Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Alex Smith

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Volunteer translators needed in 28 languages


Orphan’s Lullaby is more than a children’s book, it’s a language act of African unity.

May 2007:

The General Assembly this afternoon, recognizing that genuine multilingualism promotes unity in diversity and international understanding, proclaimed 2008 the International Year of Languages. Acting without a vote, the Assembly, also recognizing that the United Nations pursues multilingualism as a means of promoting, protecting and preserving diversity of languages and cultures globally, emphasized the paramount importance of the equality of the Organization’s six official languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish).

Originally I wrote a song with 21 lines called Orphan’s Lullaby, with the intention of turning it into a picture book and selling it to raise money for AIDS Orphans. So I began work on the pictures. My plan was to have each page with one line from the lullaby faced with a magnificent picture to inspire any child’s imagination; that would make 21 pictures and 21 text pages.

After the recent wave of Xenophobia, I thought since there is only one line of text per facing page, wouldn’t it be a wonderful statement of all-inclusiveness to have one book embracing fifty languages spoken in Africa — all the official languages as well as a representative selection of ‘un-official’ languages. Now each picture will be faced with fifty lines each a different colour and a different language.

My hope is that it could be sold everywhere as a celebration of Africa and that all the profits will go to orphans and also to help refugees and migrant workers in need.

The lullaby itself is certainly no great work of poetry, just a lullaby with good intentions. I’m looking for volunteer translators in 49 languages — the list of languages is below in alphabetical order and includes 8 of the world’s top 10 languages.

Ideally the selling price of the book should be as low as possible, so that as many children in Africa can afford to have it (I believe it will be a great tool for exposing children to the great variety of languages of our extraordinary continent.) As a very small token of gratitude I pledge to give each translator 5c of every copy sold, when the book is published.

After the first week of the project, thanks to Deborah Horn-Botha at SA PEN and PRAESA and the willingness of people at the South African AIDS Trust, I had 11 translators volunteer in the first week. Now Thanks to facebook, I’m discovering new volunteers every day. In particular Dr Michael Ambatchew in Ethiopia, Mwapi Mumbi in Zambia, Mahomed El Mongy in Egypt, Imogen Pretorius, Minnie Desaivre and Fred Hatman in South Africa have been incredibly helpful sending out the call for volunteers to their friends and colleagues around Africa.

The first to submit her translation of the lullaby was Puleng Letsie of the South African AIDS Trust, who translated it into Sotho.

If you are able to translate into any of the languages not yet accounted for below, and would like to volunteer, please email me at alexinchina@gmail.com. If you are willing to act as an editor for the lullaby in one of the languages, please email me too.

At the Cape Town Book Fair I met with the Chief of Marketing Sales and Licensing for the United Nations publications section. He was extremely interested in the project. He proposed doing an Orphan’s Lullaby collaboration with a South African publisher. So now I’m looking for a publisher.


LANGUAGES – NAME OF TRANSLATOR + BIO

Afrikaans – Two volunteers: Minnie Desaivre, language practitioner and Capetonian. Minnie loves anything that remotely resembles a word, and the infinite possibilities contained therein. Richard van der Westhuizen. Actor, singer and songwriter.

Akan- Steve Kumi/Nana

Amharic-Dr Michael Daniel Ambatchew is one of the leading contemporary Ethiopian children writers.

Arabic – Mahomed El Mongy and Yasmine El Rifai in Egypt. Najmeh Parvisi, student of languages at Tehran University, Iran.

Bambara- Victor Zugadi in Mali.

Chichewa- Nicholas Edward Tadeyo is 40 years old and works with the South African AIDS Trust, SAT Malawi as Finance Monitoring Officer. http://www.satregional.org/

English – Alex Smith

French- Andre Marshall and Eliane de Saint-Martin. Eliane teaches French at the Alliance Francaise and Andre does free-lance translation work (after teaching English at UCT).

Fula-Abd Hanne from Mali

German- Ulrike van Baarsel, almost author and great fan of anything written.

Gikuyu- Hannah Murage in Kenya

Gujarati-

Greek- Anna Karafoulidou is studying law at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. She is currently finishing her exchange year in Germany. She is fluent in English, German, and French and also has a basic knowledge of Italian, Dutch and Spanish.

Hausa – Bashir Nuhu Mabai. He writes: “I am 40 Years old, from Kankara Local Government of Katsina State Nigeria. I hold a first degree in Education/ Hausa from Bayero University, Kano Nigeria. Master degree in Educational Planning, from Lagos State University 1997. I am currently working with Katsina State University as Principal Academic Planning Officer. I have worked as Journalist with Voice of Nigeria, Radio Tehran, Iran and also as lecturer in FCE Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. Lagos State College of Education and Azad Islamic University Tehran, Iran. I am a web designer, Community Leader, Youth Movement for Self Reliance Advocacy leader (YMSRA), and Youth Against Child labour (YACL). Katsina, Nigeria. I am happily married with a four children.”

Hindi- Sherissa Roopnarain, student of political science at University of Cape Town, in collaboration with her grandmother from Kashmir.

Igbo- I am Ezeani Chigozie.I am a freelance translator, from Igbo ethnic group in Enugu, Nigeria.

Ijaw-

Italian- Emilio Toffoli. Emilio was born above a trattoria, in the village of Roverbella, in the Northern province of Mantova. He moved to Africa (Kenya) in 1955, when he was just 18. He moved down to South Africa in 1968.

Kikongo-

Kinyarwanda- Suzana Mukobwajana. Suzana lives in Rwanda and is a freelance editor of children literature.

Kirundi- Suzana mukobwajana. Suzana lives in Rwanda and is freelance editor of children literature.

Kituba-

Kreol- Pushpa

Lingala – Jean Luc Mastaki Namegabe, PhD. Jean Luc is an Economic Affairs Officer for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa(Uneca) in Lusaka, Zambia. Many, many thanks to Dr Michael Ambatchew in Ethiopia for facilitating contact with Jean Luc.

Malagasy- Juliana and Maiora

Mandarin Chinese- Simplified Chinese version by Chen Tian Mei, an Oral English champion and translator living in Shanghai. Yi Fen Kao has done a traditional Chinese character translation of the lullaby. Yi-Fen is a British Chevening scholar and majored in ‘eTourism’. After travelling to more than 20 countries, she has decided to share her experience with others. Now, she is a qualified Tour Leader in Mandarin, English and Japanese, and will receive her English Tour Guide licence soon. She works for a foundation in Taipei, Taiwan to promote youth travel and the ISIC card.

Masri – Mohamed El Mongy and Yasmine El Rifai who both live in Egypt.

Ndebele-Denise Mhlanga has also translated the lullaby in Zulu. Denise is a journalist at Moneyweb.

Nothern Sotho-

Oromo- Tesfaye Gebre-Mariam Hailu is an assistant professor in literature and the President of Writers for Ethiopian Children.

Oshiwambo-

Polish – Karina Magdalena Szczurek is a writer and literary critic. Born in Poland, she grew up in Austria and the US. She now lives in Cape Town.

Portuguese- Maria Elisa Knust Silviera who holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Southampton, School of Education, UK. She has recently retired from the Post-Graduation Department of the Instituto de Letras from Universidade Federal Fluminense, in Brazil and is currently teaching at the Foreign Language Project from the same university. Her main interests are in the areas of materials design, teacher education and ESP.

Sango-

Shangaan-

Shona-Tinashe Chimbidzikai is the Country Programme Officer- Orphans and other Vulnerable Children of the Southern African Aids Trust (SAT) www.satregional.org

Somali-

Sothern Sotho-

Sotho-Puleng Letsie ,Coordinator of Country Support & Development at the Southern African AIDS Trust (SAT) www.satregional.org Puleng Letsie is a Public Health professional with 9 years of experience in the HIV & AIDS field in Southern Africa. She is single and has a 22-month old son – Lits’itso or Lebo and a younger sister. She loves travelling, going out with friends and writing – recently received a UNDP award from the 2007 Network Participation Fund representing the Africa region for her active participation in the HIV & AIDS Network – and has put together several articles and publications on various issues including HIV & AIDS and Behavioural Change Communication.

Spanish- Danielle Stevenson and Efrain Jaimes. Efraín Jaimes Villamil (born 1979) currently works as a journalist in Caracas, Venezuela, where he lives with his family. His top insterests are making friends around the globe and learning languages in order to help keep this multicultural world alive.

Susu-

Swahili- Joshua Madumulla and Sara Petrolino.

Swazi- Sibusiso Dlamini was born on 20 June 1973 in Swaziland, Manzini. He is a father, husband and African. siSwati translation also by Happy Nkosi.”I’m Happy Nkosi, 26 years of age, currently working as a journalist for SABC NEWS in Mpumalanga.Have previously worked for Mpumalanga News weekly paper for two years, it is one of Caxton Newspapers. Mother of a nine year old boy, and I just think I was somehow made for the print media world. Sho!!!”

Tshiluba-

Tsonga-

Tswana-

Umbundu-

Venda- Mbavhalelo Elvis Nemukula is the Sowetan’s Senior Sub-editor; a former English literature teacher, Sub-editor of The Star; Sub-editor of The Mercury; Sub-editor at Mafube publishing; Sub-editor of City Press; and 2006 Clive Mennel Media Fellow at Duke University (USA).

Wolof-

Xhosa-Xolisa Guzula and Khosie Thom. Xolisa works for Praesa. Recently they have written a book called I am an African. It is a collection of stories by refugees, aimed at high school students.Khosie is currently doing a post graduate diploma in Journalism and Media Studies. She has a passion for informing people about the socio-economic and political status of South Africa and hopes to one day enrich the status of our country. She says, “I am an earnest born-again Christian and I love helping people out. God bless you have a splendid day!”

Yoruba- Titilope Fakoya

Zulu- 2 Translations: Denise Mhlanga and Nomahlubi Ngwenya are translating the lullaby into isiZulu. Busier than most sixty-year olds, Nomahlubi Ngwenya is enjoying living in the new South Africa. A writer and avid reader she raises two daughters and two grandchildren when she has time!

 

Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    June 6th, 2008 @13:09 #
     
    Top

    What an excellent initiative, Alex. Let me know how I can order a copy. Or better yet, I'll order a couple of copies that can then be donated to schools and other centers. I might even be able to convince some of my friends to do the same. Keywords: distribution, credit card, online.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 6th, 2008 @15:30 #
     
    Top

    Thanks Richard, I appreciate it greatly. As soon as it's published I'll tell you, (perhaps I'll even be able to coax you and your cats to a feast-less launch)...in the meantime, I'm still looking for translators, but good news is that New Africa Books may be interested in publishing it.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 8th, 2008 @20:14 #
     
    Top

    Beautiful french translation received from the Marshalls on Saturday. Four more translators from around Africa have voluteered this weekend for the following languages: Masri (Egyptian Arabic), Arabic, Swahili, Italian and Finnish (!)

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 9th, 2008 @22:22 #
     
    Top

    In record time, Denise Mhlanga of Moneyweb has completed two translations of the lullaby and recruited a friend to translate into two more languages. Danielle Stevenson has volunteered to translate the lullaby into Spanish.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 11th, 2008 @14:22 #
     
    Top

    Two more great translations received today: a German translation from Ulrike van Baarsel and a Spanish translation from Efrain Jaimes.

    Bottom
  • junglecarly
    junglecarly
    June 11th, 2008 @17:48 #
     
    Top

    Heard about this on Translator's Cafe, and thought it was a lovely idea. Although my language pairs are already being tackled, I'd love to buy a copy when it's complete, and have already sent a link round to my friends so that they can do the same. I wish you all the best with this project, Alex

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 12th, 2008 @08:23 #
     
    Top

    Just received an exciting email: my literary agent in New York loves the project and is keen to find a publisher in the Sates for Orphan's Lullaby.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    June 12th, 2008 @08:40 #
     
    Top

    Excellent!

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.moxyland.com" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    June 12th, 2008 @10:05 #
     
    Top

    Fantastic news, Alex, well done.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 13th, 2008 @14:06 #
     
    Top

    Thanks Lauren, Richard and Junglecarly! Also very happy to say that via Translator's Cafe, Ezeani Chigozie has just volunteered to do an Igbo translation.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 16th, 2008 @18:28 #
     
    Top

    From Kenya, a letter from Hannah the most recent volunteer:

    'Hello Alex,
    I came across Orphan's Lullaby and the idea of having it translated in different languages is quite impressive. I would like to have a go at translating it in Gikuyu/ Kikuyu. I have participated and helped with the AIDS awareness where and as much as I can.

    I will get help from most of my friends who are as fluent so I promise to give you something worth. I have also posted your idea on my facebook and hopefully many more people will help out. Be Blessed and all the best with all the translations. We can only build and influence our awareness campaign by continuous participation. Hopefully you will give me this chance to build on my participation.

    Thank you in advance,
    Hannah Murage.'

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://bamatic.blogspot.com" rel="nofollow">bittor1974</a>
    bittor1974
    June 17th, 2008 @17:47 #
     
    Top

    I am Victor Zugadi from the Basque COuntry in Spain, i live in Bamako Mali, and i spend a lot of my time translating software to Bambara language, usually with the N'ko script system. I would like to know how could we get the original book to translate to Bambara and how we could contribute to your translation project.

    You will find some info about me here http://bamatic.blogspot.com

    Best regards
    Victor Zugadi

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 17th, 2008 @22:36 #
     
    Top

    Thank you very much for the message Victor. I tried to find your email address on your blog but had no luck. Please could you email me at alexinchina@gmail.com , then I'll send you the text.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 18th, 2008 @07:33 #
     
    Top

    Promising news! The United Nations is extremely interested in the project and in doing a collaborative publication of Orphan's Lullaby with a South African publisher. The UN has excellent distribution around the world.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    June 18th, 2008 @09:04 #
     
    Top

    One would imagine so... That's fantastic!

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 18th, 2008 @09:31 #
     
    Top

    Swazi translation just received from Sibusiso Dlamini. Sibusiso was born on 20 June 1973 in Swaziland, Manzini. He is a father, husband and African.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 18th, 2008 @09:37 #
     
    Top

    Very great thanks to facilitator Siya Ngwenya, who organised a Swazi and a Zulu translation of the lullaby.

    The Zulu translation is by Nomahlubi Ngwenya.

    Busier than most sixty-year olds, Nomahlubi Ngwenya is enjoying living in the new South Africa. A writer and avid reader she raises two daughters and two grandchildren when she has time!

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    June 18th, 2008 @09:52 #
     
    Top

    Great work, Alex - your project seems to have reached critical mass.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 19th, 2008 @11:05 #
     
    Top

    Jai-rruh-jef Louis - it's amazing actually how things take on a life of their own. When the idea of Orphan's Lullaby came to me, I thought, nice idea, but crazy. I thought and thought and one Friday evening when I was walking my dog, I was still thinking, I'm quite broke and in debt, how and where am I going to find 49 translators? Then I remembered a saying often attributed to Goethe, but in fact based on a very loose translation of Faust and quoted by W. H. Murray in The Scottish Himalaya Expedition, 1951. He said:

    'But when I said that nothing had been done I erred in one important matter. We had definitely committed ourselves and were halfway out of our ruts. We had put down our passage money--booked a sailing to Bombay. This may sound too simple, but is great in consequence. Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:

    Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
    Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!'

    I remembered that about boldness and I thought, in the case of Orphan's Lullaby, I must try, I must be bold.

    After that everything has been magic.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 19th, 2008 @11:07 #
     
    Top

    Na ngeen def -- Hello everybody (in Wolof)

    Today is Wolof language day! Jai-rruh-jef (thank you) for supporting Orphan’s Lullaby.

    Progress update:

    Midnight last night -- Masri (Egyptian Arabic) translation of Orphan’s lullaby received from Mohamed El Mongy in Egypt.

    Early this morning Michael Ambetchew volunteered to do a translation into Amharic.

    Just this minute-- Ezeani Chigozie from Nigeria sent through a translation in Igbo.

    Jai-rruh-jef Mongy, Michael and Ezeani! Great thanks!

    Ba beneen. – Goodbye (for now)
    Alex

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    June 19th, 2008 @12:55 #
     
    Top

    Nice quote, Alex. Funny how we allow ourselves to believe in all sorts of mystery and magic when it comes to our writing process.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 19th, 2008 @13:04 #
     
    Top

    I'm thrilled to welcome an Oromo translator to the Lullaby project. Tesfaye Gebre-Mariam Hailu is an assistant professor in literature and the President of Writers for Ethiopian Children.

    Great thanks to Tesfaye. Also to Dr Michael Ambetchew in Ethiopia and Carol Bloch of PRAESA, who brought Orphan's Lullaby to Tesfaye's attention.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 20th, 2008 @13:08 #
     
    Top

    Muraho, hello (in Kinyrwanda)

    Thank you to Dr Michael Ambetchew, Ethiopian author for completing his Amharic translation of Orphan’s Lullaby in record time.

    Another thank you to Dr Michael Ambetchew for putting the lullaby in the hands of Suzana in Rwanda for translating into Kinyrwanda.

    Very Great welcome to three new volunteer translators Khozie Thom, Nadia Kholy and Sherissa Roopnarain.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    June 20th, 2008 @13:25 #
     
    Top

    And you still have time to read Roth?

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 20th, 2008 @13:51 #
     
    Top

    When I need a break from this computer screen, who better to turn to than The Professor of Desire

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    June 20th, 2008 @14:04 #
     
    Top

    Dr. Strangelove?

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 21st, 2008 @11:25 #
     
    Top

    Ashaama, hello (in Oromo language)

    Galatoomi, thank you (in Oromo) Tesfaye Gebre-Mariam Hailu for responding with such a swift translation of Orphan’s Lullaby into Oromo.

    Galatoomi, great thanks also to Happy Nkosi, for a beautiful siSwati translation.

    Galatoomi, thank you, Dr Michael Ambetchew for putting the lullaby in the hands of Dr Silveira for translating into Portuguese.

    Baga nagaan dhufte, galatoomi, welcome and thanks to Sherissa Roopnarain, a political science student at the University of Cape Town, who busy translating the lullaby into Hindi in telephonic collaboration with her grandmother in Kashmir. Sherissa's grandmother is about to turn eighty and spent her life working on a large plantation -- he great dream was that her children and grandchildren should grow up to be well-educated.

    Waaqayyo si haa eebbisu.
    Nagaan turaa, goodbye.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 23rd, 2008 @06:52 #
     
    Top

    A traditional Chinese script translation of the lullaby received from Kao Yi-Fen. Yi-Fen, or Yvonne, as her English friends call her is a British Chevening scholar and majored in ‘eTourism’. After been to more than 20 countries, she has decided to share her experience with others. Now, she is a qualified Tour Leader in Mandarin, English and Japanese, and will receive her English Tour Guide licence soon. She works for a foundation in Taipei, Taiwan to promote youth travel and the ISIC card.

    And enthusiastic supporters, Marpessa in Holland and Anna in Greece have offered to translate the lullaby into Dutch and Greek -- these languages were not on the original list but the project is all-embracing, so all volunteers and languages are welcome.

    Join the Orphan's Lullaby, LOVE AFRICA CARNIVAL -- Declare your love for all and Africa!

    Translate 'I love you. I love Africa.' Into your home language or one you love.

    Write it on the wall or add it to the 'Declare your love: I love Africa in 50 languages' thread at the Orphan's Lullaby FB group http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=16513468027

    So far,

    Alexander in Athens, declared 'se agapo'. (Greek)

    Hanna from Kenya, declared 'nakupenda afrika' (swahili)

    Imogen in Cape Town, declared 'Ek hou van jou!Ek hou van Afrika! (Afrikaans)

    Marpessa in Holland, declared 'Ik hou van jou!Ik hou van Afrika! (Dutch)

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://karinamagdalenaszczurek.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Karina</a>
    Karina
    June 23rd, 2008 @10:00 #
     
    Top

    Since all languages and volunteers are welcome, and I know that there are Polish communities in Africa, as in the rest of the world, I would love to translate the lullaby into Polish. You can count me in.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 23rd, 2008 @12:07 #
     
    Top

    Wonderful! It will be lovely to include Polish and the Polish communities of Africa. Thank you Karina.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 24th, 2008 @10:17 #
     
    Top

    HELLO IN HAUSA, I LOVE AFRICA IN ARABIC

    Sannu (hello in Hausa),
    Salama aleikum, (polite Hausa greeting, peace be upon you)

    What a fantastic few days it has been for the Orphan's Lullaby project.

    Na gode, (thanks in Hausa), Khosie Thom for sending through a splendid Xhosa translation of the lullaby. Khosie is currently doing a post graduate diploma in Journalism and Media Studies. She has a passion for the socio-economic and political status of South Africa and hopes to one day enrich the status of our country. She says, "I am earnest born-again Christian and I love helping people out. God bless you have a splendid day!"

    Na gode, a great thank you to all new volunteer translators for the languages of Hausa, Kikongo, Kituba, Swahili, Greek, Portuguese, Afrikaans and Polish: Bashir Nuhu Mabai, Myani Bukar, Bertrand, Joshua Madumalla, Anna Karafou, Dr Elisa Silviera, Minnie Desaivre, and Karina Brink.

    Finally, writing is still on the wall at the Orphan's Lullaby Facebook group!

    Over the weekend Orphan's Lullaby held an event calling for multilingual 'Declarations of Love for All and Africa'. Many people declared: I love you! I love Africa! -- in their home language.

    Mohamed El Mongy from Egypt sent a message:
    انا بحب افريقيا
    is 'I love Africa' in Masri (Egyptian Arabic) pronouced 'Ana baheb Afriquia'
    انا أحب افريقيا
    is 'I love Africa' in Arabic pronounced 'Ana Ohebou Afriquia'

    From Yi Fen Kao, in Taipei, Chinese:
    I love you 我愛你 wo ai ni

    I love Africa 我愛非洲 wo ai Feichou

    From Minnie Desaivre in South Africa, Afrikaans:
    Ek is lief vir jou!
    Ek is lief vir Afrika!

    From Anna Karafou, student at the Aristotle University of Thessalonki, Greek:
    I love you Σ' αγαπώ Se agapό
    I love Africa Αγαπώ την Αφρική Agapό tin Afrikί

    It's not too late to declare your love for All and Africa as a comment here or on the wall at Orphan's Lullaby – please feel free to add your declaration! (at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=16513468027)

    I love you! I love Africa!
    Sai an jima, goodbye (in Hausa)

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 25th, 2008 @16:57 #
     
    Top

    Ẹ Káàsán, good afternoon (In Yoruba!)

    Ẹ ßé, thank you! siSwati translation received from Happy Nkosi. She writes: “I'm Happy Nkosi, 26 years of age, currently working as a journalist for SABC NEWS in Mpumalanga.Have previously worked for Mpumalanga News weekly paper for two years, it is one of Caxton Newspapers. Mother of a nine year old boy, and I just think I was somehow made for the print media world. Sho!!!”

    Ẹ ßé, thank you! Afrikaans translation received from Minnie Desaivre, language practitioner and Capetonian. Minnie loves anything that remotely resembles a word, and the infinite possibilities contained therein.

    Ẹ Káàbọ, welcome, to Titilope Fakoya, who has volunteered to do the Yoruba translation. Once again this is via Ethiopian author, Dr Michael Ambatchew who has not only done the Amharic translation of the lullaby, but has facilitated a half-dozen other translations.

    The Orphan's Lullaby group is hosting an online 'Love Africa Carnival' -- it's a celebration of an amazing continent of 2000 languages (!) and everyone in the world is invited. Join the carnival at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=39779161392. If you have any trouble opening the page, email me and I'll send you an invitation.

    In Italian it's: Ti Amo. Amo L'Africa.

    Ọ dàbọ, goodbye (in Yoruba!)

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 27th, 2008 @09:18 #
     
    Top

    I LOVE AFRICA IN AMHARIC

    No ngoolu daa, hello(In Pulaar)

    A jaaraamah, thank you in Pulaar! Portuguese translation of Orphan's Lullaby received from Maria Elisa Knust Silviera who holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Southampton, School of Education, UK. She has recently retired from the Post-Graduation Department of the Instituto de Letras from Universidade Federal Fluminense, in Brazil and is currently teaching at the Foreign Language Project from the same university. Her main interests are in the areas of materials design, teacher education and ESP.

    A jaaraamah, thank you! Greek translation of the lullaby received from Anna Karafoulidou who is studying law at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. She is currently finishing her exchange year in Germany. She is fluent in English, German, and French and also has a basic knowledge of Italian, Dutch and Spanish.

    A jaaraamah, and welcome to Abd Hanne from Mali who has volunteered to do a Pulaar(Fulani) translation of the Orphan’s Lullaby

    Dr Michael Ambatchew in Ethiopia declares love for Africa in Amharic:
    I love Africa! Afrika Ewedishalehu!

    Mwape Mumbe in Zambia declares love for Africa in three languages of Zambia:
    I love Africa!
    Nalikutemwa Afrika (ichiBemba)
    Nikukonda Afrika (chiNyanja)
    Nakulata Afrika (isiLozi)

    Simone Karol in Israel declares love for All and Africa in Hebrew:
    אני אוהבת אותך
    אני אוהבת את אפריקה

    Exciting news regarding the ‘Love Africa Carnival’ – The prize for the best ‘Love Africa’ picture will be a trove of books by authors of Africa. Three authors of Africa have already pledged signed books as part of the prize for the best ‘Love Africa’ picture.

    A jaaraamah, thank you to authors Richard de Nooy, Karina & Andre Brink and Ben Trovato.

    All authors of Africa are welcomed to add a signed copy of their book to the ‘Love Africa’ prize.

    Regarding the Love Africa ‘pictures’ – your picture of an aspect of Africa that you love can be a picture in paint, photographs, or words… (so those of you who are better with words than brushes, please email or message me your vivid words and stand a chance to win wonderful books by authors of Africa!)

    I love you! I love Africa, continent of 2000 languages…
    Nalleen e jamm, goodbye (in Pulaar)

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 30th, 2008 @15:13 #
     
    Top

    Losáko, hello in Lingala!

    Sángo níni? (How are you?)

    Melesí, thank you! (in Lingala) A Hausa translation of Orphan’s Lullaby just received from Bashir Nuhu Mabai. He writes: “I am 40 Years old, from Kankara Local Government of Katsina State Nigeria. I hold a first degree in Education/ Hausa from Bayero University, Kano Nigeria. Master degree in Educational Planning, from Lagos State University 1997. I am currently working with Katsina State University as Principal Academic Planning Officer. I have worked as Journalist with Voice of Nigeria, Radio Tehran, Iran and also as lecturer in FCE Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. Lagos State College of Education and Azad Islamic University Tehran, Iran. I am a web designer, Community Leader, Youth Movement for Self Reliance Advocacy leader (YMSRA), and Youth Against Child labour (YACL). Katsina, Nigeria. I am happily married with a four children.”

    Melesí, thank you! Xhosa translation of the lullaby received from Xolisa Guzula. Xolisa works for PRAESA. Recently she has been involved with a PRAESA publication called ‘I am an African’. It is a collection of stories by refugees, aimed at high school students.

    Melesí, thank you! A Lingala translation received this afternoon from Jean Luc Mastaki Namegabe, PhD. Jean Luc is an Economic Affairs Officer for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa(Uneca) in Lusaka, Zambia. Many, many thanks to Dr Michael Ambatchew in Ethiopia for facilitating contact with Jean Luc.

    Melesí, thank you! Regarding a Twi translation – Jakalia Abdulai in Ghana has found a volunteer willing to do a Twi translation. Thank you to Jakalia and to Carol Bloch at PRAESA for facilitating this contact.

    Melesí, thank you and welcome Juliana and Maiora, colleagues of Dr Michael Ambatchew. Juliana and Maiora have volunteered to do a Malagasy translation of Orphan’s Lullaby. Thank you very much again Michael!

    Melesi, Melesi, to authors Lauren Buekes, Louis Greenberg, Sarah Britten, and Henrietta Rose-Innes for pledging books for the 'Love Africa Carnival' prize.

    A declaration of love for all and Africa came from Ivana Kovacevic in Croatia:
    Volim te.
    Volim Afriku.
    (I love you! I love Africa in Croatian)

    Kendéke malámu, goodbye (in Lingala)
    Alex

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    July 4th, 2008 @16:42 #
     
    Top

    Marhaba, Shokran jazeelan -- Gus (Ghassan E. Ghosn) who just sent through a lyrical Arabic translation of the lullaby. Gus lives in Lebanon and has translated over sixty-five books and reports for the United Nations, altogether totalling more than five million words.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    July 11th, 2008 @15:16 #
     
    Top

    Ndi a livhuwa, a great thank you to Mbavhalelo Elvis Nemukula for the Venda translation of ‘Orphan’s Lullaby’ just received. Mbavhalelo is the Sowetan's Senior Sub-editor; a former English literature teacher, Sub-editor of The Star; Sub-editor of The Mercury; Sub-editor at Mafube publishing; Sub-editor of City Press; and 2006 Clive Mennel Media Fellow at Duke University (USA).

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    July 16th, 2008 @10:08 #
     
    Top

    Dzień dobry, good morning (in Polish)

    Dziekuje , thank you Karina Szczurek for the Polish translation of Orphan’s Lullaby. Just in case anyone passing by Book SA doesn’t know, Karina is a writer and literary critic. Born in Poland, she grew up in Austria and the US. She now lives in Cape Town. Polish wasn’t on the original Orphan’s Lullaby list of fifty languages, but Karina volunteered and the Polish translation is heartily welcomed as this is, after all, a unity project. Karina said, ‘there are some small, but very strong Polish communities in Africa, also in South Africa.’

    I would like to find out more about the Polish communities in Africa, but haven’t had much time. I did discover two interesting links though.

    One about 500 Polish children sent to an orphanage in Oudtshoorn, South Africa, during WWII:
    http://feefhs.org/pl/orphan/orphant.html

    And the other about also about Polish deportees to Africa in World War II:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=JPdB1yeJeVcC&pg=PA138&lpg=PA138&dq=polish+Africa&source=web&ots=eEe85Iv6bh&sig=O-PUnkZlKQsf-ato-tWRYyJe_es&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result

    All translators face challenges. It has been fascinating hearing from the many translators of Orphan’s Lullaby, about their experience of translating this 21-line lullaby.

    Karina said about her translation:
    “Although I am quite certain that I came very close with the translation to the original, there are some difficulties: First of all I had to use the diminutive of orphan, because the ordinary word can have two meanings, the second is "clumsy fool".
    In Polish all nouns reflect genders in accompanying adjectives and verbs, so when one addresses the child the verb endings are different to when one refers to the child as the moon or the soul... Tough to negotiate.
    I managed to rhyme without having to bend the original too much which should be nice for the Little Ones.”

    Thank you again, Karina.
    For now, do widzenia, goodbye

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://karinamagdalenaszczurek.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Karina</a>
    Karina
    July 18th, 2008 @19:44 #
     
    Top

    Thanks, Alex, for these links.
    These are the two that I have discovered (partly available in English):
    http://www.polonia.co.za (for Polish people living in SA)
    http://www.afryka.org (about Africa for Polish people in Poland: the last time I looked, they were reporting on Henrietta's Caine Prize)

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    November 12th, 2008 @09:42 #
     
    Top

    Orphan's Lullaby is looking for a publisher.

    Since proceeds are to go to the SA AIDS Trust and Unicef's 'Unite for Children Unite Against Aids' campaign, it isn't really an option for a commercial publisher -- any suggestions or thoughts are very welcome.

    One option is to start off as an e-book, but I'm not sure...

    Almost all the translations are in now, some are on the way, but I'm still looking for translators for the following languages : Wolof, Gujarati, Ijaw, Kituba, Oshiwambo, Tsonga, Tswana, and Italian (actually I think I may have an Italian translator).

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    November 12th, 2008 @09:55 #
     
    Top

    Alex. Talk to Arthur Attwell -- once he's back from honeymoon, that is.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    November 12th, 2008 @10:12 #
     
    Top

    Yes, I have been talking to Arthur and the e-book option is very interesting

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.translatorsoncall.co.za" rel="nofollow">Translator</a>
    Translator
    February 25th, 2010 @15:46 #
     
    Top

    Sounds like a really worthwhile initiative - good luck to all involved.

    Bottom

Please register or log in to comment

» View comments as a forum thread and add tags in BOOK Chat