Indigenization of Language in the African Francophone Novel

A New Literary Canon

by Peter W. Vakunta (Author)
©2011 Monographs XII, 166 Pages


Indigenization of Language in the African Francophone Novel: A New Literary Canon discusses the question of indigenization in the African Francophone novel. Analyzing the prose narratives of Nazi Boni, Ahmadou Kourouma, and Patrice Nganang, this book contends that African literature written in European languages is primarily a creative translation process. Recourse to European languages as a medium of expressing African imagination, worldview, and cultures in fictional writing poses problems of intelligibility. Developed to express and reflect Western worldviews and sensibilities, European languages are employed by African writers to convey messages that seem to be at variance with European imagination. These writers find themselves writing in languages they wish to subvert through the technique of literary indigenization. The significance of this study resides in its raising awareness to the hurdles that literary creativity in a polyglossic context may present to readers and translators. This book provides answers to intriguing questions centering on the problematic of translation in contemporary African literature. It is a contribution to current research aimed at unraveling the conundrum surrounding the language question in African Europhone fiction, particularly the cultural functions of translation in literature. Potential translation problems have to be addressed in order to make African literature written in European languages intelligible to global readership. With the advent of globalization, transcultural communication has become an activity of enormous importance to the international community. It is a subject of great interest to translators, linguists, language instructors, and literary theorists.


XII, 166
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2010 (December)
francophone literature indigenization translation cross-cultural communication literary theory
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2011. XII, 166 pp.

Biographical notes

Peter W. Vakunta (Author)

Peter W. Vakunta is a professor of French and English at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. He has taught literature and literary theory courses at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Vakunta has been a practicing translator/interpreter for over fifteen years. He is a novelist, storyteller, poet, and essayist. His scholarly articles have appeared in Meta, The Entrepreneur, Translation Review, Research in African Literature (RAL), Journal of African Literature Association (JALA) and Journal of Midwest Modern Language Association (JMMLA).


Title: Indigenization of Language in the African Francophone Novel