Malayalam News Literature Website

Translation: A World of Its Own

`Aksharam` welcomed the second day of KLF 2023 with a session on `Paribhashayum Paaraayana Samskaaravu` by Ajai P. Mangatt, C. V. Balakrishnan, E. Santhosh Kumar, and Dr. Radhika C. Nair. The presence of eminent Malayalam translators who brought world-renowned stories to the Malayalam audience brought an immense crowd to the session. Translation in fiction, poetry, and non-fiction was explored by the authors from the respective fields. The discourse touched upon “lost in translation,” the idea of translation, and the challenges of translation.

“Translation is about the intention of the author,” said Balakrishnan. In light of her translational work, moderator Radhika solidified the concept. A novel dimension was brought to translation when Mangatt said, “Translation has a language.” He further commented on how the notion of purity, similar to caste, exists in translation. The translated works are expected to be “pure” or a copy of the original work, whereas they occupy a world of their own. Santhosh Kumar, whose area of interest is poetry, captured the attention of the audience with his recollection of a translational mistake in Rilke’s poem. The significance of words in translation was also put forward by Balakrishnan concerning the title of his translation of “Old Man and the Sea” as “Vriddhanum Vankadalum.” The challenges of translation came across to the audience through the personal experiences of the authors.

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