With an aim to give a fillip to regional languages, St Stephen’s college opened a centre for translation studies last week.
Much to the delight of the students from other colleges, the course will be open to everyone. “Creativity has nothing to do with exclusivity. This centre is like a branch on which birds from everywhere will be free to make their nests. Even non-DU students can study here,” says Dr Valson Thampu, principal.
The centre will be chaired by Dr Harish Trivedi, an English professor of the University of Delhi. Along with a team of professors and translators, the centre will take it upon itself to translate literary works from several regional languages into English. At the outset, the centre will begin its operations with Hindi, Tamil, Malyalam, Punjabi, Urdu and Bengali works. This will soon be followed by other national and international languages including Assamese, Nepalese, German and a few other European languages. For aspiring translators, the centre will also run a six-month diploma course, which is scheduled to start in July this year.
Will the qualification come handy to become a translator? To this, Trivedi replies: “If you read 1,000 poems, you can write one after that. The same way you can become a translator after undergoing this course.”
Referring to the Jaipur Literary Festival, which concluded yesterday, Prof Shirshendu Chakrabarti, a senior faculty member of the centre, says: “All literary discourses and discussions in international events happen in English alone. It is time gifted writers in non-English languages should get their due.”
Professors of non-English languages were visibly happy at the inauguration. Dr Shamin Ahmed, who teaches Urdu at the college, says: “As a translator, your proficiency in both source and target language improves. I am hopeful that this centre will benefit languages like Urdu a lot.”
Present at the inauguration of the centre was ex-Stephenian, Dr Babli Moitra Saraf, who is now the principal of IP College.
She pledged her support to her alma mater.
“IP (College) can collaborate in terms of resources because we have rich resources in Bangla, Hindi and Malyalam,” she says.
. The centre has already commenced operations but the six-month course will start in July
. The regional languages that will be covered are Hindi, Tamil, Malyalam, Punjabi, Urdu and Bengali
. Any student can undergo the diploma course, which will be run in the late afternoon
. For more details, visit www.ststephens.edu