Aligarh: The Department of English, Aligarh Muslim University, under the UGC SAP DRS-II programme, organized a Seminar Lecture on translation studies titled “Translating in a Divided Society”.
The lecture was delivered by Prof Rita Kothari, Department of English, Ashoka University, Haryana.
In her lecture, Prof. Rita Kothari highlighted the relevance of talking about Violence in Translation which has become a pertinent topic in an increasingly divisive society we are living in. Prof. Kothari emphasized how both violence and love do not require a medium to carry forward its message. She highlighted the various forms of violence, specifically in translation where dialects are forced to become languages, when violence becomes normative, and an everyday phenomenon, when language through its use of euphemistic terms renders violence as normative. She illustrated her point with the help of the example of Sindhi language and culture. Sindhi as a community and as a culture got demarcated after independence, where the geographical Sindh became a part of present day Pakistan and the 25% Sindhi Hindu minority migrated to Gujarat. The Indian Sindhi community found themselves increasingly alienated and stopped using Sindhi language in the public sphere for fear of being branded as a Muslim or from Pakistan, this has eroded the Sindhi language base in India.
Prof Kothari also talked about the role of English language in translation where the translators translating from a regional language into English need to maintain a crucial balance between translation and transliteration. They must make a choice between what words to translate and what to leave out in order to maintain the meaning, yet to preserve the essence of the regional language. She also pointed out that English often acts as a hegemonic language in the sense that words in regional languages do not hold the same value, unless they are translated in English and becomes available to the general western academia.
Presiding over the session, Prof S N Zeba, focused on the importance of translation in a divided society. She also stressed upon the importance of the job of translator who through his/her works is opening the portals and doors of the translated language and its culture for every reader and also shapes their understanding. Prof. Zeba further encouraged the students and urged them to engage in translation activities.
Prof Rahatullah Khan, Chairperson (Acting), Department of English welcomed the guests and gave a brief introduction about the Department.
Prof Vibha Sharma conducted the programme and proposed the vote of thanks.