Tales, Fables and Narratives of Rwanda

Tales, Fables and Narratives of Rwanda

Tales, Fables and Narratives of Rwanda

ISBN 978-3-89645-745-5

Tales, Fables and Narratives of Rwanda

transcribed in the scientific notation for Kinyarwanda and translated into English and German

Author: Eugène Hurel †. Transcribed by: Matthias Brack, Leo Sibomana, John Doldo IV. Translated by: Matthias Brack, Leo Sibomana, John Doldo IV. Edited by: Matthias Brack, Leo Sibomana, John Doldo IV. With a preface by: Matthias Brack, Leo Sibomana, John Doldo IV. Series edited by: Wilhelm J.G. Möhlig †.

Series: WK Verbal Art and Documentary Literature in African Languages Volume 45

415 pp.
Text language(s): Kinyarwanda, English, German
Format: 160 x 240 mm
810 g
€ 49.80

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In 1922 Eugène Hurel (1878–1936) published a collection of Rwandan folktales and proverbs with French translations. Now, about hun­dred years later, we present a new trilingual edition of his book. We 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. We have omitted the proverbs be­cau­se there already exists an abundant litera­ture in many lan­gua­ges – both in book form and in the in­ter­net – of Rwandan pro­verbs. We also abstained from reproducing Hurel’s original French trans­lation of the tales, which was of a rudimentary word-to-word char­ac­ter. We 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; we feel that it 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, we want to make them avai­lable to a wider, not only Fran­co­phile 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, we 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 PDF documents you will find a preview of the book.

Under this link you will find the review by Sigrid Schmidt.

In another text edition 20 Ruandan folktales have been published, together with a German translation. Furthermore, a large dictionary Kinyarwanda-German has appeared in our programme, as well as similar editions of African oral literature, see the links below:

Accompanying material:


PDF documents:

PDFPreview of the book(≈ 3 MB)
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