Answering a question during an interview in a leading English online journal INDIAN PERIODICAL I answered a question as follows:
Different Indian languages have literary works of great cultural and artistic value but regionalism often comes in the way of connecting people with great literary works. What is the way to bridge this gap in your opinion?
Yes, India is a vast and diverse country with its rich heritage, culture, religions, languages, literature, scholars, writers, poets and so on. They are indeed great treasures beyond values for the present and posterity.
In a multilingual society and the states on linguistic basis, regionalism of course takes its own toll on many aspects and one important impact is on the literary works of great cultural and artistic value. Due to political and other reasons there is a vast gap in connecting the people. Rightly you have diagnosed the cause for the gap and that is narrow regionalism leading to parochialism. It should therefore, be the foremost duty of the broad and nationalistic minded patriots to create opportunities for the people of religions and regions, languages and cultures to move freely and absorb the greatness from others.
Translation of the rich literary works of each language into other languages of India and English is a sure way of bridging the gap.
Emphasizing on the importance of TRANSLATION in bridging the gap, great National Poet Subramanya Bharathiyar says:
தேமதுரத் தமிழோசை உலகமெலாம்
பரவும்வகை செய்தல் வேண்டும்.
பிறநாட்டு நல்லறிஞர் சாத்திரங்கள்
தமிழ்மொழியிற் பெயர்த்தல் வேண்டும்
திறமான புலமையெனில் வெளிநாட்டோர்
அதைவணக்கம் செய்தல் வேண்டும்.
Thaemadhurath thamizoasai ulagamelaam
Paravum vagai seythal vaeNdum
Piranaattu nallaringar saaththirangkaL
Thamizmoziyir peyarththal vaeNdum
Thiramaana pulamaiyenil veLinaattoar
Atdhai vaNakkam seythal vaeNtum.
Translation In English
Tami’sl mellifluous sounds
Must reach the world’s utmost bounds.
Translation too we must produce
From foreign classics for our use.
Our genuine greatness and skills and wisdom
The world will recognize and salute hands down.
But then translation is a fine art and science; competent persons for translation from one language to other language/s are to be spotted, sufficient recognition given and motivated to pursue the art of translation. Translation is not simply finding the equivalent words. It is indeed trans- creation; the translator must get into the heart and soul of the original creator and come out with his version presenting the mind of the creator.
It has to be done through print and electronic media. From that angle, I cannot but commend the efforts of Indian Periodical. Educational Institutions should make it a point and policy to prescribe the translated literature in the curriculum at all levels. As extracurricular studies, parents, social service organizations and schools must popularize translated arts and literature. It may not be too much to suggest literary competitions may be floated at many levels on translated literary pieces for all ages, educational standards, rural, urban groups and so on as the competitions have the motivating ability.
Thinking on this line, this INTERNATIONAL TRANSLATION DAY is quite heart warming.
International Translation Day is celebrated every year on 30 September on the feast of St. Jerome, the Bible translator who is considered the patron saint of translators. The celebrations have been promoted by International Federation of Translators ever since it was set up in 1953. In 1991 FIT launched the idea of an officially recognised International Translation Day to show solidarity of the worldwide translation community in an effort to promote the translation profession in different countries (not necessarily only in Christian ones). This is an opportunity to display pride in a profession that is becoming increasingly essential in the era of progressing globalization
The United Nations General Assembly has passed on May 24, 2017, a resolution declaring September 30 as International Translation Day, an act to recognise the role of professional translation in connecting nations.Eleven countries – Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Paraguay, Qatar, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam – are the signatories of Draft Resolution A/71/L.68. In addition to the International Federation of Translators, several other organisations have been advocating for this resolution to be adopted: International Association of Conference Interpreters, Critical Link International, International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters, Red T, World Association of Sign Language Interpreters
On this happy occasion of International Translation Day, I pleasantly look back on my passion for translation and what little that I could achieve, gives me an enormous sense of satisfaction.
Yes, I started my translation journey with the English to Tamil through MTS Academy- a wing of Mylai Thiruvalluvar Tamil Sangam- founded by Dr. Cheyon, former Director of All India Radio, Chennai.
1 “Thiruvalluvar Aththichoodi” in 2001 which also included Avvyar’s, Barathiyar’s and Barathidhasan’s – Translated work from Tamil to English
2. “Voice of Valluvar” ELIXIR OF LIFE” 10 Research Articles on Thiruvalluvar thoughts –Translated work from Tamil to English- l.
3. “CRR at the Peak – Translated work from Tamil to English – a biographical work on the former Chairman of L & T Sri C R Ramakrishnan..
4.”ThirukkuraL” translated from Tamil to English in Haiku format.
1. “Voice of Ramana” Bagwan Ramana Maharishi’s “AKSHARA MANA MAALAI” in Tamil translated into English in Haiku format.in 2010
2. “Cukkos Song” – Bharathiyar’s epic poem“KUYIL PATTU” in Tamil translated to English. Quite a good number of immortal poetry of Bharathiyar has been translated into Tamil and they were published for more than a year in the Indian Periodical- an accredited online magazine.
3. Translated the English poems under the caption “COSMIC ACCIDENT” of Dr. A Padmanabhan, former Governor of Mizoram and Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu into Tamil “விண்வெளி விபத்து”.
4. Translated the poems of Japanese poet Daisaku Ikeda from English to Tamil “தண்ணீர் ஓசை” and published in 2013.
5. “REIKI in Human Welfare”- A book on REIKI translated from Tamil to English.
6. Translation of Tagore’s Gitanjali into Tamil with explanation in 2014 by UMI Publications.(UNIQUE MEDIA INTEGRATORS
7. “Chithra Guptha” – History of Lord Chithra Guptha in Tamil by Sri A K Selvadurai–Translated from Tamil to English in 2015.
8. Tamil epic poem of Poet Narana. Manivannan titled “பிரபஞ்சம் ஒரு தேரோட்டம்” translated into English captioned “UNIVERSE- A CHARIOT ON THE MOVE”**
TELUGU TO TAMIL
Thiruvaiyaru Thyagaraja’s PANCHARATNA KEERTHANAS were translated from Telugu to Tamil and the same was rendered by a music troupe from Madurai and was brought out s a CD with a printed Booklet.
Yes,when I started my translation journey from the MTS Academy, I never imagined that I will go this far! Translation of a prose to prose my not be that difficult;but translation of a verse in any form to a verse of the same form indeed poses a formidable challenge to the translator.
All my translations are Verse in English to Tamil and vice versa! I was pleasantly surprised that a literary Organization called “SOUTH INDIA SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ACADEMY” based at Chennai honored me with their ADMIRABLE ACHIEVER AWARD for my trans-creational (TRANSLATION) work in 2015!
My fancy for Translation Literature attracted a literary organization- “The South Indian Social and Cultural Academy”, Chennai and they in an impressive function held here in Chennai Hotel Palmgrove on 26/12/2015, honored me with the title “மொழியாக்கச் செம்மல்” (An accomplished Translator). Retd. Madras High Court Judge Hon’ble Pon. Bhaskaran handed over the trophy.
Again taking into account all my literary pursuits including TRANSLATION, United Writers Association of India from Chennai and Simhapuri Fine Arts Academy of Nellore honored me with their respective ADMIRABLE ACHIEVERS AWARD 2018! NTR MEMORIAL ALL INDIA AWARD 2018! The former was handed over by the Hon. Union Minister Ganesh Prabhu and the later by two of the Hon. AP Ministers.
I vividly recall my presentation of a paper on TRANSLATION LITERATURE in the 10th International Writers Festival and Indian Ruminations Literary Festival held in Thiruvananthapuram in December 2014.
I concluded my paper in the following words:
I know the futility of bringing out a great topic such as “TRANSLATION LITERATURE” within a frame of 3500 to 4000 words. Yet I have made an honest attempt to present a paper based purely on my personal experience as a translator to this august audience drawn from different parts of the globe. I hope you will find something worthwhile out of this. I thank you all for your patience and the organizers for having given such a wonderful opportunity to present this to you.
Wishing you and your family members a very happy and healthy, peaceful and prosperous New Year 2015!
Those who are interested for more details, may please read the Blog post titled IN THE WONDERLAND OF TRANSLATION LITERATURE from the archives -posted on 3rd January 2016.
With this we end this Sunday story rededicating on this auspicious dy of INTERNATIONAL TRANSLATION DAY to pursue my passion of TRANSLATION!
Presenting the paper on Translation Literature in the THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Conference in 2014,
ENVIUS THOUGHTS crosses 1,74,000 views.
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