I need to know a question about translation from this sample of a literate text: "I am an Indian, very brown, born in Malabar, I speak three languages, write in Two dream in one. Don’t write in...

I need to know a question about translation from this sample of a literate text:

"I am an Indian, very brown, born in

Malabar, I speak three languages, write in

Two dream in one. Don’t write in English, they said,

English is not your mother-tongue. Why not leave

Me alone, critics, friends, visiting cousins,

Everyone of you? Why not let me speak in

Any language I like? The language I speak

Becomes mine, its distortions, its queernesses,

All mine, mine alone. It is half English, half

Indian, funny perhaps, but it is honest,

It is as human as I am human, don’t

You see? It voices my joys, my longings, my

Hopes, and it is useful to me . . ."

(Kamala Das, 1997: 10)

Kamala’s experience of living in between different languages can be interpreted as an experience of translation. Why?

Asked on by esdras

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boomer-sooner | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Translation, sociologically speaking, is the manner of one entity assuming the representation for a network of other entities. In simple terms, it is one person representing multiple ideas. This summary encapsulates the question of Kamala Das.  Psychologically speaking, the translation Das experiences is due to the nature of how she perceives and presents language to others.

     Das experiences translation along these two fronts. There is social pressure to speak one language over another due to a variety of reasons, but there is allusion to speaking "your mother-tongue". Das also experiences language differently from a single user because of the intertwining of phrases and words of the various languages. In this way the languages are translated into a single one which Das finds useful. It is described as "funny perhaps, but it is honest". This "new" language is an example of the sociological and psychological translation of the different languages required due to the nature of society pressuring for one language. Rather than choose one over another, the three are merged into something else altogether but suits the speaker.

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