Volume 67, Issue 6
  • ISSN 0521-9744
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9668
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Although underexplored in Africa, the translation of official documents presents a revelatory context for examining translation practice and theory. Through a sociolinguistic and pragmatic lens, this study explores how translating official documents by focusing on linguistic equivalences without taking into account national institutional systems can be misleading. The argument is made that sociolinguistic variables and Grice’s pragmatic maxims are essential in enhancing translation effectiveness. A sample of 151 pairs of source and target documents dating from 2011–2017 was purposively selected. This corpus from nineteen Francophone countries covers three broad categories: Education, Legal, and General Administrative Correspondence. Nineteen translators and fourteen end-users were also interviewed regarding the translation effectiveness of corpus examples. Data is analyzed using sociolinguistic and pragmatic criteria. Finally, the analysis is positioned within the broader scholarship on translation studies to demonstrate how this approach expands our knowledge regarding effective translation.


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