Research Article

Linguistic Challenges in Translating Song of Lawino From English To Kiswahili


  • Beatrice. A. Okere M.A Student Egerton University, Njoro, Kenya
  • J.O. Onyango Professor of Linguistic Studies, Laikipia University, Kenya
  • Furaha Chai Professor of Linguistic Studies, Pwani University, Kenya


Poetry texts are amongst many texts that are said to be difficult to translate. Literary works are the most challenging to translate. This is because each poet has a different way of using words or figures of speech. It is difficult to conform to these specific words, thoughts or emotions of the poet. Moreover, each language has its own syntactic structure, sounds, metaphorical expressions and poetic structure different from another. There are words that have no literal translation to another language. This is the reason as to why many people feel that poetry texts are the most difficult to translate.  It is due to this that this paper aimed at looking at the deviations in poems. This paper analysed linguistic challenges in translating poetry .The objective of this paper was to find out the reasons behind the linguistic challenges when translating poetry in the above named book from the source text in English (Song of Lawino)   to the target text in Kiswahili (Wimbo wa Lawino). The theory used was the theory of stylistics by leech (1969). This article looked at the extent at which deviations affect translation.

Article information


International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

Volume (Issue)

1 (4)





How to Cite

Okere, B. A. ., J.O. Onyango, & Chai, F. . (2018). Linguistic Challenges in Translating Song of Lawino From English To Kiswahili. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 1(4), 57–62. Retrieved from



Translation challenges, linguistic challenges, linguistic deviations, foregrounding, poetry translation, Kiswahili, grammatical deviation, graphological deviation