No more via media

Pune-based translators launch Marathi versions of famous German, Japanese and Russian books

Detectives from Russia, Woman robot from Japan, young couples from Germany are all set to come down to Maharashtra and entertain the masses in Marathi. After the success of Kelyane Bhashantar, a tri-monthly translations magazine, Vidyasagar Mahajan, Nissim Bedekar and Anagha Bhat are ready to launch their books that are translations of famous books in German, Japanese and Russian.

Most of the translations that happen in India are through English. Take for example this — a Russian book will be first translated in English and then to respective Indian language. But in doing so, we tend to lose the real essence of the book. What we are doing are direct translations, thus we also translate the cultures and not only the language,” says Vidyasagar Mahajan, lecturer of Russian language, NDA.

Mahajan’s book Dusrya Jodidarachya Shodhat, is a translation of a German book-Beim Naechsten Mann Wird Alles Anders, which means — with the next man everything will change. The book talks about live-in relationships. Commenting on the comparison between German and Indian literature, Mahajan says, “Both the countries have had great writers. While our literature tends to be spontaneity based some times, German literature is an amalgamation of thinking and literary skills.”

Nissim Bedekar is into translating patents from Japanese to English. He is also a professor in the Japanese department of the University of Pune. What Bedekar really enjoys doing is translating Japanese literature. “My book Bokkochan* Ani Itar Japani Katha is about a woman robot,” he says adding, “Japan has produced a number of great writers like Akuta Gawa and many more, but we are not exposed to this side of Japanese language. Students only want to learn Japanese because of its importance in IT and technical translations. We need to create awareness about importance of Japanese in literature.”

While this is the story with German and Japanese, Anagha Bhat, founder editor of Kelyane Bhashantar has translated short stories of five Russian authors in Marathi. “Russia has a different amalgamation of Europe and Asia and it is this mix that is reflected beautifully in Russian writings. Russian books are fantastic examples of stories related to mental dilemmas,” says Bhat who has translated stories of Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Shidrin, Tolstoy and Chekhov.

– Pranav Kulkarni in Indian Express, 12th April, 2008

* i would like to mention the Gujarati translation of ‘totochan’ by great Shri Ramanlal Soni, whose efforts are beyond the words of appreciation. Gujarati stalwarts have a lot to their credit but sad to say, they are all unsung heroes so far.

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2 Responses to “No more via media”

  1. SV Says:

    Thanks for the informative post.

  2. Haresh shah Says:

    kindly suggest some good books like TOTOCHAN for gujarati translation

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