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Defining Translation

As the present study focuses on an English rendering or translation and a critical evaluation of an Odia work, it is necessary to understand the concepts and theories of translation studies at the beginning in a nutshell. Generally, translation is a process of rendering meaning, ideas, or messages of a text from one language to other language. There are some considerations which follow this process, which are mainly related to the accuracy, clarity and naturalness of the meaning, ideas, or messages of the translation. It means that it is an important thing to consider whether the readers of the target text accept equivalent information as the readers of the source text do. These considerations are clarified in some definitions of translation stated by some experts.

One of the most prominent definitions of translation is stated by Newmark (1988: 5) who defines translation as “rendering the meaning of a text into another language in the way that the author intended the text”. This definition stresses on rendering meaning of the source language text into the target language text as what is intended by the author.

Hatim and Munday (2004: 6) define translation as “the process of transferring a written text from source language (SL) to target language (TL)”. In this definition they do not explicitly express that the object being transferred is meaning or message. They emphasise on translation as a process.

Nida and Taber (1982: 12), on the other hand, state that “translating consists in reproducing in the receptor language the closest natural equivalent of the source language message.” This definition is more comprehensive than the previous ones. Nida and Taber explicitly state that translation is closely related to the problems of languages, meaning, and equivalence. From the definitions mentioned above, it is found that translation is a process which is intended to find meaning equivalence in the target text.

Rochayah Machali (2001) and Mona Baker (1992) underline the term meaning equivalence because it is the meaning which is transferred in the target language. In this case, translators are faced with text as unit of meaning in the form of sets of words or sentences. This means that language which is used is unit of meaning in discourse which can be understood by the participants of the communication.

Translation Scenario in Odisha

A considerable amount of translation of iconic Odia novels has been done in the recent years. In fact, there is a rich of translation of Odisha. The major writers whose works have been translated into English are Fakir Mohan Senapati, Gopinath Mohanty, Surendra Mohanty, Pratibha Ray, Manoj Das, etc. Six Acres and a Third, the English rendering of Chha Mana Atha Guntha by Rabi Sankar Mishra, Satya P. Mohanty, Jatindra K. Nayak and Paul St-Pierre in 2005, is a frontline example of translation practices in Odisha. Nayak’sA Time Elsewhere, the English rendering of Desha, Kala, Patraof J.P. Das also speaks a lot about the richness of translation activities in Odisha. Five of GopinathMohanty’s novels, Paraja, Danapani, LayaBilaya, Amrutara Santana and DadiBudha, have also been translated into English. The first three have been translated by Bikram K. Das, the fourth by BidhuBhusan Das, PrabhatNalini Das and OopaliOperajita; and the last by Arun Kumar Mohanty.

Himansu S. Mohapatra, in collaboration with Paul St-Pierre, has translated ‘Basanti: Writing the New Woman’ (2019) which was an Odia collaborative novel by Annada Shankar Ray and eight other authors of Odisha. The major novels and stories of Pratibha Ray have also been translated into English, Yajnaseni being the major example which was translated by Pradeep Bhatacharya in 1995. Jatindra K. Nayak has also given yeomen service to the tradition of translation by the English rendering of Yantrarudha by Chandrasekhar Ratha in 2003 under the English title Astride the Wheel. Besides many, these are only a few examples to illustrate the reach tradition of translation in Odisha as a serious literary endeavour.