The quality of literary translations in Bangladesh is very poor, way behind the culture prevalent in Kolkata, said Prothom Alo Editor Matiur Rahman on Wednesday, 27 March 2017.
Publication house Prothoma is taking up initiatives to translate acclaimed published works of the 60s and 70s to raise the standard of translated literature, he told a discussion on the translation of prominent poet of the Indian subcontinent Saadat Hasan Manto’s short stories “Kalo Shimana”.
The Department of English and Humanities of Brac University (BracU) organised the event titled “Between Languages” at GDLN Conference Room in the university’s Mohakhali campus.
Rahman also expressed interest in working with BracU students to inspire them in to becoming creative translators.
Published by Prothoma in 2018, “Kalo Shimana” was translated by Javed Hussen and is based on the deadly riots following the 1947 partition of India.
Manto was short-lived, a bohemian and a writer who went against traditions and who had deep desire to say his mind. He had an extraordinary talent for analysing literature unbiased. He had unflinching courage in challenging the then social stigmas at every step of the way.
Literary translations not only encompass conversion of one language to another but also the merging of two cultures, said Javed Hussen.
Urdu language and literature have flowed parallel to the history of the Indian subcontinent. It is not a language of a specific group of people nor has been recently created like Bangla and English, for people have been conversing in it for thousands of years, he said.
Rukhsana Rahim, senior lecturer at the department, gave an introduction to Urdu writing in Bangladesh while the department Chairperson Professor Firdous Azim and Chairperson Professor ATM Nurul Amin of the Department of Economics and Social Sciences were also present.