St Stephen’s College announces course in translation studies

Valson Thampu During  at the inauguration of the Centre for Translations at St Stephen

From July, course to be offered at new Centre for Translations; DU prof Harish Trivedi is honorary chair

ST Stephen's College principal Valson Thampu, on Thursday, announced that beginning July, the college will offer a course in translation studies.

Thampu made the announcement at an event to inaugurate the St Stephen's Centre for Translations. Delhi University (DU) Professor of English Harish Trivedi, who will be the first honorary chair of the centre, inaugurated the initiative with the words, "Let the translations begin!"

He said admission to the course would be open to all, regardless of whether one is a student of the DU. "St Stephen's has plenty of space. That's all we have," the principal remarked.

Thampu, who won the 2010 Vodafone Crossword Book Award for translating Sarah Joseph's 'Othappu' from Malayalam to English, is seen as the inspiration behind the SCT. On Thursday, both Thampu and Trivedi emphasised on the importance of collaborative translation.

"Creativity has nothing to do with exclusivity," said Thampu, inviting Babli Moitra Saraf, principal of Indraprastha College for Women, to be a part of the SCT. Saraf, a Stephanian of the '75 batch and Thampu's student, is herself a translator — having translated Mahasweta Devi's works from Bengali to Italian.

Stating that it was a good thing that the principal was himself an 'implicated' translator, Trivedi quipped, "It's always good to have the boss on your side."

Principal Thampu will be in charge of Malayalam translations undertaken by the SCT. Shirshendu Chakrabarti from the English Department of the Delhi University will oversee works in Bengali. The SCT will also have translators working on Punjabi, Tamil, Urdu, Hindi and German texts.

Thampu said that an alumni member called Manmohan Wanchoo will be the director of the North American operations of the SCT in an honorary capacity and will facilitate translation of texts to European languages.

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