Tasting Tandoori Chicken in English: From ‘Translation Impossible’ to ‘Translation Is-possible’

Hina Nandrajog

Abstract


Translation of literature is one of the most challenging tasks as one renders a text, located amidst a dense cultural milieu, into a foreign avatar, while making it appear as the most natural thing ever! The success of a translation lies in the felicity of expression even as it conceals the passionate struggle to find le mot juste. Through a reading of some difficult nuances in Hindi and Punjabi literature, I share my torment at how to convey the exuberance and larger-than-life Punjabi character in the self-deprecatory reticence of the English. With examples from not just translations of Hindi and Punjabi texts into English but texts written originally in English by writers of Punjabi sensibility, the presentation seeks to demonstrate how such knots and gnarls are negotiated during the process of translation and what translation strategies a translator may incorporate to evoke the local ecosystem. 

Keywords: Cultural transference; sense for sense translation; creative use of English; Indian writing in English; multiple translations

 


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