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The Art of Translation

Updated: Sep 22





The art of

Translation!!!


What is translation? Usually, people carry a false perception in their mind that any translation, currently, can only be done by Google Translator. Okay, if that is the case, then let’s understand this event. In August 1998, Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim wrote Larry and Sergey a check for $100,000, and Google Inc. was officially born.


However, what would have people done to translate before 1998?


Knowing different languages makes a person capable of translating the meaning of the words, not the mere words!!!


Repeating my statement, to me, a translation is discovering the meaning of the expression in written or spoken words for the reader or listener to understand.


I, Rajesh Sheth, have been in the teaching line since 1985 and the English Language is my subject. The textbooks are over spilt with the best of the best stories and articles from all over the world of literature: short stories, drama, poems, and novels….


I have been inspired and made inspired by my students, from class 5 to MA., by these thinkers and orators and writers and authors: Beginning from Shakespeare to our beloved Tagore, Robert Frost to Sarojini Naidu, Y B Yeats, Kipling, Robert Frost, Words Worth, Will Stanton, Thomas Hardy, Khushwant Singh, Jerome K Jerome, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, T. S. Eliot, George Orwell, Charles Dickens, H.G.Munro (Saki), Joyce Carry, Leo Tolstoy, O.Henry, Karel Capek, E.V.Lucas, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mark Twain, John Keats, Pablo Neruda, Virginia Woolf, Salman Rushdie, Doris Lessing, Will Stanton, Wordsworth, and my most favourite Ruskin Bond. The list is not enough to express my views.

These beautiful works of the most expert writers of the world poked me to become a teacher of English Literature.


Next was the Grammar. My students of mine were made to understand the feelings of the writer. The core part of the lesson was well understood by the students. I acted, I delivered the dialogues, I sang, and I danced in the classroom to develop a real sense of understanding.


This I call TRANSLATION.


It is actually venting ideas of the writers into the minds of students, making teachers the medium. Over thirty years of teaching American and British English have made me extremely contended. I am still reading and trying to understand many other writers and authors who did not appear in the textbooks.


The Norton Anthology of English Literature is, at present, my guide and friend. This book has accompanied me a lot during these six months of the Corona Lockdown. It is more comfortable for me to understand any English writer. So, having understood them, translation into Gujarati is an easy task for me. It means that Google Translation is not an experienced teacher, but I’m.


I assume that any translator should read, understand and make his/her students understand literature for a minimum of 20 years. This practice will not go in vain! It has been marked that numerous young translators start translating haphazardly the works of any English writers with available tools.


What do you think it is a right approach? There should be a challenging contest for translation among the translators.


In other words, translation is an end product of a process. It may not be only in words from one language to other one! It requires explanation in detail by a narration.


Now let’s accept any translation as conversion of words with the same meaning or making a paraphrase of an idea in different words without changing the meaning, or rendition or interpretation of the ideas and thoughts of a writer in other language without changing the core idea of the original writer. It is a transformation within itself. The body is changed, but the soul remains the same.


Rajesh Sheth (S. Raja)


14 Oct, 2020

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