The history of translation has been built on the notions that the translator either leaves the writer alone and moves towards the reader (domesticating the text), or leaves the reader alone and moves towards the writer (foreignising the text). These strategies have been called many names, but the translator has always been faced with the choice between domesticating or foreignising the target text.
This study considers the options available to a translator when translating the proper nouns and neologisms in a fantasy novel. The translator should not move towards and stand next to the reader to create a target text that is unrecognisable compared to the source text. At the same time, the translator cannot remain next to the writer and thus not change the proper nouns and neologisms to ensure that the target-text readers can understand all – or most of – the potential meanings. If the translator does not move closer to the readers, they cannot have the same experience as source-text readers.
This study looks at the translation theories, strategies and procedures that can be applied when translating proper nouns and neologisms used in Terry Pratchett’s Small Gods. It is limited to the study of the neologisms that act as proper nouns, and does not look at other neologisms in the novel. The study identifies translation procedures that retain the meaning potential of the proper nouns and neologisms in the source text in the process of translating them into an Afrikaans target text. It compares the procedures that may have been used by the Dutch translator, by Venugopalan Ittekot, of the novel, Kleingoderij, into Dutch with the procedures that are identified to be used by a translator of the text into Afrikaans. This study identifies the procedures most appropriate to a possible translation of proper nouns and neologisms in Small Gods to Afrikaans in order to retain the meaning potential. The translation procedures that has been identified are addition, cultural adaptation, internationalisation, literal translation, neutralisation, substitution, transference, transliteration and transposition. These procedures can be used to attain equivalence at word level and in such a way that the meaning-potential is retained.