Can a Tamil novel be written in Malayalam? Sounds baffling but seems possible, if a great translator can give the readers a work beyond the language in which it was written and yet retain the original essence.
“A translation should always reflect the spirit of the author’s original work and that should be the thumb rule of every translator,” says KV Jeyasri, a Tamil teacher-translator from Tiruvannamalai. Jeyasri has won the Sahitya Akademi Award 2019 for her translation of the Malayalam novel Nilam Poothu Malarnna Naal (The day the land bloomed and blossomed) into Tamil as Nilam Poothu Malarntha Naal.
“Being a translator, the biggest responsibility and challenge is to retain the essence of the original work,” she says.
Interestingly, Jeyasri—born to parents who lived in Kerala’s Palakkad and later moved to Tiruvannamalai (in Tamil Nadu) for livelihood—did not have any formal education in Malayalam.
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