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Friday, February 25, 2011

The politics of post colonial translation - Harish Trivedi

the following is a write up on 'The politics of post colonial translation' by Rini Thomas

This particular excerpt discusses the politics of post colonial translation from hindi to english and vice-versa through the implications established by Harish Trivedi in his essay the politics of postcolonial translation. When postcolonial translation is discussed, the foremost idea that is to be addressed is, how it is crucial to assume not only chronological but also a qualitative difference between translations, both in the colonial and the postcolonial eras. This applies only to translations because the original literary works have a historical configuration which envisages the date of composition or publication. But in translations both the original text and the translated text have to be comprehended in terms of its historical co-ordinates. In doing so, there are a few questions which are addressed:
1) Are same kind of texts translated in postcolonial times?
2) Are different kinds of texts now beginning to be translated?
3) Whether the balance of cultural power is transacted in terms of reception and impact?
The process of translation involves interaction between two authors, languages, cultures and political implications. In this pretext the translating process is always a hegemonic one wherein the translation is superior and the source text is inferior as this is not just personal preference but also due to the impact set by the west (british). Coming to the point of discussion, in the act of translation when a literary work is being translated from hindi to english, the translator modifies, reframes and restructures the original work and the original author is falsified. The translations from hindi to english leave behind chunks of Indianness and this kind of a pattern is chosen by translators either foreign or Indian. This so happens in the ending of any literary work where the Indian sense gets subjugated and transfered to a western sense of ending.
Translations of a hindi text share common features of translatorial practices. This is a new formulation which is a whole culture into another. It identifies what gets translated and what may be sought to be translated. The cultural-national project of postcolonial translations in India have two contemporary aspects. They are translations of world literatures into hindi and translations from hindi to english. This is a politics of another kind. E.g. one of the hindi writers Rangey Raghav has translated fifteen Shakespearean works to hindi. Shakespeare is the most notable of all english writer. In translating Shakespeare’s works into hindi would bring in popularity and hindi gets a wider scope and wider audience. This is not because Rangey Ragav expressses his love of shakespeare but rather his love of hindi. Apart from this, there are many other young and rising hindi translators who have translated, the waste land by vishnu khare, the portrait of a lady by mohan rakesh, the stranger by rajendra yadav and many other writers discovered their talent as writers through translating such works of emminent European writers. In translating such works these translators bring home a remarkable power of conception by delineating human characters, European history to the sympathetic Indian reader. The next reason behind such kind of translations is becausee of the aspiration and desire than achievement or performance. Translating literary works from hindi to many other foreign languages not just english means that the history, the society, the culture of the language hindi has to get a global acclaimation.
Yet another reason behind Indian writers translating literary works from hindi to english and vice-versa is ultimately to reach beyond a larger readership. Sometimes there arises a question as to why many works from english have to be translated to hindi precisely because the readers get the original text than wait for the translated works. These are the different ‘politics’ that are discussed in this excerpt.

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