Monday, September 6, 2010

Found in translation

When was the last time you read a good book? No, that's too easy. How about a story translated not from a foreign but regional language? Most publishers wouldn't risk attempting a translation, simply because as Jamuna Rao of Bangalore-based publishing house, Dronequill says, “Honestly, it is too difficult to do. Many times what may sound good in a regional language may sound banal in English.” Hence, she says, she is happy publishing original writing in English by writers rather than venturing into translations.

However, she emphasises that there is a need for translations. In fact, in the past year itself there has been a spurt in the publishing of translated works. Rao, points out the problems, and to begin with there is the classic demand-supply issue. “Where is the readership for translated work?” she asks matter-of-factly, adding that “unless the work is well-known, no one will translate it”. Other problems arise in terms of “acquiring translation rights, copyrights and the resources to make a translation viable”.

Full report here DNA

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