Eugène Hurel: Tales, Fables and Narratives of Rwanda [PDF]


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Transcribed in the scientific notation for Kinyarwanda and translated into English and German by Matthias Brack, Leo Sibomana and John Doldo IV
Verbal Art and Documentary Literature in African Languages Volume 45

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ISBN 978-3-89645-745-5 SKU: 745 Category: Tags: , , , , , , ,


415 pp.

Text languages: Kinyarwanda, English, German

In 1922 Eugène Hurel (1878-1936) published a collection of Rwandan folktales and proverbs with French translation. Now, about hun­dred years later, the editors present a new trilingual edition of his book. They have transcribed Hurel’s old-fashioned Rwandan texts into modern scientific Kinya­rwanda which marks the lengths and heights of vowel tones, and translated all 40 folktales into Eng­lish and German. The proverbs have been omitted here, be­cau­se there already exists an abundant litera­ture in many lan­gua­ges – both in book form and in the in­ter­net – of Rwandan pro­verbs. They also abstained from reproducing Hurel’s original French trans­lation of the tales, which was of a rudimentary word-to-word char­ac­ter. They have left out Hurel’s own intro­duc­tion which re­flects the racist attitude that was quite com­mon not only to co­lo­ni­alists but, unfortunately, also to missio­naries about hund­red years ago; that attitude should not be publicized any more today.

Undoubtedly, the folk tales contained herein belong amongst the most valuable trea­sures of the Rwandan culture, which defi­nitely should be preserved for posterity. With this tri­lingual edition of Hurel’s book, Rwandan folktales shall made avai­lable to a wider, not only Fran­co­phone audience.

The Kinyarwanda and English versions of the tales are pre­sented in a two-paged layout (left pages: Kinyarwanda, right pages: English), arran­ged into small numbered paragraphs appearing at the same height on both sides. In the second part of the book, the Ger­man trans­lations of the tales follow in single-paged layout, using the same numbering of paragraphs to enable the reader to look up the Rwandan source of the text.

Many foot­notes give not only lin­guistic, but also cultural, ethnographical and historical infor­ma­tion and explain the meanings of most Rwandan names. In this form, the editors hope that the present book will serve not only students of the lang­uage Kinyarwanda in the Western world, but also those Rwan­dans who are inte­rested in the classical lite­rature of their own country.

Under these links you will find another text edition of 20 Ruandan folktales, together with a German translation. Furthermore, a large dictionary Kinyarwanda-German was published, as well as descriptions of further Great Lakes Bantu languages (Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania):

Leo Sibomana / Matthias Brack: Legenden, Märchen und Fabeln aus Ruanda [PDF]
Matthias Brack / Marie-Goretti Musoni: Wörterbuch Kinyarwanda–Deutsch – mit Einführung in Sprache und Grammatik [PDF]

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