Translators are often the unsung heroes of the international literary scene. For this year’s Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL), National Book Trust, India worked with numerous publishers, institutions, and translators to prepare books that celebrate India’s turn as guest of honor at the fair, where you will see their hard work on display and for sale.
A special selection of 12 children's titles have been translated into Spanish for the event and published by the National Book Trust, India. “These are carefully selected books for children, and these specially commissioned books were translated by native Mexicans into Spanish through Embassy of India, Mexico to ensure that they are reader-friendly,” says, Kumar Vikram, senior editor of National Book Trust, India, who is has also served as project head for the guest of honor presentation. “We anticipate this collaboration will provide a model for the establishment of long-term relationships between Mexican and Indian publishers for future publications,” he adds.
The NBT Books translated into Spanish will be presented at a special launch event on Dec. 3, at 7:30 pm in at Salon I. This will be followed by a panel discussion on the topic of “Cultural Communication Among Children Through Translations.”
The translations include:
* Rayas en el Jungla (Stripes in the Jungle) by Geetika Jain, illustrated by Suddhasattwa Basu, translated Eleonora Figueroa Huitrón; about the lives of Bengal tigers around the world
* Una cuentro sobre el té (A Story About Tea) by Arup Kumar Dutta, illus. Mrinal Mitra, translated by Alejandra Serrado Estrada; an adventure story story set in tea plantation that also explains the growing and processing of tea.
* La boda de Punti (Punti's Wedding), by Dipanwita Roy, illustrated by Debabrata Ghosh, translated by Brenda Vanesa López Gonzaléz; about the wedding of two different fish and the ways in which they seek to live a harmonious life.
* Los pájaros mango (The Mango Birds) by Deepa Agarwal, illustrated by Subir Roy, translated by Sara Arauna; the story of how the fantastical 'mango bird' came to be.
* Legaron las vacaciones (Holidays Have Come) by Rabindranath Tagore, illustrated by Partha Sengupta, translated by Priscila Trejo Delgado; a classic story by the famous author about the surprising fate of a young boy.
* Celulares Desaparacidos (Mystery of the Missing Mobiles) by Tanuka Bhaumik Endow, illustrated by Treiborlang Lyngdoh Mawlong, and translated by Eleonora Figueroa Huitrón and Brenda Vanesa López González; the story of what happens when a boy's mobile phone gets swapped with another.
* Historias de la vida de Gandhi (Stories from Bapu's Life) by Uma Shankar Joshi, illustrated by Mickey Patel, translated by Maximiliano Fernández Bretón; a storybook of anecdotes from a well-known Gujarati writer about the "father of the country."
* Caminando erguida con la mirada resuelta (Walking Erect with an Unfaltering Gaze) by Ambai, a memoir of the young days of the eminent Tamil writer and feminist C S. Lakshmi (Ambai).
* Un amigo para siempre (A Friend Forever) by Aindrila Mitra, illustrated by Pronabesh Maity, translated by Sara Arauna; the story about a lonely tree and the unique friendship that it later acquires.
* Kava toma una decisión (Kave Makes Up Her Mind) by Ramesh Bijlani, illustrated by: Mohit Suneja, translated by Taide Yee Fisher; in which a little girl talks to her grandfather about what she wants to do when she grows up.
These and other books to be sold through the Bookstore of India Pavilion and will also be available to purchase for six months at various bookstores of Mexico through a collaboration with B.Jain Publishers and Distributors, the Bookstore Partners of NBT and CAPEXIL, a publishers’ body of India.
One of the most notable titles prepared for FIL was 8 días en Malgudi (Eight Days in Malgudi) by R.K. Narayan. Published by Instituto de Investigaciones Filológicas UNAM and edited by Wendy Jaqueline Phillips Rodríguez, the book offers a selection of Narayan’s classic fantastical tales, which feature snake charmers, man-eating tigers, and statues that seem to have a life of their own. Narayan was a close friend of Graham Greene, and his work has been compared to that of Chekhov, Faulkner, and Dickens. A special presentation in the India Pavilion will discuss this first published translation of Narayan into Spanish on Dec. 3 at 5 p.m.
Among those who a translated titles available at FIL are several current and former students from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).
Read on to learn a little more about some of those translators:
Sara E. Arauna holds a BA Honors degree in Spanish language and literature from UNAM with a specialization in children's literature. Since 2008, she has worked as a professional storyteller and as part of the artistic duet “Éste era un gato.” She is also the founder and director of Amaras: Creamos lectores, a cultural organization that reads, writes about, and conducts research on literature, as well as offering professional training.
Maximiliano Fernández Bretón is a Mexico City–based translator with a Spanish degree from UNAM. He has translated numerous TV shows into Spanish from English, French, and German.
Priscila Trejo Delgado has a degree in Spanish language and literature from UNAM. She specializes in education and children’s literature.
Alejandro Serrano Estrada earned a degree in Hispanic literature and linguistics from UNAM. His interests include languages, copy editing, and translation.
Taide Yee Fisher holds a law degree from the Autonomous University of Baja California and also studied Hispanic language and literature at UNAM. Her research interests include Latin American literature and Asian cultures.
Brenda Vanesa López González has a degree in Spanish language and literature from UNAM. She has conducted formal studies on the English language both inside and outside Mexico, which has allowed her to collaborate on translation projects of Anglo-Indian literature.
Eleonora Figueroa Huitrón studied Spanish language and literature at UNAM.