A collaborative translation project in eight languages of India “Multilinguality and Translation in India” is published by the international journal of translation, Metamorpheses (Volume 30, Issue 2. Fall/Winter 2022). Initially translated as part of the coursework assessment (Course “Translation Studies”) taught by Professor Sowmya Dechamma CC and Dr. Vamshi Krishna Reddy, at the Centre for Comparative Literature (for the MA batch of 2020-22), this project took almost a year to be reworked and revised for publication.
The introductory essay by Professor Sowmya Dechamma lays out the issues, crucial in translation studies, that are complicated and ultimately illuminated by the very special multilinguality in India, a country in which 19,500 languages are spoken as mother tongues, according to a 2018 census. Under her supervision, teams of post-graduate students undertook the translation into eight Indian languages of a short story written in English by Hansda Shekhar Sowvendra, “November is the Month of Migration.”
The students, hailing from all over India, with a variety of mother tongues but also multilingual in Indian languages as well as proficient in English, worked together to translate, and refine translations into Hindi, Bangla, Kannada, Malayalam, Mizo, Nepali, Odia, and Telugu — languages belonging to an array of different language families. The student translators describe this ambitious collaborative translation project and their team’s translation processes as very enriching.