Monday, August 8, 2011

In Translation: Am I reading what you meant?

As publishers engaged in bringing out books that have been translated into several Indian languages, we are forever searching for ways to improve the process. Translation is a difficult, tedious, and challenging activity since it involves getting the original author's meaning, nuances, flavour, essence and readability into the new version. Each language has its own special charm...and its little-known idiosyncrasies. Mini Krishnan, who edits literary translations for OUP-India, says in her article 'Mind it! Between languages', in the Literary Review supplement of The Hindu,

"Korean writer Ha-yun Yung shares how difficult her language sociology was, since Koreans would never say, “I would like to have an apple.” But rather, “It would be nice to have an apple.” “I” in Korean hardly exists, or is carefully controlled.....

Our translators are carriers of a large part of the civilisational code of humankind: the ability to absorb and analyse and then to creatively express to one possibly hostile group, the world-in-the-book of another."

You may read the entire article here.

Good day, readers! (We would never sign off a conversation in Hindi with a 'Achchaa din!' would we?)

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