Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Jaipur Literature Festival - Found in Translation

22 January 2010
The first session that I attended. Ira Pande wasn't around so Malashri Lal was moderating the discussion between Arunava Sinha and Gillian Wright.

The translator/authors both read out passages from their books and  then answered audience questions. It seemed like a lot of members of the audience were genuinely interested in Translation as a field of work.

The questions ranged from:
How would you translate a colloquial term like "jhit pit"?
-If its a word that resembles a sound made, I would leave it as it is, because it will sound the smae in any language.

If you have to use terms like anklet/pallav repeatedly would you keep replacing them with terms like leg bracelet, open end of a sari?
- I would use the term as is and then include explanations in a glossary at the end
- I would let the sentence be self - explanatory about the term
"She tucked the open end of the pallav in at her waist"

Do translations take away from the original?
- Translation enables a wider readership even though there may be some losses in words/phrases that just cannot be translated.

What are the biggest challenges faced by a translator?
- to recreate the vibrancy of the original.
- Which form of English to use? The English that was in vogue during the time perios the story is set in/written in? the English, I think the character would use? Or the English that I would use in that situation.

It was an interesting session because of the audience interaction and it seemed like this was the first chance the budding translators had got, to speak with people well established in this line.

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