• Laurence Jay-Rayon Ibrahim Aibo
  • Certified Translator and Interpreter, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Abstract Title: "The Politics of Translating Sound Motifs in African Fiction"

Bio: Laurence Jay-Rayon Ibrahim Aibo holds an M.A. in Translation and a Ph.D. in Translation Studies from Université de Montréal and currently teaches translation and interpreting online at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She sits on the scientific committee of Tafsiri, Panafrican Journal of Translation and Interpretation, is a reviewer for international translation studies journals, and the Director of the Colony in Crisis in Haitian Creole Translation Project funded by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. She has numerous publications on translating African literature and translation pedagogy and her first book, The Politics of Translating Sound Motifs in African Fiction, is forthcoming with John Benjamins in March 2020. She has been translating, teaching, and interpreting in the Americas, Europe, and Africa for the past 30 years and now runs her own company, Into French Translations. She is a healthcare interpreter certified by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters and an OTTIAQ-certified translator in the province of Québec. 

AbstractThe Politics of Translating Sound Motifs in African Fiction is a research monograph that starts with the premise that aesthetic choices reveal the ideological stances of translators. She examines works of fiction by postcolonial African authors writing in English or French, the genesis and reception of their works, and the translation of each one into French or English. Texts include those by Nuruddin Farah from Somalia, Abdourahman Ali Waberi from Djibouti, Jean-Marie Adiaffi from Côte d’Ivoire, Ayi Kwei Armah from Ghana, Chenjerai Hove from Zimbabwe, and Assia Djebar from Algeria, and their translations by Jacqueline Bardolph, Jeanne Garane, Brigitte Katiyo, Jean-Pierre Richard, Josette and Robert Mane, and Dorothy Blair. Jay‑Rayon Ibrahim Aibo highlights the aural poetics of these works, explores the sound motifs underlying their literary power, and shows how each is articulated with the writer’s literary heritage. She then embarks on a close examination of each translator’s background, followed by a rich analysis of their treatments of sound. The translators’ strategies for addressing sound motifs are contextualized in the larger framework of postcolonial literatures and changing reading materialities.

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