Health is one of the most important issues in the lives of human beings and has a direct effect on the well-being of a country’s citizens and its economy. Researchers emphasise the role of communication in maintaining health and well-being, and in preventingdisease by changing behaviour. In a multilingual society such as South Africa, health communication documents are often translated for distribution to different language groups. However, the translation of health-related communication documents, specifically for use by low-literate target audiences, poses many challenges, especially in cases where there is a considerable distance between the source text and the target cultures. Translators who work in the field of health communication require specific strategies that will enable them to effectively transfer health-related information that is steeped in cultural meaning while taking into consideration aspects such as stigma and taboo. This study explores the challenges faced during the translation from English into isiZulu of a photonovel called An ounce of prevention, a health document about cervical cancer originally developed for a Latin American audience. This text relies heavily on cultural elements to convey messages. Through an overview of Christiane Nord’s model of Functionality +Loyalty (2005), as well as Larkey and Hecht’s (2010) model of Effects of Narratives as Culture-Centric Health Promotion, a set of analytic heuristics was distilled and applied as a tool to systematically identify cultural elements in the photonovel to ensure that a translation into isiZulu would be culturally acceptable to a Zulu target audience. The purpose of analytic heuristics is to assist translators’ understanding of the communicative situation in which the source text was produced. Once they have been equipped with necessary knowledge of the communication situation and have a sound understanding of the photonovel as a text, translators should be able to systematically identify culture-specific elements in the source text. Thereafter they can establish the cultural distance between the source text culture and the target text communication situation to ensure that all narrative characteristics from both the personal and socio-cultural levels of the narrative inform the concepts of transportation, identification and social profiling. Translators are thus equipped to make informed decisions regarding the translation of specific challenges identified in the source text that would make the target text culturally unacceptable to the target culture. Once the heuristics have been applied to excerpts from the photonovel that pose intercultural challenges, it is concluded that cultural elements and linguistic norms have been successfully identified in the source text and have been appropriately re-contextualised in the target text to ensure that the original message is conveyed. It is assumed that the analytic heuristics will also be useful in ensuring the effective translation of other culture-centric texts without changing the original message.
Mini Dissertation (MA)--University of Pretoria, 2018.