Friday, June 5, 2015

Ninaombwa Tafsiri ya Kitabu Changu

Mara kadhaa, wa-Marekani wameniuliza iwapo kitabu changu Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences kimetafsiriwa kwa ki-Swahili au wameniomba nikitafsiri. Hao ni watu ambao wameishi au wanaishi Afrika Mashariki, hasa kwa shughuli za kujitolea.

Tangu nilipoanza kupata maulizo au maombi hayo, nimekuwa na wazo la kukitafsiri kitabu hiki. Mwanzoni kabisa, kwa kuzingatia uwingi wa wa-Somali walioingia na wanaendelea kuingia hapa Minnesota, ambao nimekuwa nikiwasaidia katika kuufahamu utamaduni wa Marekani, niliwazia kumwomba mmoja wa marafiki zangu wa ki-Somali atafsiri kitabu hiki kwa ki-Somali. Ninao marafiki kadhaa wa ki-Somali ambao, sawa na wa-Afrika wengine, wamekisoma na wanakipenda kitabu hiki. Lakini bado sijalitekeleza wazo hilo.

Jana nimepata ujumbe wa aina hiyo kutoka kwa mama mmoja m-Marekani, ambaye simfahamu. Ninanukuu sehemu ya ujumbe wake, na nimeweka nukta nne mahali ambapo kuna maneno ambayo sijayanukuu:

....I hope one day that you will translate your wonderful book. It is such a wealth of knowledge for me, and I know my Tanzanian friends would feel the same. Of course most good people would never mean to hurt or offend a new acquaintance, but sometimes when we are lucky enough to make a friend from a different country, we can use a little guidance on how to be respectful of each others cultural differences. Your book has given me that gift, and so I thank you for that!....Last year I went to Africa for the wildlife, but I found it was the Tanzanian people who stole my heart. This year I will return and visit Eli's village and meet his family. I am so excited about my visit. That is why it is so important to me to do my best to not be the classic "UGLY AMERICAN". Thank you again for your response. I hope you will consider writing the Kiswahili version of your book in the future. I know there would be many people who would find it both helpful and fascinating, as I did....

Natafsiri ujumbe huu ifuatavyo:

....Natumaini siku moja utakitafsiri kitabu chako murua. Ni hazina kubwa ya maarifa kwangu, na ninajua kuwa marafiki zangu wa-Tanzania watakiri hivyo. Ni wazi kuwa watu wengi wenye roho nzuri hawanuii kumuumiza au kumkosea mtu pindi wanapofahamiana, lakini mara nyingine tunapobahatika kumpata rafiki kutoka nchi nyingine tunaweza kunufaika na mwongozo wa namna ya kuheshimiana kutokana na tofauti za tamaduni zetu. Kitabu chako kimekuwa tunu ya aina hiyo, na nakushuru kwa hilo....Mwaka jana nilikwenda Afrika kuwaona wanyama mbugani, lakini waliouteka moyo wangu ni wa-Tanzania. Mwaka huu nitaenda tena kijijini kwa Eli na kukutana na familia yake. Ninafurahi sana ninavyoingojea safari hiyo. Ndio maana ni muhimu sana kwangu kujitahidi kwa namna yoyote kutokuwa yule anayefahamika kama "M-MAREKANI WA OVYO." Narudia kukushukuru kwa jawabu lako. Ninatumaini utalichukulia maanani suala la kuandika toleo la ki-Swahili la kitabu chako siku zijazo. Ninajua kitabu hiki kitawasaidia na kuwasisimua wengi kama ilivyokuwa kwangu....

Kwa wale ambao hawafahamu, hii dhana ya "Ugly American" imejengeka sana katika mawazo ya wa-Marekani wanaoamini kuwa tabia ya wa-Marekani wanapokuwa nje za kigeni si nzuri. Dhana hiyo ilishamiri baada ya kuchapishwa kwa kitabu cha Eugene Burdick na William J. Lederer kiitwacho The Ugly American.

Sina la nyongeza la kusema kwa leo, bali kujiuliza: mimi ni nani niyapuuze maombi ya watu? Ninapaswa kuchukua hatua stahiki, nikizingatia ule usemi maarufu wa ki-Latini: "Vox Dei vox populi," yaani sauti ya umma ni sauti ya Mungu.

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