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  • 367
  • Malobika Chatterjee
  • Translation


It is entirely possible that a translator turn the original into a nightmare experience.

Literature has a very wide spectrum and there can be any number of varied opinions. However, there is one common factor that can never be change — there is a pull at the heart strings, no matter whether it is the first read or one is reading it for innumerable times. A good translation should lead a straight rack to the soul. There is a connection of the words with the soul.

In present times, there is the general impression that translations are definitely not a labour of love or appeal – it is the art of knowing how to dump one word on top of another with a certain amount of finesse. The only difference is that this would be from the source to the target language. However, one forgets that the fundamental truth is that translations are significantly more complex than a simplistic metamorphosis of words.

Craftsmanship is another word for a good translation which carries all them emotion, pain and rippling laughter in the original. This is better understood if one grasps that for a translator it is infinitely more mystifying. There are also situations when a translator is translating a book, the job is far more tough than the creation of the original.

An author generally begins by jotting down some thoughts and then proceeding to elaborate on them. What about the translator? He first of all needs to empathise with and understand the innate thoughts of the author; then there is the very important factor of being extra cautious about not substituting any emotion or impression and only then can he think about expressing it in words of some other language.

If we take as an example the book The Diary of Anne Frank. It offers a very clear insight from the point of view of a trapped young girl in the world of Nazi brutality. The heart rending tale almost immediately allows us an insight into the trauma the budding young girl went through and the reader is transported into the same world of the agony and pain of imminent death. It is very few who give a thought to the fact that the writing was originally composed in Dutch and not English. That’s where the importance of translation lies — her emotions and suffering have spanned countries and reached millions of people.

The synching of the psyche of the writer and the translator makes for a very broad gamut for the readers who want to reach out. While the specific dialect of the original might not be understood, there is help in identifying with the inclinations of the reader. If there are good translation services, there is every viability of donning the garb of someone’s very different life-style and go into the throes of their feelings.

Innumerable translation agencies in Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Pune are only some cities that can be unhesitatingly approached.


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