borutegi le botlhalefi jaaka kabelo mo dipuisanong le puo ka tsa bosaense jwa puo mo dipatlisisong.

Mareo a dikonokono a tlhotlhomiso ya me ke a a latelang:

Botswa-bokoloniale; Phetsolelo; Taoto; Tlharamololo.

    • Botswa-bokoloniale: Ke selekane sa lereo la Seesimane “Post-colonialism”, le le kayang dilo le dikakanyo tse di tlileng morago ga bokoloniale kgotsa ka ntlha ya bokoloniale, mme e bile le supa gore bokoloniale bo tshwanetse jwa itlhotlhoriwa, jwa fedisiwa, mme ditlamorago tsa jona tsa phimolwa gotlhelele. Momelelo ya setlhogo “Botswa-” e ka nna bokao-pedi: E ka kaya “se se tlang morago ga bokoloniale,” e bile e ka dirisediwa go kaya “go tswa” ga go latlhaganya kgotsa go ikamologanya le bokoloniale, fela jaaka fa motho a tswa motho yo mongwe (a sa tlhole a tsamaisana le ena).
    • Phetsolelo (lediri > go phetsolela): Lereo leno le kaya mofuta wa phetolelo, mme phetsolelo e dirisediwa fa go tsewa dikwalo tsa Maaforika (jaaka Batswana) tse di kwadilweng ka Seesimane, di kwalololwa kgotsa di tlhamiwa sešwa le go busetswa mo puong ya gaabo mokwadi ya Seaforika (jaaka Setswana). Ga se phetolelo e e tlwaelegileng kgotsa e e tlhamaletseng, jaaka ya fa o fetolela Shakespeare mo Setswaneng. Ka Seesimane re e bitsa “Transcreation.”
    • Taoto (lediri > go taota): Lereo le tswa mo lefokong le le sa tlwaelegang la Setswana, e bong “go taota,” le le kayang go akanya ka ga sengwe kgotsa go akanyetsa sengwe, jaaka “go taota mosepele o o tshwanelwang ke go o tsamaya, kgotsa tiro e o tshwanelwang ke go e dira.” Ka bokhutshwane le dirisiwa mo tlhotlhomising eno go kaya se ka Seesimane go tweng ke “Theorising, to theorise” e bong go akanya ka ga mokgwa wa go dira sengwe, go se akanyetsa tiori e se ka tsamaisiwang/tlhatlhobiwang/tlhalosiwang ka yona.
    • Tlharamololo (lediri > go tlharamolola): Ke selekane sa lereo la Seesimane “Deconstruction,” Fano go tlhalosiwa fela gore le tlhamegile jang jaaka lereo-lešwa mo Setswaneng. ‘Tlharamololo’ kgotsa “Deconstruction” ke mokgwa o o marara wa go lebelela kgotsa go sekaseka dilo le megopolo, o e keteng o ganetsa dilo tse di ntseng di amogelwa jaaka nnete kgotsa jaaka dilo tse di tlhamaletseng. Go tlharamolola ke mokgwa o e keteng o tlhatlhamolola kgotsa o tlhakatlhakanya megopolo, mme beng ba ona bona ba o tsaya jaaka mokgwa wa go rarabolola kgotsa go bona dilo sešwa, kgotsa go tlhama megopolo e mešwa. Go tlhamilwe lereo “Tlharamololo” ka mokgwa o o dirang gore le futswakanye kgotsa le kopakopanye megopolo ya gone go tlhatlhamolola kgotsa go tlhama kgotsa go tlhakatlhakanya kgotsa go rarabolola.

5. Ke Batswana ba le bakae ba ba ka ratang go ka buisa Setswana? A fa dikwalo tsa Setswana di ka oketsega, Batswana ba ka kgathalela go di buisa ka bontsi?

NWU ke setheo se se tiileng tota se na le lefapha la Setswana le le ikadileng le dikhemphase di le PEDI, e bong ya Mahikeng le Potchefstroom. Ka bobedi di na le baithuti ba palogotlhe e e fetang 700, e le ba Setswana Puogae le ba Setswana Puotlaleletso ya bobedi, e le Setswana sa tlhaeletsano go ba e seng bengpuo). Palo ya Batswana ba ba ka buisang dikwalo tsa Setswana e kwa godimo gonne le kwa dikolong Setswana se a rutwa mmogo le mo diyunibesithi dingwe mo Afrikaborwa di ruta Setswana mme di ka itumelela go oketsega ga dikwalo tsa Setswana. Babui ba puo ka kakaretso le bona ba ka kgatlhegela go buisa dikwalo tseo, ke jaaka nka se kgone go fopholetsa palo e e totobetseng.

6. A kgotsa go na le bothata jwa madi a go ithekela dikwalo tsa Setswana? Bo ka rarabololwa jang?

Ke nnete ruri madi ke bothata. Fa go ka nna le dikwalo tse di tsosang kgatlhego ya go buisa ka Setswana, di leba mabaka a a amang Batswana le go ba thusa go lepalepana le dikgwetlho tse ba lebaganang natso letsatsi le letsatsi mo botshelong batho ba ka beela madi kwa thoko go di reka. Fela Setswana gape se tshwanelwa ke go tlhagelela mo mafaratlhatlheng le mo tlhaeletsanong ya segompieno ya mafaratlhatlha a setegeniki, sk, tlhalaetsano-loagong (social media) ka farologana ga tsona, mme di fitlhelele botlhe, bašwa le bagolo, barutegi le ba e seng barutegi, ba kwa magaeng le ba kwa ditoropong jj.

7. A o bona Maaforikaborwa ba ipela ka dipuo tsa bona jaaka boswa jwa bosetšhaba jo bo bo botlhokwa?

Ke akanya gore batho ba ipela ka dipuo tsa bona, tse e leng boswa jwa bona e bile e le seipone sa bona segolo ka ba itse fa e le tsa semmuso jaaka Molaotheo o kaya. Fela go santse go na le ba ba leng mo dikgoleng tsa bokoloniale, ka megopolo ya gore go rutega ka Seesimane fela ke yona tsela e e isang kwa katlegong. Se ga se gakgamatse fa re bona le dialogane di le dintsi tse di tswang le kwa diyunibesithi tsa maemogodimo ba santse ba kokota dikgoro tsa madirelo le tsa bathapi ba kopa ditiro. Bontsi jwa bona, kana bo akanya ka yona puo ya bona jaaka Setswana, ba bo ba fetolela dikakanyo tseo go puo e nngwe e e seng ya bona mme go nne thata gore dikakanyo tsa bona di ba ungwele molemo. Go ipela ka puo ya gaeno ke go e bua, go akanya ka yona le go dira dilo tse di ka go tswelang molemo mo isagong ka yona.

8. Batho ba ba sa itseng Setswana ba ka thusiwa jang go buisa dikgang tsa tlhotlhomisi ya gago? O ka dira jang gore diteng tsa yona di fitlhelele le batho ba ba sa itseng Setswana?

Tlhotlhomisi ya me e kwadilwe segolo ka Setswana gonne ke gabaletse go tlhama le go tshegetsa mokgaphe wa go aga puo ya gaetsho jaaka puo e e ka rutang, ya ithutiwa le go dirisetswa dipatlisiso. Maaforikaborwa ba tshwanetse go semelela mme ba iteke ba ithute dipuo bonnye di le PEDI godimo ga puo ya gaabomotho gonne Aforikaborwa ke naga ya dipuontsi le ditsontsi. Nna ke bua dipuo di le 5 ka palo Seaforikanse e le nngwe ya tsona e bile ke leka thata go ithuta isiZulu ka ke kgona go tlhaeletsana go le gonnye ka sona e bile nka se latlhege kgotsa gona go tlalelelwa fa nka iphitlhela ke le mo gare ga batho ba ba buang puo e fela. Tlhotlhomisi e, kwa bofelong e ka fetolelwa go nna buka kgotsa ya "phetsolelwa" mo dipuong tse di farologaneng jaaka mo Seesimaneng.

9. Fa batho ba ka tswelela go kwala ditlhotlhomisi ka dipuo tsa segabona (jaaka Setswana), a go a kgonega gore ba di fetolele mo Seesimaneng? Kgotsa go na le mokgwa mongwe gape wa go dira gore di tlhaloganyege ka bophara?

Go laolwa fela ke mabaka gonne ga go reye gore mongwe le mongwe yo o kgonang go bua dipuo tse pedi tse di rileng a ka kgona go di fetolela. Phetolelo le ga le, e ka laolwa le go kgonega gape fa motho a itse dipuo tsoopedi go tswa kwa moding, a tlhaloganya borutapuo jwa tsona le go di tlhaloganya go tswa boloto jwa pelo, jaaka go ka kgona go dira "Tlharamololo" ya setlhangwa le go se "Retololela mo setsong sa puo" jaaka e kete se tlholegile mo puong eo. Phetolelo e ka dirwa jaaka re bone ka ena Sol Plaatje, yo o kgonneng go fetolela diterama tsa ga Shakespeare, Moesimane wa mmakgonthe, ntle le go tsenela thuto ya phetolelo ya seporofešenale. Se se botlhokwa ke go tlhaloganya gore motho ga a fetolele mafoko le mareo fela mme o fetolela kgang/molaetsa o o kgonang go fitlhelela babui ba puo eo jaaka ba bua le go tlhaloganya se se fetoletsweng go nyalana le go amogelesa mo puong eo. Sa botlhokwa ke gore diyunibesithi le mekgatlho e e dibelang puo e ka beeletsa mo kgodisong ya puo segolo tsa bantsho mo Aforikaborwa mme ba etelela pele phetolelo ya ditlhotlhomisi tse di kwadilweng ka dipuo tsa Seaforika tse di neng di ikgatholositswe mo malobeng. SATI e na le bafetoledi ba ba kannweng mme ba kgona go dira diphetolelo ka mokgwa wa seporofešenale go ya mo dipuong tse dingwe.

10. Re tlhalositse ka ga se o se bitsang “Phetsolelo” ya Mhudi mo Setswaneng: o ya go e dira jang?

Ke tlhophile Mhudi, jaaka sekao sa padi e e kwadilweng ka Seesimane, e phasaladitswe ke modibelapuo wa Setswana, a kwala ka ga Batswana mme batho ba a kwalang ka ga bona ba ne ba sa kgone e bile ba santse ba sa kgone go e buisa ka puo ya gabona Setswana. Mhudi ke nngwe ya ditlhangwa tse di tlhophetsweng go phetsolelwa mo porojekeng e e bidiwang “Phetsolelo jaaka Mmusetsagae – Transcreation for Repatriation” e mofatlhosi wa me, Moporofesara Shole Shole a dirisanang le Rre Sabata Mokae wa kwa Yunibesithi ya Sol Plaatje e bile e tsweletse gajaana. Se, se tshwaela mo go se tlhotlhomisi ya me e se ribolotseng mme se thuse gore dikwalo ka bontsi go sa kgathelesege gore ke tsa puo efe jaaka tsa Sekgoa (European languages) di ka busetswa gae go puo tsa bakwadi ba Maaforika ba ba kwadileng le go phasalatsa ka Seesimane ka paka e le ya bokoloniale.

11. Re le Maaforikaborwa a dipuo le ditso tse di farologaneng, re ka thusana jang go nna seopasengwe, bangwe le bangwe ba ithuta dipuo tsa ba bangwe?

Re tshwanelwa ke go rotloetsana go leka gore bonnye re ithute puo e nngwe go na le puo ya gaeno le Seesimane fela e le go arabela kgoeletso ya bopuontsi jwa Aforikaborwa, motho a ipele ka go nna Moaforikaborwa, gore a tlhaloganye dipuo tsa beng-ka-ena le go tlhaloganya mekgwa ya ba bangwe ya botshelo. Se, se tlaa thusa gore re kgone go tlotlana go sa kgathelesege gore re bua puo efe le gore re ba mmala ofe. Mokgwa o re dirang dilo ka ona jaaka Maaforikaborwa o tlaa re bopa le go re aga go nna ba ba tshelang mmogo, gonne re tlaa bo re tlhaloganya gore ke ka ntlha ya eng fa batho ba puo e e rileng ba bua jaaka ba dira, ka segalo, go kapodisa mafoko le go buela kwa godimo/kwa tlase jaaka ba ka bo ba dira jalo jalo.


ENGLISH

1. Dr Pooe, you are in the news because you wrote your whole thesis in Setswana. Congratulations! What is your thesis about?

My study is in pursuit of Africanist reclamation agenda. It seeks to theorise, as well as propose, the use of “phetsolelo”, a neologism created to refer to “transcreation as means of repatriating African literature in colonial languages”, and thereby reinstating them in the native languages and settings of their authors and the native communities who are subjects of these works.

2. Why did you decide to write the thesis in Setswana?

I have been a Setswana teacher, and am now a lecturer, and have taught Setswana through the medium of Setswana all my life. It has long been advocated that Setswana – as one of the South African languages – be used as medium of learning, tuition and research in higher education. A journey began in 1974 at the then Turfloop University (now University of Limpopo) for the pioneering professors Setshedi and Malope, who both later came to the then UNIBO (now NWU, Mahikeng campus). So, the NWU language policy – which propagates for functional multilingualism – made it possible for me to write in Setswana, because it speaks to the development of this language as one of the official languages of the university.

3. There is a perception that only certain languages are fully developed into academic languages. Do you agree? When is a language “an academic language”, in your opinion?

I do not agree. In my opinion, a language can be seen as “an academic language” when it has material developed for teaching and learning and research, has orthography and spelling rules standardised through the professional bodies, and has terminology to address different areas/fields of education being used in society at large. Such terminologies are found at the national department of arts, culture and traditional affairs, with which my department participated, with some members of the department still doing so.

4. Without getting too technical: which words did you struggle to find in existing Setswana to use in your thesis? And you did think of new, academic words to use – how did you go about creating new words?

We cannot talk about terminology/words without being technical. To create words, you think, consult and go deep into the language and cultural archives, and let them be used (as they are in my thesis) by those who intellectualise them as a contribution to scientific discourse.

In detail, the following are my key terms, listed so that they are understood in context:

  • Botswa-bokoloniale > Post-colonialism – Botswa-bokoloniale: It is an equivalence of the term “post-colonialism” in English, meaning the concepts and ideas which came after colonialism, and meaning that we have to free ourselves from colonialism; it has to come to an end, and the effects thereof should be erased from the African minds that have been colonised.
  • Phetsolelo > Repatriative transcreation – Phetsolelo (verb > transcreate): The term refers to a form of translation, used when we take literary works written by Africans (such as Batswana) in English, and rewrite them or create them afresh by returning them into the language of the author (who is African), such as the Setswana of Sol Plaatje, in this case. It is not the usual translation, such as when Plaatje translated Shakespeare into Setswana, hence “transcreation” in English. I propose the use of translation (phetolelo) to reclaim the African creative talent we have lost to European languages. That form of translation I term phetsolelo.
  • Taota, Taoto > Theorise, Theorisation/theorising – (verb > to theorise): The term is derived from an unusual word in Setswana, go taota, meaning to think about something, such as when you have to take a trip or perform an activity, and you have to think about the where, how, when, which, etc before embarking on it. In short, it has been used in this study to refer to “theorising, to theorise”, which is all about thinking about the way/method of doing something, etc – thinking about the theory that could be appropriate to drive a specific agenda.
    • Tlharamolola, Tlharamololo > Deconstruct, Deconstruction – (verb): It is an equivalence of the English term “deconstruction”. It is a neologism (a new term) in Setswana. Tlharamololo, or “deconstruction”, is a way of looking at a complicated thing, or at a concept that seems to be in conflict with things that have been acceptable or straightforward for a long period of time. “Go tlharamolola” is the method that seems to “dismantle” or “disorganise” ideas, yet the people using it believe they are solving things or seeing things in a new light, or developing/coming up with new ideas/concepts.

5. How many people whom you know speak Setswana would want to read more Setswana books and written material, if it is at all possible to answer this question? In other words, do you think that if more Setswana reading material existed, more people would read it?

The NWU has a well-established department of Setswana running across two campuses, viz Mahikeng and Potchefstroom, with a total enrolment of more than 700 students in Setswana 1st and 3rd languages. The number is even higher, because learners in schools and students in other universities in South Africa teaching Setswana would also be happy to have a wide variety of Setswana reading materials. The Setswana community would also like to have more reading material in their language, hence I cannot even estimate the number.

6. Money also plays a huge role. Even if the material existed, how would one handle the money aspect and make material in people’s home language accessible to them?

Indeed, money plays a huge role. If interesting materials existed that addressed the issues affecting Batswana and assisted them in facing their daily challenges, people would not hesitate to spend their money and buy such materials. Setswana should also be available in all forms of print and on social media platforms, and be electronically accessible to a variety of people, young and old, educated and uneducated, rural and urban, etc.

7. Do you think enough people in this country are proud about the languages we speak? Do you think we understand that this is part of our nation’s heritage?

I think enough people are proud of their languages, which are their heritage; it is who they are, knowing that they all speak official languages of South Africa. But, until most are decolonised again, they have a wrong mindset, thinking that being educated in English is the only way to success; no wonder we have many graduates from prestigious universities who are still knocking on one door after the next seeking employment. Most of them think and develop concepts and knowledge first in their home language, and then translate them into another language (English), and that is why they cannot be creative on their own.

8. Practical question: will people who cannot speak Setswana be able to understand your thesis? How does one make a thesis in one’s own language accessible to people speaking other languages?

My thesis is primarily written to drive the Setswana agenda of developing my language as a language of teaching and learning, as well as of research. South Africans have to go the extra mile and learn at least two more languages, because we are a multilingual and multicultural country. I speak five languages, Afrikaans included, and I try my best to communicate in one Nguni language, ie Zulu, so that I would not be lost or stranded, should I find myself among people speaking Zulu only. The thesis can, at a later stage, be converted into a book written in a different language, such as English.

9. Another practical question: if more people start writing their academic work in their home language, could it be possible for the same person to translate most of the work into English as well, in order to make this accessible to more people? Or what is a solution to make your work understandable?

It depends, because not everyone who speaks a particular language can translate into it. Translation can be well managed if the person masters the two languages he/she works with, and with my model, ie cultural repatriation/transcreation, yes, it can be done, just as Sol Plaatje did with Shakespeare’s works, without having received formal training in translation. What is important is to understand the cultural context of texts, as well as to have the idiom of both languages. Universities or organisations interested in investing in the development of African languages can lead in the translation of these types of works, SATI has accredited translators, and adaptations could be done to make them available in other languages.

10. Please tell me about your idea to translate Sol Plaatje’s book into Setswana. Why and how do you plan to do this?

I chose Sol Plaatje’s novel, Mhudi, as an example of a novel written in English, published by a well-known Motswana, about Batswana, but with the people he was writing about not being able to read it in their language. Mhudi is already chosen for a literary translation project named “Transcreation for Repatriation”, or “Phetsolelo in Setswana”, for which my promoter, Professor Shole, is collaborating with Mr Sabata Mokae of Sol Plaatje University, and which is ongoing. In my study, I was theorising how transcreation for repatriation can be done. This will assist other languages to do the same with their literary works written by Africans in English, or any European language – to bring them back into the language of the African author.

11. In which ways can we, as a nation of many different cultures, positively influence each other in this country? What can we learn from one another and from one another’s languages?

We have to encourage one another to strive to learn at least one language other than one’s home language, embrace multilingualism and thereby understand each other’s culture and way of life. This will assist us in respecting one another, irrespective of one’s language or skin colour. Our way of doing things, as South Africans, will shape us and harmonise us all, only if we understand why different people express themselves the way they do, such as in their tone, pronunciation, gestures, etc.


AFRIKAANS

1. Dr Pooe, jy is in die nuus omdat jy jou hele tesis in Setswana geskryf het. Baie geluk! Waaroor handel jou tesis?

My studie is daarop gemik om die Afrikanistiese agenda te herwin. Dit teoretiseer en stel die gebruik van die nuutskepping “phetsolelo” voor. Hierdie nuutskepping verwys na “transskepping as ’n metode om Afrika-letterkunde in koloniale tale te repatrieer” en dit daardeur terug te bring na die inheemse tale én die agtergrond van hul outeurs en inheemse gemeenskappe (oor wie hierdie werke handel).

2. Hoekom het jy besluit om jou tesis in Setswana te skryf?

Ek was ’n Setswana-onderwyser en nou ook -dosent. Ek onderrig al my lewe lank Setswana ín Setswana. Dit word al lank bepleit dat Setswana, as een van Suid-Afrika se amptelike tale, in die algemeen as medium vir leer, onderrig en navorsing in hoër onderwys gebruik moet word. ‘n Reis het in 1974 by die destydse Turfloop-universiteit (nou die Universiteit van Limpopo) deur die baanbrekende professore Setshedi en Malope begin, wat albei later na UNIBO (nou Noordwes-Universiteit se Mahikengkampus) gekom het. Die nuwe NWU-taalbeleid, wat funksionele veeltaligheid voorstaan, het dit vir my moontlik gemaak om in Setswana te skryf, omdat dit ten bate van die ontwikkeling van hierdie taal as een van die universiteit se amptelike tale is.

3. Daar is ’n persepsie dat slegs sekere tale ten volle as akademiese tale ontwikkel is. Stem jy saam? Wanneer is ’n taal volgens jou ’n “akademiese taal”?

Ek stem nie saam nie. Volgens my kan ’n taal as ’n “akademiese taal” beskou word as die taal materiaal vir onderrig, leer en navorsing ontwikkel het, ortografie en spelreëls het wat deur professionele liggame gestandaardiseer is, en terminologie vir verskillende vakgebiede het en ook in die wyer samelewing gebruik word. Hierdie terminologieë bestaan by die nasionale Departement van Kuns, Kultuur en Tradisionele Sake. My departement was daarby betrokke en sommige lede van die departement is steeds daarmee besig.

4. Sonder om te tegnies te raak: vir watter woorde het jy gesukkel om Setswana-ekwivalente te kry om in jou tesis te gebruik? Jy het ook aan nuwe akademiese woorde gedink om te gebruik – hoe het jy te werk gegaan om hierdie nuwe woorde te skep?

Ons kan nie oor terminologie of woorde praat sonder om tegnies te wees nie. Om woorde te skep, moet jy dink, raadpleeg, diep in die taal- en kultuurargiewe delf en die woorde behou sodat dit (soos in die geval van my tesis) gebruik kan word deur diegene wat dit intellektualiseer as ’n bydrae tot ’n wetenskaplike diskoers.

My sleutelterme word hier in besonderhede beskryf sodat dit binne die konteks verstaan kan word:

  • Botswa-bokoloniale > postkolonialisme Botswa-bokoloniale: Dit is die ekwivalent vir die term postkolonialisme, wat verwys na die konsepte en idees wat ná kolonialisme ontstaan het en waarvan ons onsself moet losmaak. Kolonialisme het reeds tot ’n einde gekom en die uitwerking daarvan moet uit Afrika-geheues, wat voorheen gekolonialiseer is, uitgewis word.
  • Phetsolelo > repatriërende transskepping – Phetsolelo (werkwoord > transskep): Hierdie term verwys na ’n vorm van vertaling waar literêre werke wat deur Afrikane (soos die Batswana) in Engels geskryf is, herskryf of herskep word om dit nuut te maak en terug te bring na die taal van die outeur (wat ’n Afrikaan is), soos die Setswana van Sol Plaatje in hierdie geval. Dit is nie die gewone tipe vertaling soos toe Plaatje Shakespeare in Setswana vertaal het nie, daarom die nuwe woord phetsolelo, of transskep. Ek stel die gebruik van hierdie woord voor om die proses te beskryf waardeur die kreatiewe talent wat ons aan Europese tale afgestaan het, herwin word.
  • Taota, Taoto > teoretiseer – (werkwoord > om te teoretiseer): Dié term is afgelei van ’n ongewone Setswana-woord, go taota, wat beteken dat jy voor ’n sekere aktiwiteit of reis eers moet dink hoe, wanneer, wat, ens voordat jy dit onderneem. Ek gebruik dit in my studie omdat jy eers oor die metode moet dink voordat jy iets doen. Om meer oor die teorie na te dink kan gepas wees om ’n sekere agenda oor te dra.
  • Tlharamolola, Tlharamololo > dekonstrueer, dekonstruksie – (werkwoord, selfstandige naamwoord): Dit is ’n neologisme in Setswana. Tlharamololo of dekonstruksie is ’n ingewikkelde manier om na dinge te kyk en wat op die oog af teenstrydig is met idees wat vir ’n baie lang tyd aanvaarbaar of eenvoudig was. Go tlharamolola beteken om idees uitmekaar te haal of te ontwrig, alhoewel die mense wat dit gebruik, glo hulle los daardeur probleme op, sien dinge in ’n nuwe lig of kom met nuwe idees of konsepte vorendag.

5. Hoeveel Setswanasprekende mense wat jy ken sal meer boeke of ander geskrewe materiaal in Setswana wil lees? Met ander woorde: Dink jy dat indien daar meer leesmateriaal in Setswana bestaan, mense dit sou lees?

NWU het ’n goedgevestigde Setswana-departement wat oor twee kampusse strek, naamlik Mahikeng en Potchefstroom, met ’n totaal van meer as 700 ingeskrewe studente vir Setswana as eerste of derde taal. Die getal is eintlik nog meer, want leerlinge in skole en studente van ander Suid-Afrikaanse universiteite wat Setswana aanbied, sou ook ’n groter verskeidenheid Setswana-leesstof waardeer. Die Setswana-gemeenskap sou ook graag meer leesstof in hul eie taal wou hê, en daarom is dit bykans onmoontlik om ’n geraamde getal te gee.

6. Geld speel ook ’n groot rol. Selfs al sou die materiaal bestaan, hoe hanteer ’n mens die geldelike aspek en hoe stel ’n mens materiaal in mense se huistaal aan hulle beskikbaar?

Geld speel inderdaad ’n massiewe rol. As daar interessante leesstof was oor die probleme wat die Batswana in die gesig staar en wat hulle sou help om hulle daaglikse uitdagings te hanteer, sou mense nie huiwer om geld daarop te spandeer om hierdie materiaal aan te koop nie. Setswana moet ook in alle vorme, soos op sosialemediaplatforms, beskikbaar wees en ’n verskeidenheid mense (jonk, oud, stedelik, landelik, ongeag opleidingsvlak) moet elektronies daartoe toegang hê.

7. Dink jy genoeg mense in hierdie land is trots op die tale wat ons praat? Dink jy ons verstaan dat dit deel van ons land se erfenis is?

Ek dink genoeg mense is trots op hulle taal, want dit is deel van hulle erfenis, dit is wie hulle is, en al die tale is amptelike tale van Suid-Afrika. Maar dit moet nog gedekolonialiseer word, want baie mense het die verkeerde ingesteldheid en dink dat die enigste pad na sukses opleiding in Engels is. Hulle wonder dan hoekom baie gegradueerdes van presige-universiteite steeds van deur tot deur loop op soek na werk. Die meeste van hulle dink en ontwikkel konsepte en kennis eers in hul huistaal, en vertaal dit daarna in ‘n ander taal (Engels); dit is hoekom hulle nie op hulle eie kreatief kan wees nie.

8. Praktiese vraag: Sal mense wat nie Setswana praat nie, jou tesis kan verstaan? Hoe maak mens ’n tesis in jou eie taal toeganklik vir sprekers van ander tale?

My tesis dryf hoofsaaklik die Setswana-agenda om my taal as ’n taal van onderrig, leer en navorsing te ontwikkel. Suid-Afrikaners moet die ekstra myl loop en minstens twee ander tale leer, want ons is ’n veeltalige en multikulturele land. Ek praat vyf tale, Afrikaans ingesluit, en ek probeer my bes om ook in een Nguni-taal, naamlik Zoeloe, te kommunikeer sodat ek nooit gestrand is as ek omring word deur mense wat slegs Zoeloe praat nie. Die tesis kan op ’n latere stadium in ’n boek omskep word wat in verskillende tale geskryf is, onder andere Engels.

9. Nog ’n praktiese vraag: As meer mense hulle akademiese tekste in hulle huistaal skryf, sal dit moontlik wees vir dieselfde mense om die meeste van die werk in Engels ook te vertaal om dit toeganklik te maak vir ander mense? Of is daar ’n ander oplossing om jou werk verstaanbaar te maak?

Dit hang af, want nie almal wat ’n sekere taal praat, kan dit noodwendig vertaal nie. Vertaling kan egter goed bestuur word indien die persoon albei tale waarmee hy/sy werk bemeester. Met my model van kulturele repatriëring/transskepping kan dit gedoen word, net soos Sol Plaatje met Shakespeare gedoen het sonder om ooit formele opleiding in vertaling te ontvang het. Wat belangrik is, is om die kulturele kontekste en idiome van albei tale te verstaan. Universiteite of organisasies wat belangstel in die ontwikkeling van Afrikatale kan belê in die vertaling van hierdie tipe tekste. SAVI het geakkrediteerde vertalers en aanpassings kan gemaak word om dit in ander tale beskikbaar te stel.

10. Vertel my asseblief van jou idee om Sol Plaatje se boek in Setswana te vertaal. Hoekom en hoe wil jy dit doen?

Ek het Sol Plaatje se roman Mhudi gekies as ’n voorbeeld van ’n roman wat in Engels geskryf is, deur ’n bekende Motswana gepubliseer is, en oor die Batswana handel, maar wat nie deur die mense oor wie dit geskryf is in hul eie taal gelees kan word nie. Mhudi is reeds gekies vir ’n literêrevertalingsprojek met die naam “Transcreation for repatriation”, of “Phetsolelo” in Setswana, waarby my promotor, Shole Shole, en Sabata Mokae van die Sol Plaatje-universiteit betrokke is. In my studie het ek geteoretiseer hoe transskepping vir repatriëring gedoen kan word. Dit sal sprekers van ander tale ook help om hulle literêre werke wat deur Afrikane in Engels of ander Europese tale geskryf is, terug te bring na die taal van die Afrikataal-outeur.

11. Hoe kan ons, as ’n nasie met baie verskillende kulture, mekaar positief beïnvloed? Wat kan ons by mekaar en by mekaar se tale leer?

Ons moet mekaar aanmoedig om minstens een ander taal as ons huistaal aan te leer, veeltaligheid aanmoedig en daardeur mekaar se kulture en lewenswyses probeer verstaan. Dit sal ons help om mekaar te respekteer, ongeag ons taal of die kleur van ons vel. Die manier waarop ons as Suid-Afrikaners dinge doen, kan ons help ontwikkel en versoening bring indien ons verstaan hoekom mense hulleself op ’n sekere manier uitdruk, byvoorbeeld deur stemtoon, uitspraak en gebare.

https://www.litnet.co.za/category/menings/universitysa/

Multilingual schools, multilingual universities: an interview with Russell Kaschula and Michael Kretzer

"Afrikaans: Kom saam | Come along"-simposium by Sol Plaatje-universiteit: ’n onderhoud

 

Terminologie en terminografie: ’n onderhoud met Mariëtta Alberts

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