Press release: SATI Prizes for Excellence 2018: call for nominations extended

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The South African Translators’ Institute (SATI) is pleased to call once again for nominations for its Prizes for Excellence in Translation and Dictionaries.

The prizes were initiated in 2000 and are being awarded for the seventh time. They aim to recognise meritorious work in the official languages of South Africa and to encourage the publication of translations of original works in the indigenous languages of the country.

The prizes are awarded every three years on or around International Translation Day, which is celebrated on 30 September. The first award – which went to Leon de Kock for his translation of Marlene van Niekerk’s Afrikaans novel Triomf into English – was made at the Aardklop Arts Festival in Potchefstroom in 2000. Subsequent winners have included Antjie Krog for her translations into Afrikaans of poetry from the various African languages in South Africa in Met woorde soos met kerse, Elsa Silke for In the Never-Ever Wood, the English translation of Linda Rode’s children’s stories In die Nimmer-Immer-Bos, Linda Rode herself for Bitter Heuning – Die verhaal van ‘n Sandveldvrou, the translation into Afrikaans of Hermione Suttner’s novel Bitter Honey, Naòmi Morgan for translations from French into Afrikaans of two books by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, Oskar en die pienk tannie and Monsieur Ibrahim en die blomme van die Koran, and the editorial teams for the Pharos Afrikaans-Engels/English-Afrikaans Dictionary and the Oxford Northern Sotho/English and isiZulu/English Bilingual School Dictionaries.

The prizes are awarded in five categories: fiction, non-fiction, children’s literature, plain language work and translation dictionaries. The winner in each category will receive a certificate of merit and a cash prize.

The Language Clause in the Constitution challenges everyone involved in language matters to promote the use of all the languages of South Africa, and in particular to develop the previously marginalised indigenous languages. SATI believes that language practitioners, in translating into and from these languages, are pivotal "mechanisms" in fostering the process of indigenous language development. As far back as 1993 SATI decided to implement strategies to facilitate the use and development of the indigenous languages of South Africa.

The objectives of the SATI Prizes for Excellence are –

  1. to promote the translation and publication of work into and/or from the official languages;
  2. to highlight a standard of translation towards which other translators should strive;
  3. to promote multilingualism and in particular the use and development of the indigenous languages;
  4. to promote cross-cultural understanding;
  5. to provide access to information at all levels of society in the official languages;
  6. to raise awareness of the role of translators in uniting the people of South Africa; and
  7. to raise awareness of translation as a profession.

The Institute is now calling for nominations for the prizes to be awarded in September 2018. The rules for the prizes and nomination forms are available under “SATI Prizes 2018” on the Institute’s website at or can be obtained from the SATI Office at or 011 803 2681.

The closing date for nominations for the 2018 SATI Prizes for Excellence is 19 January 2018.

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