F.P. van der Merwe

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F.P. van der Merwe (1918-1956) was a journalist, translator and writer.

Also known as Fritz van der Merwe.


He studied languages and obtained a doctorate in Afrikaans with a thesis on the art of translation, published in 1958 as Die Vertaling as Kuns ("The translation as Art") in 1958. After a stint as journalist, he became the first head translator and language advisor to the SABC. He was married to Marie van der Merwe, who was also a journalist and translator of radio dramas.

His contribution to the performing arts in South Africa

He translated many literary works from out of the original English, French, German and Italian into Afrikaans, including numerous plays and operas, and more than a thousand songs. Most of this work was broadcast by the SABC. He also wrote poetry, novellas, stories and critical articles for journals and newspapers.

Among the plays he translated have been Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (as Die Adellike Burger, published as a performance text by DALRO); The Duke in Darkness (as Die Hertog in die Duisternis); Le Peintre Exigeant (as Die Veeleisende Skilder), [[]] (as Die Moedige Operasie); Les Précieuses Ridicules (adapted for radio as Die Aanstellerige Dames), The Hunted (part two of Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra), and Daar was 'n Skippie (a one-act play).



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