Winners 2012

Winners of the 2012 SATI Prizes for Outstanding Translation and Dictionaries announced


As part of its celebrations for International Translation Day on Saturday 29 September 2012, the South African Translators’ Institute awarded its 2012 Prizes for Outstanding Translation and Dictionaries, which recognise excellence in published translations and dictionaries in South Africa’s official languages.


The prizes were initiated in the year 2000 in an effort to encourage the publication of translations of original works in the indigenous languages of the country. Associated objectives are to improve the quality of such translations, to promote multilingualism and in particular the use and development of the indigenous languages, to promote cross-cultural understanding and to raise awareness of the role of translators in uniting the people of South Africa. The competition is held every three years and the winners announced around International Translation Day (30 September).


A total of 25 entries were received for this year’s competition, which is divided into five categories – literary translation (three entries), translation of non-fiction work (one entry), translation of children’s literature (11 entries), service translation (one entry) and dictionaries (eight entries). This year prizes have been awarded in three categories, with the winners each receiving R10 000.


The 2012 winners are:

  • SATI Prize for Outstanding Literary Translation: Linda Rode for Bitter Heuning, the translation into Afrikaans of Hermione Suttner’s novel Bitter Honey [Publisher: Kwela]
  • SATI Prize for Outstanding Non-Fiction Translation: No award
  • SATI Prize for Outstanding Translation of Children’s Literature: Elsa Silke for In the Never-Ever Wood, the English translation of Linda Rode’s In die Nimmer-Immer-Bos [Publisher: Tafelberg]
  • SATI Prize for Outstanding Service Translation: No award
  • SATI Prize for Outstanding Translation Dictionaries: The editorial team for the Oxford Bilingual School Dictionary: isiZulu and English (Editor-in-Chief: Gilles-Maurice de Schryver; Chief compiler: Nomusa Sibiya; Linguist: Arnett Wilkes; Publishing manager: Megan Hall; Project manager and senior editor: Fred Pheiffer)


Having only a single entry in two of the categories was a challenge to the judges, and though no awards were made in these instances the works in question were far from being without merit. The service translation – a translation by Johan Zerwick into Tswana of a highly technical journal article involving IT and mathematics – represents ground-breaking work and deserves special mention: Tiragatso Ya Itlhagiso Ya Setlhare Se Se Okeditsweng Ka Kgetsi Mo Bothateng Jwa Popo Ya Metato Ya Dipeipi Tsa Oli, by LT Baitshenyetsi, JM Hattingh and HA Kruger (Applying an extended tree knapsack approach to an oil pipeline design problem). In the view of the judges, the entry in the non-fiction category was hampered by an awkward source text. In both cases, the respective panels of judges felt the work did not quite earn the epithet ‘outstanding’ and so an award was not made.


Judging entries for prizes such as these is no easy task and the Institute is indebted to the experts who volunteered their time and knowledge in assessing the entries. They are:

  • Literary translation: Prof. Alet Kruger (convenor), Prof. Annette Combrink, Prof. Leon de Kock
  • Non-fiction translation: Mrs Ilze Brüggemann (convenor), Ms Gretha Aalbers, Prof. Annette Combrink
  • Translation of children’s literature: Prof. Thomas van der Walt (convenor), Prof. Franci Greyling, Mr François Bloemhof
  • Service translation: Mr Manzo Khulu (convenor), Mr Simon Kemisho, Mr Peter Mekgwe, Ms Magadi Mohasoa
  • Dictionaries: Dr Mariëtta Alberts (convenor), Prof. Piet Swanepoel, Mr Manzo Khulu


The Institute also salutes South Africa’s publishers, which are publishing more and more translations in an effort to make books available to readers in their language of choice. In addition to helping develop the indigenous languages and improve educational standards, this promotes cultural exchange and assists in nation-building.




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