Learning languages for better translation

Seminar dwells on mother tongue and several aspects of translation

Mother tongue was in the spotlight on Tuesday as several speakers dwelt on words, meanings and translations. On the first day of the two-day seminar called ‘Problems of translating books from one language to another with reference to Viswanadha’, former Maharashtra Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao weighed in on the side of learning new languages.

“Every year, we celebrate Telangana Telugu, Andhra Telugu and Yanam Telugu. Why don’t we have a grand celebration of Telugu, which is our mother tongue? Mother tongue is a highly emotive issue. People think that war brought into existence Bangladesh. No. It was the fight for Bangla as a mother tongue as against Urdu that led to the creation of that nation, which we now celebrate as an International Mother Language Day,” said Mr. Rao. “To translate well, we need to be fluent in other languages. We need to master other languages, only then we can translate fluently,” said Mr. Rao.

Tracing the arc of work created by Viswanadha Satyanarayana, Mr. Rao narrated a story written in 1922. “Viswanadha wrote the story about two men in love. He didn’t see it as unnatural or abnormal. Nearly 100 years after he wrote the story where a man dresses up as Satyabhama and lives the part, the law against homosexuality was scrapped,” said Mr. Rao. Earlier, speaking at the seminar, well-known author N. Gopi spoke about his acquaintance as a young boy with Viswanadha. Former Vice-Chancellor C. Mrunalini spoke about the problems in translating books that are composed as dictation and not written by the author. “A writer cuts, chisels and shapes his words and sentences, but if the author is dictating, it is flowing prose that is not so easy to translate,” said Ms. Mrunalini.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 4:14:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/learning-languages-for-better-translation/article29568483.ece

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