The ambassador of Poland to Nigeria, Joanna Tarnawska has said translation literature combines the local character of the translator with the universal character of a publication to enhance audience’s understanding of intended message.
Amb Tarnawska spoke at the Polish Embassy’s supported stage adaptation of polish playwright Mzorek Slawomir’s Out At Sea by the Arojah Royal Theatre (ART) in Abuja.
An absurdist play, Out At Sea is author, cartoonist and political journalist Slawomir’s satirical take on how the self-acclaimed civilized beings can turn savage in maters of survival, and the preposterousness of mankind. It is the showdown between three men Thin, Medium, Fat lost at sea, and suddenly the question boils down to who and not what to eat.
Highlighting the above universal themes, the ART production lends local undertones to its adaptation of the absurdist play to address political shenanigans and manipulations, skewed democracy and corruption in the Nigerian society.
Drawing laughs and spontaneous comments from the diverse audience of expatriates and Nigerians, Tarnawska, said the theatric group managed to combine “the Nigerian character with the universal character of the play and made it comprehensible for everybody,” highlighting the essential things.
In translation literature, Tarnawska said it a question of two things “whether you adapt to local conditions or leave parts of the initial work; and it is best that you combine the two, because whenever you write you have to remember the target, the people that you are writing or translating for, so that the message reach them, and they can benefit from whatever it is being experienced on stage or within the book. The actors were phenomenal and I believe it had the kind of effect everybody expected,” she said.
Tarnawska who has an academic and professional background in African literature, sustainable development and environmental protection said they have prepared her to deal with the numerous challenges she has encountered since her resumption of office, and deploy them to improving bilateral relations between both Nigeria and Poland.
“Certainly knowing what renewable energy is and how important environmental protection is to our world, I can look to new avenues of cooperation between our countries in these perspectives.”
Ambassador who got her early formal education, both primary and secondary in Africa (Zambia), considers herself a testament to the past quality and potential of African education said education in Africa must be positioned to guide its people in the right direction.
“When I went to an African school and African teachers taught me that made me look at Africa from a very different perspective than most Europeans would. The kind of values the teachers instilled in me are still part of what I am today, and I value this greatly.
“I also attest to the fact that African education is very good. I am proof that you can be educated here and do so well when you got to Europe. That is a message I would like to leave for all African students,” concluded the ambassador.