9/13/2012 ~ Marathi translation of A Pack of Lies

My Marathi is good enough to talk to my sister (whose Marathi is worse than mine), and not at all good enough to read the translation.

This translation happened with my technical and legal consent. There was a clause in the contract with my publisher which allowed them to sell the translation rights.  Needless to say, I learned my lesson. Neither the translator, to my shock and disappointment, nor the publisher, made ANY contact with me during the translation process. Two copies of this Marathi version arrived in my mailbox, and that was how I found out.

To start with, the title of the book translates back to English approximately as “I Will Lie” which immediately said to me that the title was chosen for market impact .  It does not say what I intended. I was not, to put it mildly, delighted. I opened the book, and with some apprehension, read the acknowledgements. And at that point I figured that I would probably drop an eyeball if I read any more. There was a clear mistake in understanding what I meant by “my sisters”, and the translator has taken the liberty of assuming my meaning without bothering to check. At that point I gave up. It seems to me, from what I could tell from reviews of the book, that basically this is now a terrible book. The publisher’s blurb on the cover also sensationalizes it for no reason, as “explosive” and so forth. Sleaze.

My mother, Gauri Deshpande, worked on several translations. She talked to the authors, or, in the case of Sir Richard, did an enormous amount of research and put a lot of thought into it, sometimes agonizing over single words. Shashi Deshpande, who translated my mother’s “Deliverance”, too, did the same. I can’t understand why a translator would not even have a phone conversation with an author whose book she is translating – I am neither dead nor unapproachable.

Anyone who has actually read it in both languages, if there is such a person, I would love to hear what you have to say. Maybe it is not as terrible as I fear. But from what little I have read, I fear it is.

12 Responses to “9/13/2012 ~ Marathi translation of A Pack of Lies”

  1. shashikant says:

    i have reviewed english book in marathi and it will appear this week but i have not read marathi book.

  2. Sandip Joglekar says:

    I can read and speak both Marathi and English equally well and I read a lot in both languages. But unfortunately in Marathi good original fiction or biographies are getting very rare year after year as compared to the scenario 15-20 years back. I have read the Marathi translation of your book and liked it a lot. I had dropped a message on this site too but didn’t get any response back. Its definitely not terrible as you fear and I think the translator has got the essence well. Few initial chapters are a bit bold for Marathi literature, but as one reads on, one gets to see that its a maturely handled subject and narration. I will read the English too in few days, but there are few other books on priority list at this point :-).

  3. neelaxi says:

    hi dear
    i read ur book in english and marathi2 i want to meet u at present iam in texas

  4. Saleel Panse says:

    Hi Gauri,

    I just finished the Marathi translation and that led me to search you on google. I must say the Marathi translation is very good and although I haven’t read the original English book, the Marathi one creates a lasting impression of Ginny on your mind – A true vagabond with inner sensitivity not to be shared with everyone. It is certainly bold for Marathi but connects extremely well with my generation, mid 30’s, who at times keep thinking on missed opportunities in life.. may be coz they were ahead of times.. The younger generation will connect with it even better… I hope there would be a few who would read Marathi literature.. Thanks, Saleel

    • Hi Saleel, I’m actually not Gauri, that was my mother!
      Thanks you for this. I’m so glad you enjoyed the book. Have you read my mother’s work as well? (Gauri Deshpande)

      • Saleel Panse says:

        Hi Urmilla!

        So stupid of me!! Obviously I know you are not Gauri!! I guess its effect of the book 🙂

        I of-course know about your mother and your grand mother.. but haven’t read any of their work.

        apologies once again!

        Saleel

        • Saleel says:

          Hi Urmilla,

          Its been over 2 and a half years that I read your book and I still find it amazing.

          I must tell you that tonight your book helped me to overcome my trauma in an important relationship. Or shall I say – it helped me to ‘figure out’the relationship. It has helped me to reduce my anxiety significantly. This feedback is closely related to my first comment..

          Thank you once again..

          Saleel

  5. mahesh says:

    I remember my college days when we friends got debonair magazine from someone and one friend said that one photo of urmila deshpande has been published which was very bold at that time and some readers asked her to get nude and she said I can do but I should get such a large amount that I should not get it again in life. Is it true ? I was just reading your page and it reminded me.

  6. dr ashutosh javadekar says:

    Hi urmila , i liked both , ur book and translation as well . Although its not what one will call as best translation , it passes off with flying colors. Yiut remarks seem to me little farfetched and u DO make injustice on part of translator sincr 1) u have not read entire translation and 2) u own admit the fact about ur non profeciency over marathi ( how very shame fot Gauri’s daughtet , her fans would sigh ☺) coming to the book per se , it is indeed nice ,another perspective to Nirgathi.I write this comment with some authority being a writer myself and being a visiting faculty of english

  7. Saleel says:

    Hi Urmilla,

    Its been over 2 and a half years that I read your book and I still find it amazing.

    I must tell you that tonight your book helped me to overcome my trauma in an important relationship. Or shall I say – it helped me to ‘figure out’the relationship. It has helped me to reduce my anxiety significantly. This feedback is closely related to my first comment..

    Thank you once again..

    Saleel

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