Thursday, October 12, 2017

Pratham Books is Hiring : Graphic Designer (Digital)

Pratham Books is looking for a Graphic Designer to join our digital team. This is a full-time position based in Bangalore. 

Pratham Books is a not-for-profit children's book publisher that was set up in 2004 to publish good quality, affordable books in many Indian languages. Our mission is to see ‘a book in every child’s hand’ and we have spread the joy of reading to millions of children in India.

In 13 years, we have published over 3,000 books and distributed over 14 million copies of our storybooks and 16 million story cards. In 2015, Pratham Books' increased its footprint by going digital. As an industry leader, we were one of the first publishers in the country to open license our content. All this content is now available on StoryWeaver, our digital platform that hosts stories in 60 languages. The stories can be read, translated, versioned or downloaded for free.
Illustration by Vinayak Varma
The candidate will be responsible for:
  • Designing picture books for print.
  • Adapting original design files (in print), and converting it into sizes and designs that are suitable for StoryWeaver - Pratham Books’ digital story platform.
  • Working closely with our Content Team to create and adapt content for digital and print mediums.
  • Working closely with the production team for the first print run of the books.
Required skills:
  • Expertise in InDesign Creative Suite, Photoshop, Illustrator, CorelDraw
  • Basic graphic design skills and an interest in book layouts
  • Basic understanding of the printing process (digital and offset)
  • Minimum one to three years of relevant experience
  • Ability to work quickly and accurately on design files
  • Be a team player, quick learner
  • Good communication skills

Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Please send your resume to storyweaver@prathambooks.org with ‘Graphic Designer - Digital' in the subject line of the email.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Apply For The Early Readers Library Grant

“I don't believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.”
― J.K. Rowling

At Pratham Books, we believe in the magic of books and are presenting organizations with an opportunity to receive not one book...but a library of books! Why libraries? Because according to the ASER Survey 2014 - "School enrolments are at an all-time high of 96.7%, but 52% of children in Standard 5 in government schools cannot read Standard. 2 level text". As a child starts facing difficulties of reading, she starts slipping behind in her grades. Thus, providing joyful reading material for first generation learners in a language of their choice is what we are trying to do.


If you are an organization that works with children we invite you to apply for an Early Readers’ Library Grant*. 

100 classroom libraries will be donated to organizations/schools working with children from low-income communities

Each classroom library comes in a modular storage unit and contains 100+ books in Hindi, English, Kannada, Tamil, or Marathi.

For details and eligibility requirements, click below.

Guidelines : Early Readers Library Grant 2017

  • If you are applying for this grant, please ensure you have read through and understood the Guidelines mentioned below. Organisations who fulfill the criteria will only be eligible for the grant.
  • The Applicant should be a Non Profit Organization registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1860 or Section 25 of Companies Act of 1956 or any other legal entity under regulations of Government of India OR a Government or Low budget Private School.
  • The Applicant should be working with children from low income communities.
  • The Applicant should have a functioning reading program/ active library for children with fixed reading hours outside curriculum. This reading program must give children access and opportunities to read book, which are not a part of the set curriculum and are read for the pleasure of reading. 
  • The Applicant should be working with children from Grades 1 to 6.
  • The reading program that the Applicant runs should impact at least 50-100 children of the community.
Last day of application: 11th November, 2017

Points to be noted
  • A duly filled form is imperative for us to consider your application, so please don’t miss any columns while filling in your application.
  • Only applications received via THIS Google Form link will be considered. Applications sent via email or post will not be eligible for the grant.
  • Decision of Pratham Books will be final while selecting the final list of beneficiaries for the grant. 
  • Pratham Books is not obliged to disclose the cause of acceptance or rejection of any application.
As the applications start pouring in, we promise to read and consider every application we receive. We are also looking for new partners in this journey, so organisations who have not yet benefited from any grant from Pratham Books before will get first preference. 

Please write to us at bookgrants@prathambooks.org if you have any further questions or comments.


*This grant has been supported by the P.A.N.I. Foundation.

Friday, October 6, 2017

#DaanUtsav : 6 Library Campaigns You Can Donate To

Daan Utsav is India’s festival of giving that brings people from various sectors together, to celebrate and spread the joy of sharing. Held annually in the first week of October (2nd-8th), the festival has empowered millions of Indians to give back to society. 

Through DaanUtsav people can choose how they want to give back to society - through time, material, money or love. If you believe in the work we do and want to support it, please consider making a donation towards any of these library campaigns that are currently running on our Donate-a-Book platform. 

A donation as small as Rs.250 can make a big difference to a school that has no/less access to books!


  • Support the campaign that seeks to set up ten libraries in schools and learning centres in rural Tamil Nadu.
  • Add more books to Sanjeevani Hospital Foundation's library in Maharashtra.

Missed Call Do, Kahaani Suno is Back!

This Daan Utsav, we are opening up the lines to our Missed Call Do, Kahaani Suno project. Last year, we successfully ran this public campaign for two days. This time around, the campaign is on for ten days!


From 6th-16th October, 2017 use your phone as a storyteller for your little one! That's right, free audio stories to delight your tiny tot! Bring alive Bheema, Sringeri Srinivas, Veeru and many other delightful characters and stories from Pratham Books. The stories are available in Hindi and English.

So don't wait, grab your phone, aur ek missed call do on 080-33094244

3 easy steps to listen to a story for FREE
Step 1: Give a missed call to  080-33094244 
Step 2: We'll call you back and you can listen to stories in English and Hindi
Step 3: To listen to more stories, simply give a missed call again. 

Additionally, you will also receive a link to the story through an SMS and you can then read the story too.

Also, help us spread the word so that more kids get to hear a story today! Example : write down the number and share it with someone whose child may not have access to stories OR download the image above and share it through Whatsapp OR send an SMS with the number to someone you know.

We would like to thank Vodafone Foundation for powering this project, Radio Mirchi's CSR initiative -Mirchi Cares that helped bring these stories alive and Ozonetel for helping us deliver these audio stories to you.

Give a missed call on 080-33094244 and get a story in return!

P.S - As there are a limited number of calls, call the number when your child is next to you. That way, more kids get to hear stories.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

ಅನುವಾದ ಭಾವಾನುವಾದರೆ ಸಾರ್ಥಕ

30th September is celebrated as International Translation Day. It was launched as an idea to show solidarity of the worldwide translation community in an effort to promote the translation profession in different countries. This is an opportunity to display pride in a profession that is becoming increasingly essential in the era of progressing globalisation. Pratham Books' language editors and translators are celebrating this day through a series of blog posts.

Picture1.png(This post was written by Hema D Khursapur. A travel freak who enjoys playing with words, Hema D Khursapur interests are movies, spirituality, Kannada, Hindi and Persian languages. She is a contemporary writer whose words were always a magic for language lovers. In this article, she talks about what it means to imagine a story and delivering it.) 


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ಅನುವಾದ ಭಾವಾನುವಾದರೆ ಸಾರ್ಥಕ
ಬರಹ: ಹೇಮಾ ಡಿ.ಖುರ್ಸಾಪುರ

ನರಭಕ್ಷಕ ಚಿರತೆ, ಹುಲಿ ಬೇಟೆ, ಶಿಕಾರಿ ಕುರಿತಾಗಿ ಕೆನೆತ್ ಆಂಡರ್‌ಸನ್ ಅವರು ಇಂಗ್ಲಿಷ್‌ನಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆದ ಕತೆಗಳನ್ನು ಕೆ.ಪಿ.ಪೂರ್ಣಚಂದ್ರ ತೇಜಸ್ವಿ ಅವರು ‘ಕಾಡಿನ ಕತೆಗಳು’ ಎಂದು ಭಾವಾನುವಾದ ಮಾಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಅದು ಅನುವಾದವಾಗದೆ ಭಾವಾನುವಾದ ಆದದ್ದು ಹೇಗೆ ಎಂದು ಪುಸ್ತಕದ ಮುನ್ನುಡಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹೀಗೆ ಬರೆಯುತ್ತಾರೆ.‘‘ ನಾನು ಹುಟ್ಟುವ ವೇಳೆಗಾಗಲೇ ಈ ಶಿಕಾರಿ ಯುಗದ ಕೊಟ್ಟ ಕೊನೆಯ ತುದಿ ಬಂದಿತ್ತು. ಆದರೂ ಈ ಕತೆಗಳನ್ನು ಅನುಭವಿಸಿ ಆಸ್ವಾದಿಸುವ ಮಟ್ಟಿಗಾದರೂ ನನಗೆ ಕಾಡಿನ ಅನುಭವಗಳ ಪರಿಚಯವಾಯ್ತು. ಕೆನೆತ್ ಆಂಡರ್‌ಸನ್ನರ ಕತೆಗಳ ಹಿನ್ನೆಲೆ ಪರಿಸರ, ಪಾತ್ರಗಳು ಎಲ್ಲ ನನಗೆ ನನ್ನ ಅನುಭವವೇ ಎನ್ನುವಷ್ಟು ಚಿರಪರಿಚಯ. ಚೋರ್ಡಿ. ಬೆಳ್ಳಂದೂರ, ಪಿಕಾರಿಪುರ, ಶೆಟ್ಟಿಹಳ್ಳಿ ನಾವು ಓಡಾಡಿದ, ಆ ಕಾಡುಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಲಾಟರಿ ಹೊಡೆದ ಜಾಗಗಳು. ನಾವು ಕಾಡು ತಿರುಗಲಾರಂಭಿಸಿದಾಗ ನರಭಕ್ಷಕಗಳ ಯುಗ ಮುಗಿದಿತ್ತೆನ್ನುವುದೊಂದನ್ನು ಬಿಟ್ಟರೆ ಮಿಕ್ಕಿದ್ದೆಲ್ಲ ನಾನೇ ಆಂಡರ್‌ಸನ್ನರ ಜೊತೆ ಇದ್ದೆನೇನೋ ಎನ್ನುವಷ್ಟು ನನಗೆ ಗೊತ್ತು.

ತರ್ಜುಮೆ ಮಾಡ ಹೋದಾಗ ಇದರಿಂದ ನನಗಾದ ತೊಂದರೆ ಎಂದರೆ ಆಂಡರ್‌ಸನ್ನರ ಹೆಸರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ನನ್ನ ಅನುಭವಗಳು, ವಿವರಗಳು ಸೇರತೊಡಗಿದವು. ಹೀಗಾದ್ದರಿಂದಲೇ ಈ ತರ್ಜುಮೆಗಳನ್ನು ಭಾವಾನುವಾದ ಎಂದ ಕರೆಯಬೇಕಾದ ಅನಿವಾರ್ಯತೆ ಉಂಟಾಯ್ತು. ಈ ಕಥೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಆಂಡರ್‌ಸನ್ನರ ಮೂಲಕಥೆಗಳ ಅಂತಃಸ್ಸತ್ವಕ್ಕೆ ತಿಲಮಾತ್ರವೂ ಚ್ಯುತಿ ಬರದಹಾಗೆ ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರತಿನಿಧಿಸಿದ್ದೇನೆನ್ನುವುದೊಂದೇ ನನಗೆ ಸಮಾಧಾನದ ವಿಷಯ. ಮಕ್ಕೀಕಾಮಕ್ಕಿ ತರ್ಜುಮೆಗಿಂತ ಈ ರೀತಿ ಆಂಡರ್‌ಸನ್ನ ರನ್ನು ಪ್ರತಿನಿಧಿಸುವುದೇ ಆಂಡರ್‌ಸನ್ನರಿಗೆ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ನ್ಯಾಯ ದೊರಕಿಸಿದಂತೆ ಎಂದು ನಾನು ತಿಳಿದಿದ್ದೇನೆ,’’ ಎಂದು.

ಮೇಲಿನ ಸಾಲುಗಳನ್ನು ಓದುವಾಗ ಅನುವಾದ ಮೂಲ ಕೃತಿ ರಚನೆಗಿಂತ ಸೃಜನಶೀಲವಾದದ್ದು ಎಂದು ಅರ್ಥವಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಇದು ನನಗೆ ಅರ್ಥವಾಗಿದ್ದು, ದಿನಪತ್ರಿಕೆಯೊಂದರ ಸಾಪ್ತಾಹಿಕಕ್ಕೆ ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗಾಗಿ ಪುಟವೊಂದನ್ನು ನಿರ್ವಹಿಸುತ್ತಿದಾಗ. ಮೊಸಳೆ ಕುರಿತಾದ ಅನುವಾದ ಭಾವಾನುವಾದದ್ದು ಅದರಲ್ಲಿ ಬಾಲ್ಯದ ನನ್ನ ಅನುಭವವೂ ಸೇರಿದ್ದರಿಂದ. 'Why crocodiles are best parents in the world' ಭಾಗವನ್ನು ಅನುವಾದಿಸುವಾಗ ಚಿಕ್ಕಂದಿನಲ್ಲಿ ನದಿ ತೀರದಲ್ಲಿ ಅಸಹ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಬಾಯಿ ತೆರೆದು ಬಿದ್ದಿರುತ್ತಿದ್ದ ಮೊಸಳೆಗಳನ್ನು ದಿನವೂ ನೋಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದ ನನಗೆ ಅವುಗಳ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಅಷ್ಟೇನೂ ಅಪ್ತತೆ ಇರಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಆದರೆ ಅವು ತಮ್ಮ ಮರಿಗಳಿಗೆ ಸ್ನಾನ ಮಾಡಿಸುವುದನ್ನು ನೋಡಿದಾಗ ಆವತ್ತಿಗೆ ನನ್ನಲ್ಲಿ ಮೂಡಿದ ಭಾವನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಅಕ್ಷರಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಹಿಡಿದಿಡುವುದು ಸಾಧ್ಯವಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಆ ಘಟನೆಯ ನಂತರ ಇಪ್ಪತ್ತು ವರ್ಷಗಳ ನಂತರ ನಾನು, ‘‘ಮೊಸಳೆಗಳು ಜಗತ್ತಿನ ಶ್ರೇಷ್ಠ ಅಪ್ಪ-ಅಮ್ಮ’’ ಬರಹದಲ್ಲಿ ಅವನ್ನು ಬರೆದಿದ್ದು ಹೀಗೆ. "ಮಕ್ಕಳು ದೊಡ್ಡ ತಪ್ಪು ಮಾಡಿ ಹ್ಯಾಪು ಮೋರೆ ಹಾಕಿಕೊಂಡು, ಕಣ್ಣೀರು ಸುರಿಸುತ್ತಾ ಅಪ್ಪ-ಅಮ್ಮ ನಮ್ಮನ್ನು ಹೊಡೆಯದಿದ್ದರೆ ಸಾಕು ಎಂದು ಗದರುವು ಮುನ್ನವೇ ಗೋಳೋ ಎನ್ನುತ್ತಿದ್ದರೆ, ಪ್ರತಿ ತಂದೆ-ತಾಯಿ ಜೀವಮಾನದಲ್ಲಿ ಒಮ್ಮೆಯಾದರೂ ಇಂತಹ ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ ಬೈದಿರುತ್ತಾರೆ ಸಾಕು ನಿಲ್ಲಿಸು ನಿನ್ನ ಈ ಮೊಸಳೆ ಕಣ್ಣೀರನ್ನು ಎಂದು. ಅಂದರೆ ಮೊಸಳೆ ಕಣ್ಣೀರು ಸುರಿಸುವುದು ನೋವಿನಿಂದ, ಬೇಜಾರಿನಿಂದ ಅಲ್ಲ. ಮೊಸಳೆಯ ಭಾವನೆಗಳಿಗೂ ಕಣ್ಣೀರಿಗೂ ಸಂಬಂಧವಿಲ್ಲ. ಆದರೂ ‘ಮೊಸಳೆ ಕಣ್ಣೀರು’ ನುಡಿಗಟ್ಟಾಗಿ ಬಳಕೆಯಲ್ಲಿದೆ. ಮೊಸಳೆಗಳು ಬಹುಕಾಲ ನೀರಿನಿಂದ ಮೇಲೆ ಇದ್ದಾಗ ಕಣ್ಣೀರು ಹಾಕುತ್ತವೆ. ಕಣ್ಣ ಪಾಪೆಗಳು ಒಣಗದಂತೆ ಮಾಡಲು ಗ್ರಂಥಿಗಳು ನೀರನ್ನು ಸುರಿಸುತ್ತವೆ ಮತ್ತು ನೀರಿನಿಂದ ಹೊರಗಿದ್ದಾಗ ಆಹಾರ ತಿನ್ನುವಾಗಲೂ ಮೊಸಳೆ ಕಣ್ಣುಗಳಿಂದ ನೀರು ಸುರಿಯುತ್ತದೆ. ಇದಕ್ಕೆ ಕಣ್ಣಿನ ರಕ್ಷಣೆ, ಆಹಾರ ಸೇವಿಸುವಾಗ ಉಂಟಾಗುವ ಒತ್ತಡ ಮೊದಲಾದವು ಕಾರಣಗಳಾಗಿರಬಹುದು ಎಂದು ವಿಜ್ಞಾನಿಗಳು ಅಭಿಪ್ರಾಯ ಪಡುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಎಲ್ಲ ಮೊಸಳೆಗಳು ಒಂದು ರೀತಿ ಅಡಾವುಡಿ ಮಾಡಿ ಸುಳ್ಳೇ ಸುಳ್ಳು ಕಣ್ಣೀರು ಸುರಿಸುವ ಮಕ್ಕಳಂತಾದರೆ, ತಮ್ಮ-ತಮ್ಮ ಮಕ್ಕಳು ವಿಷಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಅಪ್ಪ-ಅಮ್ಮ ಮೊಸಳೆಗಳು ಮಾತ್ರ ತುಂಬಾ ಅಂದ್ರೆ ತುಂಬಾ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯವು. ಮೊಸಳೆಗಳು ನೋಡಲು ಭಯಾನಕವಾಗಿದ್ದರೂ ತಮ್ಮ ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಜತೆ ತುಂಬಾ ಶಾಂತ ರೀತಿಯಿಂದ ವರ್ತಿಸುತ್ತವೆ. ಮಕ್ಕಳು ಸ್ನಾನ ಮಾಡಿಸುವಾಗ ವಿಪರೀತ ಹಠ ಮಾಡುತ್ತವೆ ಎಂದು ಬೈಯ್ದುಕೊಳ್ಳುವ ಅಮ್ಮಂದಿರು ತಾಯಿ ಮೊಸಳೆಯಿಂದ ನೋಡಿ ಕಲಿಯಬೇಕಾದದ್ದು ತುಂಬಾ ಇದೆ ಎನಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ಮರಿ ಮೊಸಳೆಗಳು ಮರಳಿನಲ್ಲಿ, ಜೌಗಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಆಟವಾಡಿ ಮೈಯ್ಯೆಲ್ಲಾ ಕೆಸರು ಆಡಿಕೊಂಡರೆ ತಾಯಿ ಮೊಸಳೆ ಚೂರೂ ಬೈಯ್ಯದೇ ಅವುಗಳನ್ನೆಲ್ಲ ಬಾಯಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಂಡು (ಒಂದು ಸಲಕ್ಕೆ ಕನಿಷ್ಟ ೧೮ ರಿಂದ ೨೦ ಮರಿಗಳನ್ನು ಒಟ್ಟಿಗೆ) ನದಿಗೆ ಸ್ನಾನ ಮಾಡಿಸಲು ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಂಡು ಹೋಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಹರಿವ ನೀರಿನ ಸಮೀಪ ನಿಂತು ಬಾಯಿ ತೆರೆದು ನಿಧಾನವಾಗಿ ಮರಿಗಳ ತಲೆ ಮೊದಲು ನೀರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಬೀಳುವಂತೆ ಬಿಡುತ್ತದೆ. ಮರಿಗಳ ಉರುಟು ಮೈಮೇಲಿನ ಮರಳು ಹೋಗುವವರೆಗೆ ಸ್ನಾನ ಮಾಡಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ಗಂಡು ಮೊಸಳೆಯೂ ಮಕ್ಕಳ ವಿಷಯದಲ್ಲಿ ತುಂಬಾ ನಿಧಾನವಾಗಿ, ಸೂಕ್ಷ್ಮವಾಗಿ ವರ್ತಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ಮೊಟ್ಟೆಗಳು ಒಡೆದು ಮರಿ ಹೊರ ಬರುವಾಗ ಮೊಟ್ಟೆ ಒಡೆಯಲು ಸಹಾಯ ಮಾಡಿ ಮರಿಗಳಿಗೆ ಗಾಯವಾಗದಂತೆ ನೋಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತದೆ. ಮರಿಗಳಿಗೆ ನೋವಾಗದಂತೆ ತಂದೆ ಮೊಸಳೆ ವಹಿಸುವ ಕಾಳಜಿಯನ್ನು ನೋಡಿದರೆ ಎಂಥವರೂ ತಲೆದೂಗುತ್ತಾರೆ," ಎಂದು. ಹೀಗೆ ಅನುವಾದ ಭಾನುವಾದ ಕ್ಷಣ ನಿಜಕ್ಕೂ ಸಾರ್ಥಕ ಎನಿಸುತ್ತದೆ.

अपनी तरह से कहानियाँ कहने की ललक

30th September is celebrated as International Translation Day. It was launched as an idea to show solidarity of the worldwide translation community in an effort to promote the translation profession in different countries. This is an opportunity to display pride in a profession that is becoming increasingly essential in the era of progressing globalisation. Pratham Books' language editors and translators are celebrating this day through a series of blog posts.

(This post was written by Rajesh Khar. Rajesh is an editor at Pratham Books. Through these years, he has not only edited and translated books but also coordinated lit fests like Bookaroo, JLF, Samanvay, New Delhi World Book Fairs and joined hands with organisations like Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, CBSE, NEOR by NCERT and a host of non-profits. He has been supervising books in many Northern & Eastern Indian languages and also have had opportunity to be a part of the Adikahaani Series and the Urdu programme. His interests are music, classical performing arts, casual writing, theater and film making. He loves spending time with children and young people and basically has a lot of fun in whatever he does.)

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उन दिनों अंग्रेज़ी की परीक्षा में अन्य प्रश्नों के साथ साथ अनुवाद के लिए भी एक पैराग्राफ आता था | डैडी के समय में भी ऐसा था और हमारे दसवीं कक्षा में आने तक भी ऐसा ही था कि इम्तेहान में या एक पैराग्राफ अनुवाद के लिए आता था या फिर कुछ वाक्य अनुवाद के लिए आते थे | डैडी बताते हैं कि उनके बचपन में पैराग्राफ काफ़ी लम्बा और पेचीदा हुआ करता था | जब वे आठवीं में पढ़ते थे, अंग्रेज़ी के उनके पर्चे में एक पैराग्राफ आया था जिसका अंग्रेज़ी में अनुवाद करना था | डैडी पहले ही वाक्य को पढ़ कर परेशान हो गए थे, उनकी समझ में नहीं आ रहा था कि वे क्या लिखें | पैराग्राफ का वह पहला वाक्य था 'वहाँ राम राज्य था |'बहुत सोच विचार के बाद डैडी ने लिखा था 'There was Rama's kingdom.' वे आज भी इस बात को याद कर कर के हँसते हैं | स्कूल के जिन वर्षों में हमारी परीक्षा में अनुवाद वाला पश्न आया करता था, मैं हमेशा यही सोचता रहता था कि कहीं डैडी की तरह मुझे भी वही वाक्य अनुवाद के लिए न आ जाए | मैं 'राम राज्य' के लिए क्या लिखूँगा ? रामाज़ किंगडम तो डैडी ने कितना ठीक लिखा था, मगर क्योंकि वह ग़लत था, तो सही में क्या लिखेंगे? कैसे लिखेंगे? कक्षा दसवीं, ग्यारहवीं तक आते आते यह समझ में आने लगा था कि अनुवाद करना कोई बाबा जी का खेल नहीं है |

ग्यारहवीं, बारहवीं में अंग्रेज़ी के बहुत से अच्छे अच्छे लेखकों से परिचय हुआ और उनकी सुन्दर रचनाओं से मुलाक़ात हुई | कुछ रचनाएँ तो ऐसी थीं कि मानो दिलो दिमाग़ पे छा सी जाती थीं और वहाँ से हटने का नाम नहीं लेती थीं | उनके पात्र दिन रात मन में ही रहते थे और घटनाएं दिल को इस क़दर छू जाती थीं कि कई बार आँखें गीली हो जाया करती थीं | दो चार बार मन में यह आया कि अगर मैं यह कहानी लिखता तो कैसे लिखता | अब अंग्रेज़ी तो उतनी आती नहीं थी कि लुईसा मे एल्कॉट की तरह लिख पता तो अगले दो-तीन महीनों में हिंदी में लिखा गया नया 'लिट्ल विमेन'| थोड़े दिनों बाद बारी आई एक और दिल को छू लेने वाली कहानी की जिसे पर्ल एस. बक की पुस्तक 'गुड़ अर्थ एंड सन्ज़' से लिया गया था | कहानी पढ़ने के महीनों बाद तक मैं उन चीनी पात्रों को नहीं भूल पाया | वह ग़रीब दर्जी हमारे देश के किसी भी कोने का कोई भी दर्जी हो सकता था | मैंने फिर से हिंदी में वह कहानी लिखनी शुरू की और १०-१५ दिनों में वह पूरी हो गई | हिंदी में लिखी वह कहानी पढ़ने में अच्छी लगी तो मम्मी को सुना दी | उन्होंने बड़े मन से सुनी और बाद में कई बार हम दोनो उस कहानी की घटनाओं और पात्रों पर बातें करते रहे | अकस्मात ही मुझे महसूस हुआ कि मैं अनुवाद कर सकता हूँ | मैंने अपने अनुवाद को अंग्रेज़ी की कहानी से मिलाया तो पाया कि बड़ा अच्छा मेल था, कहीं भी कुछ विशेष छूटा नहीं था | मैं बड़ा खुश हुआ पर मन से उस राम राज्य वाले वाक्य का डर नहीं गया था |


मुझे धीरे धीरे समझ आया कि वहाँ राम राज्य था और वहाँ राम का राज्य था में कितना अंतर है | पहले वाक्य को तब तक अनुदित नहीं किया जा सकता जब तक कि राम राज्य का अर्थ न समझ लिया जाए | राम राज्य तो एक अभिव्यक्ति मात्र है एक पूरे युग की, समाज की व्यवस्था की, मान्यताओं की और शांति की, इसे भला दो चार शब्दों में कैसे भाषान्तरित किया जा सकता है| और तब यह भी अहसास हुआ कि किसी कक्षा की परीक्षा में ऐसा एक वाक्य अनुवाद के लिए देना अपने आप में कितनी बड़ी नासमझी थी | डैडी का वह उदहारण हमेशा मुझे यह याद दिलाता रहता है कि परिवेश को जाने बिना, संस्कृति को समझे बिना किसी भी भाषा के बारे में कुछ भी समझ पाना लगभग नामुमकिन है और यदि वह भाषा ही समझ में नहीं आती तो उसके धागों से बुने ताने बाने को किसी दूसरी भाषा के रंगों में ढ़ालना कैसे सम्भव होगा? और इन की पहचान के बिना किया हुआ अनुवाद कैसे मूल भाषा के रंग, ख़ुश्बू, माहौल, तजुरबों, सम्बन्धों आदि के आयामों को सही रौशनी में दिखा पायेगा ? राम राज्य और राम का राज्य में तो ज़मीन और आसमान का अंतर है | और भाषाओं की अच्छी समझ, संस्कृतियों का गहरा अनुभव और बातों को अपनी तरह से कहने की ललक ही शायद इस अंतर को पाट सकती है |

Illustration courtesy : Niloufer Wadia

ಅಚ್ಚರಿ ಹುಟ್ಟಿಸಿದ ಅದ್ಭುತ ಕ್ರಿಯೆ

Picture3.png30th September is celebrated as International Translation Day. It was launched as an idea to show solidarity of the worldwide translation community in an effort to promote the translation profession in different countries. This is an opportunity to display pride in a profession that is becoming increasingly essential in the era of progressing globalisation. Pratham Books' language editors and translators are celebrating this day through a series of blog posts.

(This post was written by Shashi Sampalli. With 19 years of experience in journalism Shashi Sampalli is indeed our star translator. Dad of a 8 year old girl, Literature, Environment, and Agriculture are his interests. In this piece, he speaks on how to balance “maturity and innocence” while writing for children.)

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ಅಚ್ಚರಿ ಹುಟ್ಟಿಸಿದ ಅದ್ಭುತ ಕ್ರಿಯೆ

ಅನುವಾದ ಎಂಬುದು ಕೂಡ ಒಂದು ಸೃಜನಶೀಲ ಕ್ರಿಯೆ. ಅದರಲ್ಲೂ ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯವನ್ನು ಅನುವಾದಿಸುವಾಗ ನಾವು ಸ್ವತಃ ನಮ್ಮೊಳಗಿನ ಮಗುವನ್ನು ಮುನ್ನೆಲೆಗೆ ತಂದುಕೊಂಡೆ ಅನುವಾದವನ್ನು ಆ ಮಗುವಿನ ಮೂಲಕವೇ ಆಗಿಸಬೇಕಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಎಲ್ಲ ಸೃಜನಶೀಲ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಕಕ್ಕೂ ಒಂದು ಹಂತದ ಮುಗ್ಧತೆ ಅಗತ್ಯ. ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯದ ವಿಷಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಮುಗ್ಧತೆ ಮತ್ತು ಕಡಿಮೆ ಪ್ರಬುದ್ಧತೆ ಉತ್ತಮ. 

ಸ್ವತಃ ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ ರಚಿಸುವಾಗ ಪ್ರಬುದ್ಧತೆಯ ಪ್ರಮಾಣ ಕಡಿಮೆ ಇದ್ದರೂ ನಡೆಯುತ್ತದೆ ಅಥವಾ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಅನುಕೂಲವಾಗಬಹುದು. ಆದರೆ, ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯದ ಅನುವಾದ ಅಷ್ಟು ಸರಳವಲ್ಲ. ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ಪ್ರಬುದ್ಧತೆಯೂ ಬೇಕು. ಮುಗ್ಧತೆಯೂ ಬೇಕು. ಆ ಅರ್ಥದಲ್ಲಿ ಇದೊಂದು ತಂತಿ ಮೇಲಿನ ನಡಿಗೆ. ಎರಡೂ ಕಡೆಯ ಸಮತೋಲನ ಇಲ್ಲದೆ ಇದ್ದರೆ ಜಾರುವುದು ಖಂಡಿತ.

ಭಾಷೆ, ಅರಿವಿನ ವಿಷಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಅನ್ಯ ಭಾಷೆ ಮತ್ತು ಹೊಸ ವಿಷಯವನ್ನು ಅರ್ಥಮಾಡಿಕೊಂಡು ಅನುವಾದಿಸುವ ಪ್ರಬುದ್ಧತೆಯೂ ಬೇಕು. ಆ ಅನುವಾದ ಉದ್ದೇಶಿತ ವಯೋಮಾನದ ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ ಎಟುಕುವಂತೆ ಭಾಷೆ ಬಳಸುವ, ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಮನೋಸ್ಥಿತಿಗೆ ಅನುಗುಣವಾಗಿ ಸುಲಲಿತ ಮಾತುಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ತಲುಪಿಸುವ ಮುಗ್ಧತೆಯೂ ಬೇಕು. 

ಈ ಸಮನ್ವಯತೆ ಸಾಧಿಸುವುದು ಸರಳವಲ್ಲ. ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ನಮ್ಮೊಳಗೆ ಒಬ್ಬ ತಿಳಿವು, ಅರಿವಿನ ವಯಸ್ಕನೂ ಇರಬೇಕು, ಜೊತೆಗೆ ಮುಗ್ಧತೆಯ ಮಗುವೂ ಇರಬೇಕು.

ಅನುವಾದಿಸುವ ಮುನ್ನ ನಮ್ಮ ಎದುರಿನ ಕಥೆ ಅಥವಾ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ ನಮ್ಮೊಳಗೆ ಇಳಿಯಬೇಕು. ಅನ್ಯ ಭಾಷೆಯ ಅದನ್ನು ಓದಿ, ಒಂದಿಷ್ಟು ಕಾಲ ಒಳಗಿಟ್ಟುಕೊಂಡು ನನ್ನ ಭಾಷೆಯ ಮಾತುಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಮರು ಕಟ್ಟಬೇಕು. ಅದಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಮಾತುಗಳಿಗೆ ಕಿವಿಯಾಗಬೇಕು. ನಂತರ ಅನುವಾದಿಸುವಾಗ ಕೂಡ ಬಳಸುವ ಪ್ರತಿ ಪದವನ್ನೂ ಜೋರಾಗಿ ಉಚ್ಛರಿಸಿ, ಅದು ಮಗುವಿನ ಮಾತಿನಂತೆ ಕೇಳುತ್ತದೆಯೇ? ಪದ ಬಳಕೆ ಮಗುವಿನದ್ದೇ ಆಗಿದೆಯೇ ಎಂಬುದನ್ನು ನಿಖರಗೊಳಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತಲೇ ಮುಂದುವರಿಯಬೇಕು. 

ನನಗಂತೂ ಒಬ್ಬ ಕವಿಯಾಗಿ ನನ್ನೊಳಗಿನ ಮಗುವಿನೊಂದಿಗೆ ಮಾತಾಡುವುದು ಈ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ ಒದಗಿಬರುತ್ತದೆ. ಜೊತೆಗೆ ಎಂಟು ವರ್ಷದ ಮಗಳಿಗೂ ಕಥೆ ಓದಿ ಹೇಳಿ ಅವಳ ಪ್ರತಿಕ್ರಿಯೆ ಮೇಲೆ ತಿದ್ದುಪಡಿ ಮಾಡುವ ಅವಕಾಶ ಕೂಡ ಇದೆ. 

ಹಾಗಾಗಿ, ಬಿಯಾಂಡ್ ಸೈಟಿಂಗ್ಸ್, ಬೆಸ್ಟ್ ಫೂಟ್ ಫಾರ್ವರ್ಡ್, .. ಚೀನಾಟೌನ್ ಮುಂತಾದ ಕಥೆಗಳು ನನ್ನ ನಿರೀಕ್ಷೆಗೂ ಮೀರಿ ಉತ್ತಮವಾಗಿ ಮೂಡಿಬಂದವು ಮತ್ತು ನನಗೇ ಅಚ್ಚರಿ ಹುಟ್ಟಿಸಿದವು. 

ಮುಖ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಅನುವಾದ ಕ್ರಿಯೆಯನ್ನು ಆವು ಮೋಜಿನ ಆಟದಂತೆ ಆನಂದಿಸಬೇಕು.

ಇವು ನನ್ನದೇ ಅನುಭವದ ಮಾತುಗಳು.

- ಶಶಿ ಸಂಪಳ್ಳಿ

Celebrating Diversity Through Translations

Praba.jpg
30th September is celebrated as International Translation Day. It was launched as an idea to show solidarity of the worldwide translation community in an effort to promote the translation profession in different countries. This is an opportunity to display pride in a profession that is becoming increasingly essential in the era of progressing globalisation. Pratham Books' language editors and translators are celebrating this day through a series of blog posts.
Sheela.jpg


(This story was sent by Praba Ram & Sheela Preuitt love stories of all sorts. Stories about children, about animals, about crafts, about travel, about science, about prehistoric life, about ancient cultures, and just about everything in our universe. As children’s authors, they find it a privilege to be able to translate works by other children’s authors and feel fortunate to be given the opportunity to do so with Pratham Books.)

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We love how Pratham Books goes beyond mainstream cities to include rural environments so as to make books that children in remote corners of India can identify with -- books that reach non-urban libraries, government schools, and small-town early learning centres, staying true to their mission of ‘A Book in Every Child's Hand’.

Translating children’s books involves not just taking the words from one language and putting it in another. Regional references, cultural nuances, idiosyncrasies of the language and local dialects, plus the vocabulary appropriate for the intended reading level all come into play, which makes it not only challenging but also extremely rewarding. While proficiency in both languages at a native level is a must, familiarity with the colloquial and idiomatic usage is a great plus as it helps make the work accessible to a diverse group of kids with varying backgrounds.

Emerging readers can easily be confused if the written format deviates too much from their spoken language and life experience. As translators, we strive to stay true to the original work by the author. However, where appropriate, we have also opted to strike a balance by bringing in an equivalent regional context that conveys the purpose and idea while swaying ever-so-slightly from the original presentation, primarily to engage the young readers in a meaningful way. In addition to overall stylistic and linguistic considerations of the original work, we also try to pay attention to the rhythm and flow in the translated language in order to enhance the read-aloud experience for the given reading level.


Often children's publishing in regional languages is influenced by ingrained beliefs and preconceptions prevalent in that region. Through quality books, Pratham Books has created a space for a body of literature for children that reflects the inter-connectedness of people, languages, and cultures, as well as their distinctive features, thereby breaking boundaries and providing books as a link from one region to another.

Translating a story across different languages brings varied voices together by offering a platform to celebrate cultural diversity and contemporary Indian realities and sensibilities, and we can only be delighted to partake in this meaningful linguistic movement - in fact, a grassroots one, so to speak. 

And, seeing books in English translated not just to regional Indian languages but to Russian, Norwegian, Portuguese, even Japanese and Mandarin, reiterates that stories are universal and children around the world cannot have enough of them!

Illustration courtesy : Ruchi Shah

ತೇಜಸ್ವಿ ಮತ್ತು ಕಾರಂತರ ನೆಪದಲ್ಲಿ ...

Picture2.png30th September is celebrated as International Translation Day. It was launched as an idea to show solidarity of the worldwide translation community in an effort to promote the translation profession in different countries. This is an opportunity to display pride in a profession that is becoming increasingly essential in the era of progressing globalisation. Pratham Books' language editors and translators are celebrating this day through a series of blog posts.

(This post was written by Girish N.R.. A techie turned movie buff’s interests vary from Theatre to Environment, Education to Tourism, writing etc. Loves the concept of Creative Commons. His views in this article gives a gist of renowned Kannada authors like Shivaram Karanth and Poornachandra Tejaswi’s attempts of writing for children.

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ತೇಜಸ್ವಿ ಮತ್ತು ಕಾರಂತರ ನೆಪದಲ್ಲಿ ...  
ಬರಹ: ಗಿರೀಶ್ ಎನ್.ಆರ್.

ಪೂರ್ಣಚಂದ್ರ ತೇಜಸ್ವಿ ಅವರು ತಮ್ಮ ಬಹಳಷ್ಟು ಪುಸ್ತಕದ ಆರಂಭದಲ್ಲಿ,  ಲೋಹಿಯಾ ಅವರ ತತ್ತ್ವಚಿಂತನೆ, ಕುವೆಂಪು ಅವರ ಕಲಾ ಸೃಷ್ಟಿ ಮತ್ತು ಶಿವರಾಮ ಕಾರಂತರ  ಜೀವನ ದೃಷ್ಟಿ- ಇವುಗಳ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಉಲ್ಲೇಖಿಸುತ್ತಾರೆ.  ಇಲ್ಲಿ ತತ್ತ್ವಚಿಂತನೆ, ಕಲಾ ಸೃಷ್ಟಿ ಮತ್ತು ಜೀವನ ದೃಷ್ಟಿ  ಎಂಬ ಪದಗಳ ಆಯ್ಕೆಯೇ ಅದ್ಭುತವಾಗಿದೆ. ತೇಜಸ್ವಿ ಕೂಡ ಈ ಮೂರೂ  ಅಂಶಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಉನ್ನತಿ ಹೊಂದಲು ಪರಿ ಶ್ರಮಿಸದವರೇ. ಪ್ರಾಯಶಃ ಇದರ ಫಲವಾಗಿಯೇ ಕಾರಂತರು ಮತ್ತು ತೇಜಸ್ವಿ,  ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಜ್ಞಾನದ ತೃಷೆಯನ್ನು ಹೆಚ್ಚಿಸಬಲ್ಲ ಆಸಕ್ತಿ ದಾಯಕ ವಿಷಯಗಳ ಹೊತ್ತ ಕನ್ನಡ ಪುಸ್ತಕಗಳನ್ನು ಹೊರತರುವ ಕಾರ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ತೊಡಗಿಸಿಕೊಂಡರು. ಶಿವರಾಮ ಕಾರಂತರ "ಬಾಲ ಪ್ರಪಂಚ" ಮತ್ತು ತೇಜಸ್ವಿ ಅವರ "ಮಿಲೆನಿಯಮ್  ಸರಣಿಯ" ಪುಸ್ತಕಗಳನ್ನು ನೆಪವಾಗಿ ಇಟ್ಟುಕೊಂಡು ನಾನಿಲ್ಲಿ ಒಂದೆರೆಡು ಅಭಿಪ್ರಾಯಗಳನ್ನು ವ್ಯಕ್ತ ಪಡಿಸುವ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನ ಮಾಡಿದ್ದೇನೆ .
ಶಿವರಾಮ ಕಾರಂತರ  "ಬಾಲ ಪ್ರಪಂಚ" ಮಕ್ಕಳ ವಿಶ್ವಕೋಶದಂತಹ (encyclopedia) ಬೃಹತ್ ಕೆಲಸವನ್ನು ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಕೈಗೆತ್ತಿಕೊಂಡ ಮೊದಲ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನ ಇರಬಹದು. (ಮತ್ತು ಕೊನೆ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನ ಕೂಡ ಇರಬಹುದು. ನಾನು ಇತಿಹಾಸಕಾರನಲ್ಲ).  ಇಂತಹ ಕೆಲಸಕ್ಕೆ ಅವರಿಗಾದ  ಆರ್ಥಿಕ ಮುಂಗಟ್ಟಿನ ಕಥೆ ವ್ಯಥೆಗಳು ನಮ್ಮ ಊಹೆಯನ್ನೂ ಮೀರಿದವು. ಆದರೂ ಅವರನ್ನ ಈ ಕೆಲಸದಲ್ಲಿ ತೊಡಗಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಉತ್ತೇಜಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದುದೇನು?  ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಮನಸ್ಸಿನ ಹಸಿವನ್ನು ಹೆಚ್ಚಿಸುವ ಮತ್ತು ಮನಸ್ಸನ್ನು ಅರಳಿಸುವ ಪುಸ್ತಕಗಳು ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲೇ ಇರಬೇಕು ಎಂಬುದರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಅವರಿಗಿದ್ದ ಪ್ರೀತಿ . ದೇಶದ  ಉದ್ದಗಲವೂ ಪ್ರಯಾಣಿಸಿದ್ದ ಅವರು ಮತ್ತು ದೇಶದ ಬಹುಸಂಖ್ಯಾತ ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಶಿಕ್ಷಣದ ರೀತಿ ನೀತಿಗಳನ್ನ ಅರಿತಿದ್ದ ಅವರು ಮಾತೃಭಾಷೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ವಿಶ್ವಕೋಶದಂತಹ ಪುಸ್ತಕ ತರವುದರ ಅವಶ್ಯಕತೆ ತಿಳಿದಿದ್ದರು. ಕೇವಲ ಮಾತೃ ಭಾಷೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆಯುವುದಲ್ಲದೆ ಅದು ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ ಅನುಕೂಲವಾಗುವಂತೆ ಸರಳವಾಗಿ ಮತ್ತು ಸುಂದರವಾಗಿ ಇರುವಂತೆ ಕೂಡ ಅವರು ಜಾಗ್ರತೆವಹಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ವಿಶ್ವಕೋಶ ಎಂದಾದ ಮೇಲೆ ವಿಷಯಗಳಿಗೂ ಕೊರತೆಯಿಲ್ಲ . ಅಲ್ಲೂ ಕಾರಂತರು ತೋರಿರುವ ವೈವಿಧ್ಯತೆ ಮತ್ತು ಅಚ್ಚರಿಯ ವಿಷಯಗಳನ್ನು ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ ತಿಳಿಸಿ ಅವರನ್ನ ಉತ್ತೇಜಿಸ ಬೇಕು ಎಂಬ ಪ್ರಾಮಾಣಿಕತೆ  ಮತ್ತು ಪ್ರೀತಿ "ಬಾಲ ಪ್ರಪಂಚ"ದಲ್ಲಿ ಎದ್ದು ಕಾಣುತ್ತದೆ.
"ಬಾಲ ಪ್ರಪಂಚ" ವಿಶ್ವಕೋಶ ಎಂಬ ಹಣೆಪಟ್ಟಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಒಂದು ಮಟ್ಟಿಗೆ ಮಾಹಿತಿಯ ಪುಸ್ತಕವಾಗಿ ನಿಲ್ಲುತ್ತದೆ. ಕನ್ನಡದ ಮಟ್ಟಿಗೆ  ಮೊದಲ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನವಾದ (ನಾನು ಇತಿಹಾಸಕಾರನಲ್ಲ) ಇದು ಪುಸ್ತಕದ ಹಿಂದಿನ ಉದ್ದೇಶವನ್ನು ಪೂರ್ಣಗೊಳಿಸುತ್ತದೆ ಕೂಡ.
ತೇಜಸ್ವಿ ಅವರ "ಮಿಲನಿಯಮ್ ಸರಣಿ" ಒಂದು ಮಟ್ಟಿಗೆ "ಬಾಲ ಪ್ರಪಂಚ"ದ ವಿಸ್ತರಣೆ ಎನ್ನಬಹುದು ಕೂಡ. ತೇಜಸ್ವಿ ಅವರು ಇದ್ದಿದ್ದರೆ ನನ್ನ ಈ ಮಾತು ನಿಜ  ಎನ್ನುವಷ್ಟರ ಮಟ್ಟಿಗೆ  "ಮಿಲನಿಯಮ್ ಸರಣಿ" ಬೃಹದಾಕಾರವಾಗಿ ಬೆಳೆಯುತ್ತಿತ್ತೇನೋ? ಅದೇನೇ ಇರಲಿ, "ಮಿಲನಿಯಮ್ ಸರಣಿ" ಹೊರ ಬರಲು ಕೂಡ ತೇಜಸ್ವಿ ಮತ್ತು ಕಾರಂತರಲ್ಲಿ ಇದ್ದ  ತತ್ವಚಿಂತನೆ, ಕಲಾ ಸೃಷ್ಟಿ ಮತ್ತು ಜೀವನ ದೃಷ್ಟಿ ಸಾಮ್ಯತೆಯೇ ಕಾರಣ. ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ ಸಿಗುತ್ತಿರುವ ಜಡ ಶಿಕ್ಷಣದ ಕುರಿತು ತೇಜಸ್ವಿ ಅವರ ಅತೃಪ್ತಿ ಅವರ ಬರಹಗಳಲ್ಲಿ   ಗಟ್ಟಿಯಾಗಿಯೇ ವ್ಯಕ್ತವಾಗಿದೆ. ಹಳ್ಳಿಯ ವಾತಾವರಣದಲ್ಲಿಯೇ ತಮ್ಮ ಬದುಕನ್ನು ರೂಪಿಸಿಕೊಂಡ ತೇಜಸ್ವಿ ಅವರು ಆಧುನಿಕತೆ , ಬದಲಾಗುತ್ತಿರುವ ಜ್ಞಾನವ್ಯವಸ್ಥೆ ಮತ್ತು ಶಿಕ್ಷಣದ ರೀತಿ ನೀತಿ, ಆಧುನಿಕ ಭಾರತದ ಆರ್ಥಿಕ  ಮತ್ತು ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ವೈರುದ್ಧ್ಯ , ಇವ್ವೆಲವನ್ನ ಹತ್ತಿರದಿಂದ ವಿಶ್ಲೇಷಿಸಿದ್ದರು. ಈ ಹಿನ್ನೆಲೆಯಿಂದಲೇ ಅವರು "ಮಿಲನಿಯಮ್ ಸರಣಿ" ಕೆಲಸದಲ್ಲಿ ತೊಡಗಿಸಿಕೊಂಡರು. "ಮಿಲನಿಯಮ್ ಸರಣಿ" "ಬಾಲ ಪ್ರಪಂಚ"ದ ವಿಸ್ತರಣೆ ಎಂದು ನಾನು ಹೇಳುವಾಗ ವಿಷಯಗಳನ್ನು ಹೇಳುವಲ್ಲಿ "ಮಿಲನಿಯಮ್ ಸರಣಿ"ಯಲ್ಲಾದ ಉತ್ತಮ ಬೆಳವಣಿಗೆ ಕೂಡ ನನ್ನ ಮನಸ್ಸಿನಲ್ಲಿತ್ತು . ನನ್ನ ಪ್ರಕಾರ "ಮಿಲನಿಯಮ್ ಸರಣಿ" ವಿಷಯಗಳನ್ನು ಹೇಳುವ ತಂತ್ರಗಾರಿಕೆ ಮತ್ತು ಭಾಷೆ ಎರಡರಲ್ಲೂ ಒಂದು ಹೆಜ್ಜೆ ಮುಂದೆ ಇಟ್ಟಿದೆ. ಈ ಉತ್ತಮ ಬೆಳವಣಿಗೆಗೆ ಕಾರಣವೇ ತೇಜಸ್ವಿ ಅವರಿಲ್ಲಿದ್ದ ತುಡಿತ ಮತ್ತು ಪ್ರೀತಿ.
ಈ ಎರಡೂ ಪುಸ್ತಕಗಳ ಪುಟಗಳನ್ನ ಮತ್ತೆ ತಿರುಗಿಸುವಂತೆ ಮಾಡಿದ್ದು ನನ್ನ ಇತ್ತೀಚಿನ ಅನುವಾದದ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನಗಳು. ನನ್ನ ಅನುವಾದದ ಸಮಯದಲ್ಲಿ ನನ್ನನ್ನು ಮತ್ತೆ ಮತ್ತೆ ಕಾಡಿದ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಗಳ ಸಾಲೇ ಇಲ್ಲಿದೆ -- ನನ್ನ ಅನುವಾದ ಓದುವ ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಆಸಕ್ತಿಯನ್ನ ಕೆರಳಿಸುತ್ತದೆಯೇ? ಅದು ಅವರಿಗೆ ಮುದ ನೀಡುತ್ತದೆಯೇ? ನಾನು ಉಪಯೋಗಿಸುವ ಭಾಷೆ ಸರಳವೂ ಮತ್ತು ಸುಂದರವಾಗಿದೆಯೇ? ನಾನು ಹೇಳುತ್ತಿರುವ ವಿಷಯ ಅನುವಾದದಲ್ಲಿ ತನ್ನ ಸೊಗಡನ್ನು ಕಳೆದುಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತಿದೆಯೆ ? ನಾನು ತಲುಪಲು ಪ್ರಯತ್ನಿಸುತ್ತಿರುವ ವರ್ಗದ ವಸ್ತು ಸ್ಥಿತಿಯ ಅರಿವು ನನಗಿದೆಯೆ ? ನಾನು ಅನುವಾದ ಮಾಡಲು ಪ್ರಯತ್ನಿಸುತ್ತಿರುವ ವಿಷಯ/ಕತೆ  ನನ್ನ ಭಾಷೆಯ ಅಥವಾ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಯ ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ ಹತ್ತಿರವಾಗಬಲ್ಲದೆ ?
ಅನುವಾದಕರು ತಮ್ಮ ಭಾಷೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಒಂದು ವಿಷಯಕ್ಕೆ ಜೀವ ನೀಡುತ್ತಿರುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಅದು ಅನುವಾದ ಎನ್ನುವುದಕ್ಕಿಂತ ಹೆಚ್ಚಾಗಿ ಅದರ ಉದ್ದೇಶ ಪ್ರಾಮುಖ್ಯತೆ ಪಡೆದುಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತದೆ . ನಾವು ಮಾಡುವ ಈ ಅನುವಾದಗಳು/ ಕತೆಗಳು/ವಿಷಯಗಳು ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಮನಸ್ಸನ್ನು ಅರಳಿಸ ಬೇಕೆಂದಿದ್ದಲ್ಲಿ ಕಾರಂತರು ಮತ್ತು ತೇಜಸ್ವಿ ಅವರಿಗಿದ್ದ ಆ ಪ್ರೀತಿ ಮತ್ತು ಕಾಳಜಿಯನ್ನ ರೂಢಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕಿದೆ.   ಮೇಲಿನ ಎಲ್ಲ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಗಳಿಗೂ ಕೂಡಲೇ ಉತ್ತರ ಸಿಗದೇ ಹೋಗಬಹುದು. ಆದರೆ, ನಮ್ಮಲ್ಲಿನ ಆಶಯ ಮತ್ತು ಪ್ರೀತಿ ಹೇಗೋ ಹೊಸ ಮಾರ್ಗಗಳನ್ನು ಕಂಡುಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತದೆ.

Illustration courtesy : Shailja Jain Chougule

The Accidental Translator

30th September is celebrated as International Translation Day. It was launched as an idea to show solidarity of the worldwide translation community in an effort to promote the translation profession in different countries. This is an opportunity to display pride in a profession that is becoming increasingly essential in the era of progressing globalisation. Pratham Books' language editors and translators are celebrating this day through a series of blog posts.

(This post was written by Madhu B. Joshi prefers to be known as a communication practitioner. She sees a great need for demystification in daily life and has been trying to work towards it. She has taught translation and a short, self-designed course of Indian Culture; mentored content teams of major education NGOs and designed educational audio-video programmes for CIET, NCERT. Joshi is a translator of Hindi poetry and short fiction in English and has presented major black feminist writers in Hindi. She is also a prolific and visionary collaborator of StoryWeaver. All of this, and we also know and love the other मधु बी. जोशी (in her own words)... जो खाना पकाना, इलाज करना, पौधे और कुत्ते पालना, राय देना.. जैसे बहुत से मुफ़्त काम करती हैं। उन्हें सब से ज़्यादा मज़ा बच्चों के लिए काम करने में आता है और वह इसका कोई मौका नहीं चूकतीं।)

My interest in translation is the result of two socio-political accidents. A very courageous father and a supportive family allowed me to turn crisis into opportunities; I shudder at the thought of my contemporaries who suffered what I did.

I was in school in Delhi. Teaching science in Hindi in Government run schools was high on the agenda of the government at that time. In 1969, when I needed to choose the medium of instruction as a science student, coming from the hardcore Hindi-Hindustani following family, I chose Hindi over English. I had been educated in Hindi Medium government schools, most of my English came from my father, an ex-Royal Navy man in rough circumstances he had never expected to be in.

In earnest I (and hundreds of thousands other Delhi students) began to study science subjects in Hindi. The catch was, except for about three volumes of Biology books published by the NCERT, there were few CBSE syllabus compatible science textbooks available in Hindi. I remember our maths, chemistry and physics teachers who had studied in UP and Madhya Pradesh recommending some books that were compatible with the Intermediate/Secondary Board syllabi of those states; we supplemented that list with available books in English. As a result, we ended up reading in English and writing our answers in Hindi.

I had a good command of written and spoken English and Hindi, still my grades fell. I passed my Higher Secondary exam with not exactly flying colours. But I had unwittingly acquired translation skills and a deep respect for, and interest in facilitating communication.



Years earlier, seeing my interest in singing, my closet music-lover father sent me to the neighbourhood aunties who taught music and dance to about a dozen Bengali girls. The aunties were shocked to see a Garhwali girl wishing to be their student. In that gormint clony of Dilli, whoever had heard of a Garhwali girl wishing to sing? They refused point blank, “we only teach Bengali girls.” That was the end of my music dream. In school, the dumbest of children chose music and art as subjects. There was no other music education available in the vicinity. I followed the only course available to me - AIR was giving so much music for free, I learnt my music from Manna Dey, Mohammad Rafi, Malika Pukhraj, Begum Akhtar, Asa Singh Mastana, Salil Chowdhury, Madanmohan......

Much later I guessed the good aunties had not been able to communicate that they only taught Raubeendro Shaungeet which no one else in our clony showed the least interest in. I am sure they would have taught me just as well as they taught the rest of their students had they only known I wished to learn music irrespective of the brand.

These two incidents made sure I did a certain amount of translation besides other things.

Illustration courtesy : Priya Kuriyan

ನಿಮ್ಮ ಪದಗಳಿಗೆ ನೀವೇ ರಾಜ, ರಾಣಿ

30th September is celebrated as International Translation Day. It was launched as an idea to show solidarity of the worldwide translation community in an effort to promote the translation profession in different countries. This is an opportunity to display pride in a profession that is becoming increasingly essential in the era of progressing globalisation. Pratham Books' language editors and translators are celebrating this day through a series of blog posts.

(This post was written by Vanamala Viswanatha. Vanamala, Professor of English Studies at Azim Premji University, is an award-winning translator, working with Kannada and English. Prof. Viswanatha formerly taught Translation Studies and Indian Literatures in Translation in Bangalore University. Apart from publishing seminal articles on various issues in Translation Studies, she has translated and introduced Sara Aboobacker's Kannada novel Chandragiriya Teeradalli (Breaking Ties) and an anthology of Lankesh's short stories (When Stone Melts) and co-edited Routes: Representations of the West in Short Fiction from South India; and J Krishnamurti’s writing into Kannada. She has co-translated Ananthmurthy's Samskara into Swedish (Samskara - rit for en dod man) and Torgny Lindgren's Swedish novel into Kannada (Haavina Donku). Her vachanas of Akka Mahadevi and other women saint poets is also published. Prof. Viswanatha has translated the first Kannada social novel ‘Indira Bai’ for OUP and ‘Harischandra Kavyam’, a 13th century, medieval Kannada work for Harvard University Press, for the Murthy Classical Library of India Series.)


Vanamala Vishwanatha wants us to ‘FREAK OUT!’ when translating for kids. What does she mean?

ನಿಮ್ಮ ಪದಗಳಿಗೆ ನೀವೇ ರಾಜ, ರಾಣಿ

“ನಿರ್ಭಿಡೆ” ಯಾಗಿ ಬರೆಯಿರಿ/ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಕಲ್ಪನೆಗೆ ಯಾವ ಕಡಿವಾಣವನ್ನೂ ಹಾಕಿಕೊಳ್ಳದೇ ಅನುವಾದಿಸಿ/ ಯಾವ ಲಂಗೂಲಗಾಮೂ ಇಲ್ಲದೇ ಭಾಷಾಂತರ ಮಾಡಿ/ ಮೊದಲು ನಿಮ್ಮ ಮನಸ್ಸಿಗೆ ಬಂದ ಹಾಗೆ ಬರೀರಿ, ಆಮೇಲೆ ಅದನ್ನು ತಿದ್ದೋದು ನೋಡ್ಕೊಳ್ಳೋಣ/ ನಿರಾಳವಾಗಿ ಬರೀತಾ ಹೋಗಿ/ 

ಅನುವಾದಿಸುವಾಗ, ಅದು ನಿಮ್ಮ ಟೆಕ್ಸ್ಟು, ನೀವೇ ರಾಣಿ/ರಾಜ; ಬೇಏಏಕಾದ್ದು ಮಾಡಿ.... ಪದಗಳೊಂದಿಗಿನ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಮಾತುಕತೆ ಸ್ಥಿರ, ಸಂಪೂರ್ಣ ವಾಗಿರಲಿ. ನಿಮ್ಮೆಲ್ಲಾ ಧ್ಯಾನ, ಮನವನ್ನು ಒಂದೆಡೆ ಕೇಂದ್ರೀಕರಿಸಿ ಮೊದಲ ಪ್ರತಿಯನ್ನು ಬರೆದುಬಿಡಿ. ಆನಂತರ ಮೂಲ ಕತೆಯೊಂದಿಗೆ ಪರಿಶೀಲಿಸಿ ಯಾವುದು ಎಲ್ಲಿ, ಎಷ್ಟು ಹೊಂದುತ್ತೆ?, ಅಂತಿಮ ರೂಪಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಅದರಿಂದ ಅಳಿಸಬಹುದಾದ್ದು, ಬದಲಿಸಬಹುದಾದ್ದು ಏನೇನು? ಅಂತ ನಿರ್ಧರಿಸಿದರೆ ಆಯಿತು.. ಇವಿಷ್ಟೇ ಸಾಲುಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಭಾಷಾಂತರದ ಗಾಂಭೀರ್ಯ ಮತ್ತು ಸರಳತೆಯ ಒಗಟನ್ನು ಸಮರ್ಥವಾಗಿ ಬಿಡಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ ಖ್ಯಾತ ಅನುವಾದಕಿ ವನಮಾಲಾ ವಿಶ್ವನಾಥ.

Illustration courtesy : Tanaya Vyas

अनुवाद: प्रत्येक अनुभव नवा




IMG_20150625_113322199.jpg30th September is celebrated as International Translation Day. It was launched as an idea to show solidarity of the worldwide translation community in an effort to promote the translation profession in different countries. This is an opportunity to display pride in a profession that is becoming increasingly essential in the era of progressing globalisation. Pratham Books' language editors and translators are celebrating this day through a series of blog posts.

(This post was written by Meera Joshi. Meera Joshi has been a journalist for the last about 25 years. Currently, she is into freelance content writing, translations and editing, with more focus on children’s informal education.) 

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Introduction to the blog:
Translation of children’s books? I would do it in a jiffy, I had thought in the beginning. I soon realized how naïve I was. It’s not difficult, but not easy either! The choice of words has to be meticulous and the language simple, child-friendly. We cannot presume anything, since children are still learning the language. So, as I translated more and more children’s stories/texts, it became a new learning experience each time. And an absolutely enjoyable one.

अनुवाद: प्रत्येक अनुभव नवा

मुलांसाठीच्या गोष्टी/लेखनाचा मराठी अनुवाद करायला सुरुवात केली, तेव्हा वाटलं होतं मोठ्यांसाठी अनुवाद करण्यापेक्षा हे सोपं असेल. फार गहन मजकूर नाही. छोटी वाक्यं, सोपे शब्द वापरायचे. थोडक्यात, हसत-खेळत होईल. माझा हा भ्रम लवकरच दूर झाला. ही अनुवाद प्रक्रिया आनंददायी नक्कीच आहे. अनुवाद करतांना आपण लहान मुलांच्या निरागस, रंगतदार जगात वावरतो. पण अनुवाद ‘चुटकीसरशी झाला’ असं होत नाही.

इथं शब्द खूप विचारपूर्वक वापरावे लागतात. अर्थाच्या दृष्टीनं मूळ लेखनाच्या अधिकाधिक जवळ, तरीही सहज, प्रवाही, मुलांना रस वाटेल अशी भाषा हवी. मुलांना ‘हे माहीतच असेल’ असं गृहीत धरता येत नाही. कारण ती अजून भाषा शिकत असतात. वाचनपातळी डोळ्यासमोर असली तरी मुलांची शब्दसंपत्ती किती असेल याची पक्की खूणगाठ बांधता येत नाही. म्हणजे, मुलांच्या वयानुसार त्यांचं शब्दज्ञान कमी-जास्त असणार हे एक. पण शहरी, निमशहरी भागातली वाचक-मुलं हा एक स्तर. याखेरीज, मराठी मातृभाषा असलेली, पण इंग्रजी माध्यमात शिकणारी हाही एक वर्ग ह्ल्ली डोळ्यासमोर ठेवावा लागतो. भरीला, इंटरनेट, मोबाईल फोनवरून शुद्ध-अशुद्ध भाषेचा मारा होत असतो. अशा सर्व स्तरातल्या मुलांना, वापरलेल्या भाषेबद्दल जवळीक वाटली पाहिजे.

लिहिण्याच्या ओघात शक्य तिथं नवीन शब्दांची ओळख करून देणं हे एक उद्दिष्ट असतंच. पण नव्या शब्दांचा फार भडिमार करूनही चालत नाही. कारण वरचेवर न ऐकलेले शब्द येऊ लागले तर वाचनातला रस जाऊ शकतो. उदा. ११-१४ वर्षे वयोगटातील मुलांच्या एका गोष्टीचा (`माझ्या दोन पणज्या’) अनुवाद करताना भणाण वारा, समुद्राची गाज हे शब्द वापरावेत का असा प्रश्न मला पडला होता. विचारांती हेच शब्द योग्य वाटले. मात्र याच गोष्टीत ‘अंत्यसंस्कार’ (मूळ इंग्लिश गोष्टीतील great grandmother’s funeral) हा शब्द जरी मी एके ठिकाणी वापरला, तरी राहून राहून मला तो मुलांच्या दृष्टीनं जड वाटत राहिला.

राजा-राणीची एक गोष्ट होती (कोट्टावी राजाची झोपाळू नगरी). त्यांच्या राजवाड्याच्या बागेत असलेल्या ‘जाई-जुईच्या मांडवापर्यंत’ ते फिरायला जातात, असा उल्लेख मी केला. पूर्वी जवळपास घरोघरी अंगणांमध्ये जाई-चमेलीचे मांडव असायचे. आता ते कमी झालेत. मग मुलांना कसं कळेल? पण काही गोष्टी त्यांच्या कल्पनाशक्तीवर सोडून द्यायच्या. शिवाय मदतीला गोष्टींबरोबरची चित्रं असतातच.

त्या-त्या प्रादेशिक भाषांमधले, संस्कृतीदर्शक काही खास शब्द मराठीत आणताना पेच पडू शकतो. पोशाखांचे, खाण्याचे प्रकार याची मूळ नावं तशीच राहू शकतात. कारण एकतर त्यांना मराठी प्रतिशब्द असतीलच असं नाही. आणि दुसरं म्हणजे, मुलांना अन्य संस्कृतीतील शब्दांची ओळखही होऊ शकते. इतर प्रादेशिक भाषांमधले ``अम्मी-अप्पा-अब्बा’ हे मराठीत बहुधा आई-बाबा होतात. पण एका हैदराबादच्या परिसरातील गोष्टीत, मुलांच्या आईला ‘अम्मी’च ठेवणं मला गोष्टीतल्या एकंदर वर्णनाशी सुसंगत वाटलं. (गोष्ट: दम दमादम बिर्याणी).

मात्र वर उल्लेख केलेल्या पणज्यांच्या गोष्टीतल्या सांस्कृतिक संदर्भानं मला जरा कोड्यात टाकलं. मूळ गोष्ट नॉर्वेजियन होती. वाचन पातळी ४, म्हणजे आपलं आपण वाचू शकणाऱ्या मुलांसाठी. गोष्टीतली मुलगी तिच्या दोन पणज्यांबद्दल सांगते आहे. त्यात ती सुरुवातीला सांगते, “`माझे बाबा एका लांबसडक, तपकिरी केसाच्या मुलीच्या प्रेमात पडले. मग तीच माझी आई झाली.” नंतर विचार करतांना वाटलं की मूळ गोष्टीतलं हे वर्णन मराठीत तसंच ठेवतांना आपण आपल्या मुलांना जरा जास्तच गृहीत धरलं की काय!! ती मुलगी आणि तिच्या दोन पणज्या यांच्यातले भावबंध मात्र अगदी आपल्याकडच्या नातवंडं-पतवंडांसारखेच.

अर्थात अशा विचारमंथनातूनच अनुवाद प्रक्रिया अधिकाधिक सरस होत जाईल, हे नक्की.

अनुवादित गोष्ट एकदा मोठ्यानं, कथन केल्यासारखी वाचून बघणं या उपक्रमाचा पण फायदा होतो. त्यातून काही भाग बाद होतो, काही नव्यानं लिहिला जातो. अनुवादाची भट्टी नीट जमली आहे की नाही हे आपलं आपल्याला कळण्याचा तो एक मार्ग असतो.

प्रत्येक अनुवादागणिक काही नवीन दृष्टी मिळते हेही खरंच. आणि म्हणूनच त्यातला आनंद कायम राहतो.

Build the Bridges of Translation

30th September is celebrated as International Translation Day. It was launched as an idea to show solidarity of the worldwide translation community in an effort to promote the translation profession in different countries. This is an opportunity to display pride in a profession that is becoming increasingly essential in the era of progressing globalisation. Pratham Books' language editors and translators are celebrating this day through a series of blog posts.
sandhya's photo.jpg

(This post was written by Sandhya Taksale. Sandhya Taksale left the world of journalism after 20 years for the far more exciting world of editing children’s books and facilitating translations. Her dream is to live in a world filled with books and storytelling. She is a senior editor with Pratham Books and is based out of Pune. Sandhya writes about translating for children and wishes our sparkling translator community a Happy International Translation Day.)

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Children who read Pratham Books are smart.

They know of brave Buli and have heard of our dance loving Zenie from the North East; they are friends with Biju, the magic weaver from Odisha and Tamil Nadu’s Kolam expert Susheela. They team up with Ahmed, the cricket fan from Kashmir and mischievous Kallu from U.P. They know what Chittappa, Ammachi and Pati means. They would love to go to Groundnut Fair of Bengaluru in the winters. They also know that the Ponkh Festival of Ahmedabad, the Snowman Competition in Shimla and Desert Fair of Jaisalmer - all happen in the winters! (Tip: read this and you will know too.)

These kids, they know many, many things…How? Well, because they love stories! These fun tales have Pan Indian characters and rooted Indian settings. And our little readers meet all of them in joyful stories which have been translated into their mother tongue languages.

One community speaks to another through translation.Translation is the bridge which connects people, languages and cultures. Also, translation builds the bridges of love, warmth and empathy. Translation is the integral part of our culture and literature. As Indians, we stay connected to each other and then we connect to the world.

Multilingual content through translations is at the heart of what we at Pratham Books work towards. Translation of our stories in multiple languages help us reach joyful stories to children in their mother tongues. In the last decade, we have published stories in 24 languages. StoryWeaver, our digital platform, has stories in 101 languages


The process of translation is a creative and beautiful engagement but it is tricky as well. Many people think that translating for children is the easiest thing to do, but...not really. Why?

There are many reasons. We mainly work with English as our source language. The nature and eco system of the English language is different from that of the Indian languages. The construction of sentences and clauses is different. The narration style is different.

Secondly, translating for children is a complicated process. Children are still learning to read and understand. Their relationship with the language is sensory. This means that the language appeals to their senses - not their intellect. That is why the sound, the rhythm and the flow of the language are all very important things. Also, the contextualised word play has a key role to play in children’s stories. For instance, the pun in the title of ‘Counting on Moru’ is difficult to carry to the language titles - so we need to get creative here. (How did we solve this puzzle in Marathi? Click here to find out).

Then of course, we need to get the essence and tone of the story right. It has to be grammatically correct. We need to rely on a ‘simpler’ language.

And above all, we also want to ensure that the translated story becomes a joyful read and not a boring one. That is why translations, especially the ones for children, have to be carefully crafted.

And no, it doesn’t get easier when you get to the review stage. You know why...cause translators and reviewers can almost never agree with one another:) And why is that? . Language (and translation), you see, is a live, vibrant, live and an ever-changing entity. There are many subtle differences in the way each one of us thinks, speaks and writes in our language. So, we are bound to have multiple point of views and debates. And this is a healthy sign.

Pratham Books recently organized a workshop on ‘Translating for Children’ to keep these very debates live and to address the many aspects and nuances of translations. Translators, reviewers, editors and language experts participated in this two day workshop. We had a combination of academic discussions and practical exercises. This workshop was helpful in so many ways. Keep watching this space as we will be sharing our key learnings with you soon.

Keep translating. Let’s build some more bridges of love and empathy and together, let’s spread the joy of reading all around! Happy International Translation Day to You!

Image Source : Lavanya Karthik

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Cubbon Park Becomes a Storytelling Adda!

Amrita Tripathy writes about our recent storytelling session at Cubbon Park...

Last month, we were back again with a storytelling session at Cubbon Park. On 27th August, a few Bangaloreans braved the rain and grey skies to attend this very session. Geared with windcheaters and umbrellas, a crowd had gathered near the reading zone’s red canopy. 

In association with The Hindu, Pratham Books celebrated Cycle Day at the park with an interactive storytelling session. Designed to captivate all age groups, the storytelling session included not one but three stories!

Author of ‘Apu's Giant Earthquake’, Sudeshna Shome Ghosh enthralled the young audience with a  song and the tale of how Bey-asura’s cacophonic singing caused the earthquake. Singing with Bey- asura was indeed fun for the kids.





 Keeping the tempo alive, Janhavi Lakshminarayanan narrated the hilarious story ‘Hatchu! Ha-aaa- tchu!’ where one man’s sneezing troubled an entire village. And of course, a lot of sneezing ensued when the children tried to enact Hatchuram’s sneezing! Janhavi, who is also a freelance Kannada translator with Pratham Books, read ‘Up World, Down World’, one of the books from our STEM book series. This is a story about a girl named Fatima who befriends a Malabar dormouse and visits the tree canopies to meet the inmates there. Doesn’t it sound exciting to bump into or spot a green vine snake, a tree frog, a fruit bat and more such arboreal animals in a canopy walk? Fatima meeting these arboreal animals in the story and having a party with them gives us hope that wild animals can co-exist with human beings.





Seeing the young audience’s spirit, I forgot that I was unwell. It was definitely a fun, riveting, story-filled morning for children of all ages!

 To know more about our STEM series, click here.
You can also read all these stories on StoryWeaver.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Sleepless, And Full of Stories

A candid telephonic interview with Yasaswini Sampathkumar, author of 'Kottavi Raja and his Sleepy Kingdom' (published by Pratham Books), reveals the woman behind the story that is spreading its wings across the country today. The story was chosen for this year's 'One Day, One Story' campaign and will be read by 5700+ #PBChamps across India and the world. Chetana Divya Vasudev shares more...

A couple of years ago, Yasaswini Sampathkumar was coping with sleeplessness -- her six-month-old refused to sleep through the night.

Suggestions poured in from all quarters. Feed him a certain concoction, rock him to sleep at a particular angle. You, a storyteller, are having trouble? Tsk, tsk, try soft music. Or a walk?


She hasn't found a sure-shot solution yet. But a year ago she gave in to wishful thinking, and the nocturnal protagonist of her Kottavi Raja and His Sleepy Kingdom, inspired by her son, found relief in the end. (Oops, belated spoiler alert!)

"I'm still waiting for that day," says the former molecular biologist.

The book has been chosen for our annual storytelling campaign -- Season Six of One Day, One Story. On September 9, volunteers, or #PBChamps as we call them, will bring Kottavi Raja alive for children across the country and overseas. Through storytelling, read-aloud sessions or other activities and games.


This campaign strives to make children fall in love with reading. Yasaswini participated in this initiative in 2015, when she took Umesh P N's The Boy and the Drum to children in and around IIT Guwahati, where she lives.

She has loved writing for as long as she can remember. Once her son was born, she had less time to call her own. But, unexpectedly, she made time to write more.

"Earlier, when inspiration struck, I'd put off writing. But once he was around, taking up nearly all my time, if I thought of something while rocking him to sleep, I knew I'd have to write when he was napping," she recounts. "If I didn't, it would never happen."

But she missed telling stories; she used to teach English to children from neighbouring areas and stories were a big part of her classes. But with the baby, she didn't get to go out much.

So when she heard of the #PBChamps programme, she was in two minds. ‘What if my son needs me,’ was her first thought.

She signed up anyway. "I told myself those two hours of storytelling, whatever happens, would be mine," she recalls.

She found it was very rewarding. “I told the story in English, after which a parent took the Marathi translation home to read to her children.”

How does it feel, now that her book has been chosen for this year's campaign? Truly unreal, she says. Yasaswini is ecstatic, almost incredulous, about how many people have signed up to be champs. "I'm really, really, really thrilled that a story I wrote in a moment of frustration with my son's sleeping habits has been translated into so many regional languages," she adds.


"When I sent out my manuscript (Kottavi Raja...), there was some initial interest. Then I thought it had died down. For so long, I thought my book wouldn’t see the light of day," she reflects.

Hearing that she'd see it in print was a dream come true, and that it has been chosen for the campaign has only made her happier. September 9 is special to her on two counts: the fact that her story will be told and retold across the country and beyond its borders, and because her son turns three. Her family is planning to celebrate the occasion with children in IIT Guwahati, where she lives, with stories -- including Kottavi Raja... -- in several languages.

"It's so great to even talk about children's books, I rarely get to do that," she confides. "It's such a wonderful world."

David Shannon's No David and Rani's First Day of School by Cheryl Rao feature among her favourites.

She wishes more adults would read children’s books because "they cut the crap and are very clever in a way books for adults are not". And read them to remember what it's like to be a child. Her stories try to do that.

"A lot of my ideas come from children, including the the one on the weight of air (a Pratham Books title in the works). That came from a class discussion where the children wanted to know why a balloon full of air doesn't fall faster to the ground than a balloon that hasn't been blown."

This is a STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics) book. How do such books work in class?

"I don't think the stories and the lessons (that follow) have to be strongly connected," she offers.

When you begin a class with a story, no matter how unrelated, you have the children's attention, Yasaswini believes. "It's like telling them even though you're an adult, you can be fun."

While the children clearly enjoy most stories -- they even tell her some in return ('You know, ma'am, there's a chudail here...even though her feet touch the ground she's a chudail and she comes during the day too, so please let us go home early') -- most settings are rather alien to them.

Ask her if she thinks Kottavi Raja would have been different had a kid written it, and the line goes quiet. After a few seconds, she says, "I think he'd have been a lot more persistent." Like her son.

When she tells him it's time for bed, he responds with, 'But why Amma?', a question that has become an integral part of their lives.

"It usually goes like this: 'Come on, it's time for bed.'

'But why should I go to bed, Amma?'

'Because you've been running around all day and you must be tired.'

'But why am I tired, Amma?

'Because you've been up since six in the morning.'

'But why did I wake up that early, Amma?'"

"Sometimes, he asks about what he was before he was born!" And she’s struck dumb.

Yasaswini’s examples are endless and insightful in a way that only an empathetic observer's can be. Perhaps, each of these might become a book in it's own right. You never know.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Celebrating International Literacy Day with 5700+ Storytellers and 6300+ Sessions

Happy International Literacy Day!

This day is always very special for us. 6 years ago, we started the 'One Day, One Story'campaign. From 250+ volunteers, we have grown to a tribe of 5700+ volunteers!

Last month, when we sent out the registration form, it started filling up in no time. From an organization that asked us to send them a poster to invite more educators to the program to an organization that conducted a storytelling workshop for their teachers, from a new storyteller to one who was mobilizing a team of storytellers across Delhi, from government schools to international schools - the diversity of this year's program is exciting to see!

Champions have been preparing to share the story of  'Kottavi Raja and his Sleepy Kingdom' to children across the country. "How many champions?", you ask.


In the 6th edition, the 'One Day-One Story' campaign will see :

Sessions in 26 Languages
5700+ Champions
6300+ Storytelling Sessions
Thousands of children listening to stories

This year's chosen book is Kottavi Raja and his Sleepy Kingdom (written by Yasaswini Sampathkumar and illustrated by Henu). Kottavi Raja had trouble sleeping. Only at night. During the day, when his ministers discussed complex problems, he’d find himself nodding of f. He asked everyone for remedies. Nothing seemed to work. Until... Travel to Kottavi Raja’s land through this book and see what happened next.

Yasaswini Sampathkumar, the author, is ecstatic, almost incredulous, about how many people have signed up to be volunteers. "I'm really, really, really thrilled that a story I wrote in a moment of frustration with my son's sleeping habits has been translated into so many regional languages," she adds. September 9 is special to her on two counts: the fact that her story will be told and retold across the country and beyond its borders, and because her son turns three. Her family is planning to celebrate the occasion with children in IIT Guwahati, where she lives, with stories -- including Kottavi Raja... -- in several languages.

The story will also be narrated in 13 other countries. While the story is available in 5 languages, our sparkling community has translated the story in 13 new languages on StoryWeaver and the story is being told in around 26 languages. These translations include Indian languages like Surjapuri, Sanskrit, Konkani, Kumaoni, Urdu and international ones like Bahasa Indonesia and French.

A majority of this year's sessions are slotted to take place on 9th September (so that more people and children can participate). If you've just found out about our International Day celebrations, fret not! To conduct your own storytelling session, please register, download the book and share it with a child/children.

HOW TO BE A #PBCHAMP
  • Download the book in :English, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada and Odia. You can also access translations done by volunteer translators in  Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati, Sanskrit, Kumaoni, Surjapuri, Punjabi, Konkani, Bahasa Indonesia, French, Sinhala, Urdu.
  • If you are reading to younger children, you can use the re-levelled version in English and Marathi.. There is also an image-only version for those who may want to project the story.
  • Our friends at Radio Mirchi have recorded the books in English, Hindi, Kannada and Marathi. Click on the links to listen/download the stories. You can play the story out for an audience of children too.
  • Choose the place and time you want to conduct the session. Identify places where you can conduct this event in your city - A government school, an NGO, a library, a bookstore, a park, a train, your building...any place with regular kids footfalls. Approach the organization and explain the concept to them. Most of them will be happy to host you.
  • Prepare for your session. Read the book a few times. If you are reading to a younger age-group, see how you can tell the story without actually reading the book (to retain their attention).
  • You could also add an activity to your session. Take a look at the activity ideas we've shared this year.
  • After the session, send us a short write-up or send us some photos from the event and we will feature it on the champions blog. Mail us at champions(at)prathambooks(dot)org.
If you want to attend a session, we as well as some of our champions are conducting events that are open to the public. Check the full list here.

If you are sharing pictures/news about your event, please use the hashtag #PBChamps on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so that we and other champions can also follow your updates. You can:

Tweet us at @prathambooks
Find us on Facebook at : www.facebook.com/prathambooks
Say hi on Instagram at : @pratham.books (note : there is a dot between the two words)
Join Pratham Books and 5700+ storytellers in sharing the joy of stories.

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About the campaign :
At Pratham Books we have a dream, to see “A book in every child's hand”. We understand that to reach the 200 million + children in India is going to take a while. In the meantime, we decided to take 'One Day, One Story' campaign to as many children possible on a single day throughout the country.

This initiative is part of the Pratham Books' Champions program where we encourage our community of volunteers to conduct reading sessions. These sessions are conducted free of cost and mostly with children from under-served communities. The Pratham Books' Champions program is a one-of its kind volunteer program that has scaled to a national level with more and more volunteers wanting to join us in this movement.