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‘Asterix’ French Bestseller Comics, Now Available For Hindi Readers

"We talk of warfare, historical hostilities, cultural chauvinism. The comic has strategies, cultural superiority and talking down to the Germanic tribes or Romans. This kind of a comic has a universal resonance.

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"There are so many cultural references. You have to find equivalent Hindi words, terminology, proverbs, jokes, songs. There is Latin used as well," Gupta, who also translated 'The Adventures of Tintin', said. Pixabay

By: Siddhi Jain

Launched in 1959, the French comic classic ‘Asterix’ boasts having sold an unmatched 370 million copies in more than 100 languages. After capturing the global comics market, the series is now available for Hindi readers – after five years of painstaking translation.

The Hindi translation of the first four albums of the ‘Asterix’ series was released here on Thursday by French Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler, who called the comics’ total of 33 albums “a monument of French pop culture” and “opportunity to learn not French, but about the French (people).”

The series follows the adventures of a group of Gallic villagers as they resist Roman occupation in 50 BCE. It was originally written by Rene Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo.

Published by Om Books International, the “albums”, as they are called, were co-translated by Dipa Chaudhuri and Puneet Gupta beginning from 2014. Sharing that translating each album took at least 6-8 months, the task was “not merely a word-to-word translation”.

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Besides finding the right word, we had to find the right length, because there were speech bubbles.  Pixaba

“There are so many cultural references. You have to find equivalent Hindi words, terminology, proverbs, jokes, songs. There is Latin used as well,” Gupta, who also translated ‘The Adventures of Tintin’, said.

Explained his French-speaking co-translator Chaudhuri: “There was a huge translator’s block when we started. It wasn’t just any translation. These were graphic novels and the graphic form imposes a lot of restrictions as to how you can translate.

“Besides finding the right word, we had to find the right length, because there were speech bubbles. The Hindi script practically is much longer than the French. There are matras on the top, side and bottom, whereas in French they are only on top. We couldn’t be waffling with the translation,” Chaudhuri added.

What the translators also has to be mindful of is that each language has its own aural space and one size does not fit all.

“While you’d hit a person with a ‘Paff’ in French, it’ll be ‘Bang’ in English and ‘Thak’ in Hindi,” Gupta expalined, adding that they identified a 100 sounds in four of the 33 albums.

The French equivalent of the India’s iconic ‘Chacha Chaudhary’ comics or ‘Amar Chitra Katha’, ‘Asterix’ is a journey into French mindsets and is widely translated and adapted into animated films, video games, live action films, and even theme parks.

The translators shared an interesting anecdote while preparing the Hindi comic.

“They’ve used the (military) terms decurion and centurion. We couldn’t have used ‘major’ or ‘colonel’. So we had to come up with ‘dashpati’ and ‘shatpati’ for commanders of 10 and 100 soldiers,” Gupta said.

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The series follows the adventures of a group of Gallic villagers as they resist Roman occupation in 50 BCE. It was originally written by Rene Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo. Pixabay

“We called up people in the armed forces and asked them how they’d say this.”

Asked if they came across similarities between the Indo-French cultures, Chaudhari said that while there are culturally distinct experiences, human experiences remain the same.

“We talk of warfare, historical hostilities, cultural chauvinism. The comic has strategies, cultural superiority and talking down to the Germanic tribes or Romans. This kind of a comic has a universal resonance.

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Added Gupta: “Human emotions of fear, hatred, faith, satire and greed transcend time and culture. All these emotions are depicted here and one can correlate.”

The translation rights were acquired by publisher Ajay Mago from the French Hachette Livre after over 5 years of negotiations.

The first four albums are priced at Rs 295 and are available online at Amazon and Flipkart, as also offline. (IANS)

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Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite To Be Available in India Soon

Samsung announced new Galaxy S10 Lite along with another flagship Galaxy Note10 Lite smartphone earlier this month

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Galaxy S10 Lite
Galaxy S10 Lite will house 48MP main camera, 12MP 'Ultra Wide' and 5MP 'Macro' sensors alongside the new 'Super Steady OIS (optical image stabilisation)'. The device will feature a 32MP Selfie camera. IANS

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite that will be available in India in the first week of February for Rs 39,999 can be pre-ordered on Flipkart from January 23.

The e-commerce platform has set up a landing page that reveals the pre-order date for Galaxy S10 Lite.

The much-anticipated device in one variant is likely to cost Rs 39,999 — giving Chinese player OnePlus a tough competition in this price segment, industry sources told IANS on Saturday. The smartphone will give a renewed push to Samsung’s strategy in the premium segment (priced above Rs 30,000), where its flagship smartphones Galaxy S and Note series have traditionally done very well.

Galaxy S10 Lite will house 48MP main camera, 12MP ‘Ultra Wide’ and 5MP ‘Macro’ sensors alongside the new ‘Super Steady OIS (optical image stabilisation)’. The device will feature a 32MP Selfie camera.

The device will come with 6.7-inch, edge-to-edge Infinity-O display, large 4,500mAh battery with super-fast charging and Samsung’s ecosystem of apps and services, including Samsung Pay. Samsung announced new Galaxy S10 Lite along with another flagship Galaxy Note10 Lite smartphone earlier this month.

Galaxy S10 Lite
The Galaxy S10 Lite smartphone will give a renewed push to Samsung’s strategy in the premium segment (priced above Rs 30,000), where its flagship smartphones Galaxy S and Note series have traditionally done very well. Wikimedia Commons

Galaxy Note 10 Lite comes with a 6.70-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080×2400 pixels at a pixel density of 394 pixels per inch (ppi).

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It comes with 6GB RAM, runs Android 10 and is powered by a 4500mAh non-removable battery. Note 10 Lite on the rear packs a 12MP primary camera, a secondary 12MP camera and a third 12MP sensor. The device sports a 32MP camera on the front. (IANS)