Friday, January 4, 2013

Translating Tagore's Work to Urdu

Rabindranath Tagore
Via Deccan Herald (via @IndLit)

Jamia Millia Islamia has taken up the task of translating works of Rabindranath Tagore to Urdu. The department of Urdu has taken up the responsibility of translating 10 books comprising Tagore’s important writings. Prof Khalid Mahmood, Head of the department, said, “It has been decided in the research committee meeting of Tagore Research and Translation Scheme to translate Tagore’s selected poems, fiction, essays, articles, plays, important letters, interviews and travelogues. We have been granted Rs 96 lakh by the Ministry of Culture, for this two-year project.” 

The first step that Jamia took was to arrange a workshop in this connection. It was held to translate Tagore’s fiction work, poems, including ‘Gitanjali’ and ‘The Gardener’ and important essays and articles. Also meetings of the Advisory Committee are also taking place for doing authentic translations.

Talking about retaining the essence of Gurudev’s work, Khalid accepts it as the biggest challenge. “I would say that it is impossible to retain the essence of Tagore’s work from his native language, Bengali. We wanted the Urdu reading people also to know about his writings. The native language is always the soul of one’s work. But, their are various novels in the market that are translated. This is why we are able to read novels originally written in foreign languages. It was also important for us take up this challenge for Urdu reading people who are followers of Rabindranath Tagore.”

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