Translating literature is challenging, Bannanje Govindacharya, scholar, said on Sunday. He was releasing the Sanskrit version of Parva, a novel originally written in Kannada by S.L. Bhyrappa.
Giving an example of the challenges of translating, he said usage of words ending in singular and plural for addressing persons posed a challenge. The father was addressed in plural in some Indian languages but the mother was addressed in the singular. For the translator, there was the dilemma of deciding how and what words should be used to describe them in Sanskrit.
Sanskrit scholar H.R. Vishwas, who translated Parva from Kannada into Sanskrit, said that Mr. Bhyrappa read through every word of his translated books. He said he had the freedom to express his opinion about the books with the author.
Yakshagana artiste Umakanth Bhat said that in translations, it was impossible to get exactly what was written in the original. On the other hand, sometimes, the translation could be better than the original.
This was because the context of each language was different. Each language had its characteristics. For instance, in Sanskrit, sentences were also written in passive. It was a language that, astonishingly, had no script of its own. Much like commenting on someone else’s culinary skills, it was easy to criticise translations, which required much effort.
There was a section of intellectuals that said that there was no need for people to know Sanskrit.
However, knowing Sanskrit, a person could learn any language of the world in six months. There might arrive a time when a person wanting to learn Sanskrit may have to learn it from the Americans, he said.
Narasimhachar M.S. Mahabaleshwar Bhat, General Manager, Karnataka Bank Limited, was present at the event.