Friday 14 May 2021

Tamil Translation of Australian YA novel

Tamil Translation Symposium in memory of CREA Ramakrishnan by children’s author Hazel Edwards (pictured left)

I hadn’t realised how ‘Australian’ was my writing. Last night (Melbourne time), I zoomed as the Australian author in  the Tamil translation international Symposium in honour of the late Chennai Cre-A publisher Ramakrishnan

Ramakrishnan published my YA novel Fake ID as the first Australian YA novel translated for Tamil youth. It’s now used by many Tamil young readers.

Ramakrishnan was such a gentleman and a genuinely literary publisher for whom all had the greatest respect.  Albert Camus’ ‘The Plague’ was one of the many international novels he had translated directly from French to Tamil.  Sadly, Ramakrishnan died in November 2020.

Translator Meenakshi Hariharan explained the challenges of translating my Australian idiom, which included teen words like ‘snack attack’ into Tamil. ’Mess’ was a challenge too.

As the original author of a novel Fake ID I wrote almost 20 years ago, it was humbling to hear of the attention given to translating my words into Tamil.

And the reason why it had been chosen and launched in Chennai 4 years ago by the Australian consul. The aim was to promote cultural understanding.

This project was initiated by the late Judith Rodriguez who had strong ties with Chennai.  Professor Indra Chidambaram was also involved.

At a time when Australian is losing international students, projects like this keep cultural respect in place. It finished at 1 am Melbourne time but participators from University of Chicago and Chennai India were on different time zones.

Hazel Edwards O.A.M

Patron: Society of Women Writers (Vic)

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