Saturday, May 31, 2014

Unit VIII - Translation

I. Translation
Read the following news item in Telugu and compare it with its translation in English given after that.
The following is the translated version of the above Telugu news item.

Centre's Nod to Kasturi Rangan Committee Report
NEW DELHI : The Ministry of Environment has accepted the recommendations made by the Kasturi Rangan Committee Report on the conservation of Western Ghats. The committee, in its recommendations, made it clear that no further development activities be undertaken in the Western Ghats spread across the 60 thousand square kilometers in six states. The committee appointed by the Union Government and headed by Kasturi Rangan to suggest measures to conserve the rarest eco system of the Western Ghat forests. The committee submitted its Report on 15th of April. The Ministry of Environment , after taking opinions of the six state governments and the people of the states, accepted the recommendations. The Western Ghats extend in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu states.

Let's think of the following:
1. Do you think that translation is just translation of language ? Or does it also include translation of ideas ?
2. Which translation is better?- True translation or free translation ?
3. Do you find any change in the order of the sentence? For e.g : We have Subject, Verb, Object in English but the order is Subject, Object, Verb in Telugu.
4. Do you think sometimes it creates problems in the choice of vocabulary while attempting to translate a text.
5. Is it possible to translate a poem from one language to the other?
6. Is it necessary to take cultural aspects into consideration?

Some principles to be followed in translation:
Translation is the replacement of textual material in one language (Source Language) by equivalent textual material in another language (Target Language).
1. The translation should give accurate meaning of the Source Language message in its context. Nothing should be added or removed arbitrarily through paraphrasing. The translator is to ensure:
2. The meaning of the original text should be clear.
3. Select suitable words and phrases to translate the meaning along with its feeling.
4. The ordering of words and ideas in a translation should match the original as closely as possible. But for better communication/comprehension, differences in language structure often require changes in the form and order of words.
5. Languages like Telugu and English often differ greatly in their levels of formality in a given context). To resolve these differences, a translator must distinguish between formal/ informal, fixed expression or personal expressions, so the translator is to consider: (a) Does literal translation of any expression sound too formal or informal? (b) Does the intention of the writer come through in the translation or the message is distorted? 6. Imagery and idiomatic expressions are generally untranslatable in their true sense. These may include similes, metaphors, proverbs and sayings, colloquialism and in English phrasal verbs. If the expression cannot be directly translated, any one of the following may be tried for better communication and comprehension:
(a) Retain the original word, in inverted commas.
(b) Retain the original expression with a literal explanation in brackets.
(c) Use a non-idiomatic or plain prose translation.
7. An idiomatic expression should not be translated literally if it makes no sense in one's own language (Target Language)
8. What words mean in one language, cannot often be exactly conveyed in another (TL).
The approach of translating should be natural and not unjust. It is better to translate the meaning of the message rather than the words.
The lesson, “What Is My Name?” is a translated version in English from Telugu.
The following is a part of the Telugu version of the lesson. Read the Telugu version and observe how it was translated into English.

1. Compare any news item or story on any subject in English and Telugu /Urdu or any other language.
2. Attempt a translation of a news item or a story of your choice into English from your mother tongue.

What Is My Name? - Grammar

I. Agreement between Subject and Verb

Read the following sentences and notice the underlined parts.
1. Ever since we were born, we have known only this.
2. The letters that are only in father's name.
3. The housewife was disappointed.
4. Your name is Satyanarayana Murthy.

As you know, the underlined words in the above sentences are verbs. In sentences 1 and 2, the verbs are in plural. In sentences 3 and 4, the verbs are in singular. There must be a close relation between the subject and the verb. The verb must agree to the number of the subject. In other words we call it concord. The choice of a verb primarily depends on the number of the subject and the time. Singular subjects are followed by singular verbs and plural subjects are followed by plural verbs.

Use appropriate verb forms from those given in brackets.
 (i) The apples ________________ (are / is) from Simla. The taste of them ______________ (are /is) very sweet. The habit of eating apples _________ (make, makes) us healthy. Most of the rich ___________ (eat / eats) an apple a day. We don'tlike to eat an apple when the greater part of it ______ (is / are) rotten.

(ii) A large number of people ___________ (has / have) attended the meeting. The number of people ___________ (is / are) increasing at an alarming pace. The headmaster along with the members of the staff ____________ (has / have) attended it too. But neither the English teacher nor his friends __________ (has / have) attended. Each of the speakers ___________ (was / were) given only a five minutes to speak. The way the speakers _________ (has / have started their speech is really interesting. The essence of all their speeches ___________ (is /are) the same. They ______________ (have / has) spoken on national integration.


About the author
Smt P. Satyavathi is one of those writers who have brought feminism to the peak in Telugu literature. Though she is a retired English lecturer, she has great understanding of the Telugu accent and the idiom of the respective regions. She is adept in portraying human experience universally. The technique of appealing to the readers by weaving the story wonderfully with a philosophical touch and theological aspect is her forte. She has published four anthologies of short stories, five novels and a collection of essays. She has won a number of prestigious awards.  This story “What Is My Name” is originally published as “Illalakagaane Pandagouna” in Telugu in 1990 and has been translated into almost all the south Indian languages and Hindi .

Once upon a Time - Comprehension

I Tick (..........) the option that will complete each of the following statements.
In some cases more than one option may be possible.
  1. In the first five stanzas the poet is talking about
a) the honest and innocent world of children.
b) the insincere world of adults.
c) the difference between the past and the present.
d) the old and the young.

  1. The last four lines of the poem suggest
a) hope.
b) regret.
c) a sense of loss.
d) eagerness to learn.

  1. The expression 'Ice-cold-block' eyes means
a) The eyes are wet with tears.
b) expressionless eyes.
c) a state of lack of feelings.
d) a dead man's eyes.

  1. 'They' in line 4 of stanza 1 refers to
a) people in the past.
b) present day people.
c) all adults .
d) young children.

  1. 'Their …….. eyes search behind my shadow' means
a) they avoid meeting his eyes.
b) they try to look at the darker side of the person.
c) they convey no emotions.
d) they try to see what is not there.

  1. The poet has learnt
a) to shake hands.
b) the ways of the world.
c) to laugh.
d) to put on masks.

  1. The poet wants to learn from his son because his son
a) is not corrupted by the ways of the world.
b) is more informed.
c) knows about good manners more than his father.
d) is more caring.

II Answer the following questions in a sentence or two each.
  1. When did people shake hands with their hearts?
  2. What is the poet crying over? What help does he want from his son?
  3. "Most of all, I want to relearn how to laugh, for my laugh in the mirror shows only my teeth like a snake's bare fangs !" What does the poet mean by these lines?
  4. What is the tone of the poem?
  5. "Now they shake hands without hearts: while their left hands search my empty pockets."
Why do the left hands search empty pockets now? What does this indicate?
  1. The poet uses certain words to express frustration and sorrow. Identify these words.

Once upon a Time - Glossary

cock-tail (n)        : a drink usually made from a mixture of one or more alcoholic drinks.
conform (v)        : to be and thinking the same way as most other people in a group or society; normally acceptable
portrait (n)          : a painting, drawing or photograph of a person especially of the head and shoulders.
good - riddance (n) : a feeling of relief when an unwanted person leaves
muting (adj)       : changing all the time; expressionless / not expressed in speech
fangs(n)               : long, sharp teeth of some animals like snakes and dogs.