Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The importance of Translation of Bengali Literature in English Language

As I promised yesterday, I am going to write a series of entries about Bangla literature. Well, I am going to use the two words Bangla and Bengali indiscriminately because I believe that while writing in English the name of the language should be Bengali instead of Bangla. Anyway, this is my opinion and you do not need to agree with me. I studied in English Literature and English Language Teaching for my BA and MA respectively. I wanted to study Bangla literature or journalism but in Bangladesh, studying English means that you are safe in your career because money revolves around this foreign language. I wish it was just only money but there is some kind of status symbol associated with this colonial language. Anyway, whether I like it or not English is the dominant international language and Tagore got intentional recognition after his works were translated in English. After or before Tagore, this kind of international recognition did not come to any other poet or novelist in Bangla literature.
Secondly, Bangla is now one of the top 5 or 6 most widely spoken languages in the world. It also has a rich literature. IN 20th century, it surely had the best literature in South Asia with Tagore and Nazrul. Tagore is the national poet of India while Nazrul is of Bangaldesh. Still, in Internet, you cannot find the complete works of Tagore and Nazrul in English. Thus, it is a matter of regret that we have something really valuable but others don’t know. 

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