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Hindi is common property, no party can appropriate it: Mrinal Pande

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New Delhi: The recently-concluded World Hindi Conference in Bhopal was conducted by people with “obvious party affiliations” which left out noted Hindi writers, Hindi media persons and students, says a veteran journalist and noted writer.

Mrinal Pande, who chaired one of the sessions at the event, feels the Narendra Modi-led NDA government had “erred in not inviting Hindi writers who could have contributed much” to the conference. The conference was aimed at “shuddhikaran” (cleansing) of the Hindi language.

“Language is a common property and a party cannot take a broom and sweep it clean. The writers and the specialists operating on the ground — the media and students of media — were kept out by the organisers, she said.

Mrinal Pande
Mrinal Pande

“The whole thing was handled by people with obvious party affiliations, whose writ was ‘Hindi ka shuddhikaran‘. What shuddhikaran will you do? If you do shuddhikaran, nothing will be left (of the language),” Pande told IANS in an interview over the phone.

The former head of Prasar Bharati said the notion of cleansing the language was “absurd”.

She said most of the Hindi “as we know and speak it today is based largely on dialects like Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Brij Bhasha and Haryanvi. Only 20 percent is based on pure Sanskrit.”

The rest, she added, was based on Persian, Portuguese, Arabic, English and other languages that came in with various traders and armies over the centuries.

Pande said that if the government was serious about promoting Hindi and helping its cause, it should stress on creating proper hardware and software that are compatible with the various kinds of spoken Hindi, taking into account the phonetics and nuances of the language as spoken in different regions.

Pande says a single word in Hindi is pronounced differently in different regions of the Hindi-speaking areas, and the government should work towards developing search engines for Hindi users, keeping all the regional variants in mind.

“The linguistic problems, the word sense, disambiguation and phonetics — all this can’t be done by RSS pracharaks who are not academicians. They were there boasting that Hindi is our matribhasha… I have spent a whole lifetime and burnt the candle at both ends to try and do my bit to professionalise the language,” said Pande.

“At the sammelan, most of the emphasis was on selling Hindi as a source of India’s pride, and on sanitising Hindi – playing it off against English, and also monetising the large numbers of Hindi users in the global market,” she added.

As the editor of Hindi daily Hindustan which would bring out 17 editions and many sub-editions, including those in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and western UP, she found that readers of different regions protested whenever they felt imposed by the central office to use a kind of Hindi they did not speak.

On the proposed two counts of looking at Hindi language– as a tool for mass communication and on developing requisite software, Pande said, “They seemed wishy-washy and watered down and dominated by verbiage”.

According to Pande, at the 9th World Hindi Conference in 2012 in Johannesburg, held under the UPA dispensation, a resolution was passed that the government should work towards total standardisation of Hindi and development of dual keyboards, making it mandatory for all computer companies to make such keyboards. It was also decided that the World Wide Web should be made friendly to Hindi.

indianexpress.com
indianexpress.com

She said her friends who had attended the Johannesburg event told her that the proposal had been sent to the government of India. “Nobody knows what happened to the proposal,” she added.

She also felt that the Narendra Modi government was laying out the red carpet for foreign IT companies, but it was not clear if it had been ensured that they would do enough to help Hindi and the other regional languages or acquire the same kind of user friendly hardware and software that English and other European languages enjoyed.

She said Modi, who is going to Silicon Valley later this month, should talk “seriously and knowledgeably” to the foreign IT firms about all this.

“This is a serious professional matter, not an emotional one, and for thousands like me who are living and working in Hindi, we need professional tools, we don’t need the use of Hindi to be made into an emotive issue.”

(Ranjana Narayan, IANS)

  • It is hypocritical to shed crocodile tears for Hindi and its “Shuddhikaran” when its status of “National Language” is clearly become meaningless since it is not a language that allows its speaker to earn a decent living. Hindiwallahs are culturally conditioned to look down upon Hindi as a language of the menials and it is disbanded from circles of – to use the expression of Anna Hazare – KALA ANGREZ who controls higher technical education, judiciary, corporate circles, competitive examinations etc. Make it a language of livelihood then talk about “SHUDDHIKARAN” . Another point to remember is to counter the organized cultural conditioning of the masses by mainstream media, Bollywood, and Anglophonic schools – to glorify the language of KALAANGREZ and lookdown upon everything indigenous. Hindiwallahs – on one hand treats their own language and culture with contempt and on the other hand shows open contempt for other regional languages and slavish attitude towards ANGREZI. Instead of passing judgment let me just add- that it is interesting how marketing tricks have culturally conditioned the so called educated class of India from all over the land to have lost all sense of self-respect and dignity and play the role of poodle of their Anglo-American masters.

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  • It is hypocritical to shed crocodile tears for Hindi and its “Shuddhikaran” when its status of “National Language” is clearly become meaningless since it is not a language that allows its speaker to earn a decent living. Hindiwallahs are culturally conditioned to look down upon Hindi as a language of the menials and it is disbanded from circles of – to use the expression of Anna Hazare – KALA ANGREZ who controls higher technical education, judiciary, corporate circles, competitive examinations etc. Make it a language of livelihood then talk about “SHUDDHIKARAN” . Another point to remember is to counter the organized cultural conditioning of the masses by mainstream media, Bollywood, and Anglophonic schools – to glorify the language of KALAANGREZ and lookdown upon everything indigenous. Hindiwallahs – on one hand treats their own language and culture with contempt and on the other hand shows open contempt for other regional languages and slavish attitude towards ANGREZI. Instead of passing judgment let me just add- that it is interesting how marketing tricks have culturally conditioned the so called educated class of India from all over the land to have lost all sense of self-respect and dignity and play the role of poodle of their Anglo-American masters.

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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.

Also Read: Plan To Tackle Climate Change Requires Mention in India’s Electoral Politics Agenda

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)