Friday, August 10, 2012
Thirukural displayed in France railways
Here is a photo of Thirukural couplet displayed in French in a train in France. It also mentions Thiruvalluvar's name .We know Thirukural Tamil couplets are displayed in the Tamil Nadu state buses. Now a French Translation of the couplet is found in a train in France .This is yet another honour for Tamil. The following is the original Tamil couplet that is translated to French and displayed in the train .
மாதர் முகம்போல் ஒளிவிட வல்லையேல்
காதலை வாழி மதி
The English translation for the above Kural by Sudhananda Bharati is as follows
Like my lady's face if you shine
All my love to you; hail O moon!
I don't know how far the French translation is correct. Many people have translated Thirukural in to English and most of the major languages in the world and many Indian languages. It is still being translated by many in to many languages. Thirukural is not a sacred text like Bible, Quran , Baghavad Gita ,Ramayan or the Chinese classic Tao Te Ching. Thirukural is a masterpiece work on human thoughts. It is an eternal epic by Thiruvalluar. It is an universal moral code. All his couplets are words of profound wisdom, noble thoughts and great moral lessons. All his couplets are wisecracks with a mystic note. His work is known as 'poyya mozhi " in Tamil ,which means "The book that never lies" . This explains why Thirukural is the most translated non religious text in the world.
Greats like Sri Aurbindo, Rev.G.U.Pope, Yogi Sudhananda Bharati and P.S.Sundaram have translated Thirukural in to English. But it must be admitted that none of the translations are close to the original in Tamil. It is because of Thiruvalluvar's mastery and command over Tamil. Another reason could be the rich vocabulary of Tamil. Thiruvalluvar's style is also inimitable. Although we call kural as couplet,the original Tamil verse doesn't have even two lines. It is just one and three fourth lines in each verse. Translating Thirukural in to any language will be a challenging task. Because each couplet is a short pithy statement. The fact is, no translation can do justice to the poetic brevity of Thiruvalluvar. It is brief ,terse ,rhymed and fleeting. All the translators have succeeded in translating the gist of each couplet. But the charm in the original Tamil couplet is lost. Look at the English translation of the Tamil original couplet .
. துப்பார்க்குத் துப்பாய துப்பாக்கித் துப்பார்க்குத்
துப்பாய தூஉம் மழை.
The rain begets the food we eat
And forms a food and drink concrete.
But P.S.Sundaram has attempted to follow Valluvar's style in translation of some of the couplets in English. Few samples are given below.
பற்றுக பற்றற்றான் பற்றினை யப்பற்றைப்
பற்றுக பற்று விடற்கு
Cling to the One who clings to nothing
And so clinging cease to cling
கற்றாருட் கற்றா ரெனப்படுவர் கற்றார்முற்
கற்ற செலச்செல்லு வார்
Most learned among the learned is he
Whose learning the learned accept
Wherever possible P.S.Sundaram has attempted Valluvar's style of repetitive rhymic syllables,which is reasonably close to the original. But he could not do this for the entire translation. Many scholars are still translating Kural in to many world languages and Indian languages. So far Thirukural has been translated in to French, Latin, Polish, Russian, Swedish, German, Japanese, Dutch, Czech Finnish, Malayan, Burmese, Korean, Chinese, Sinhalese, Italian, Urdu, Fiji, Arabic, Norwegian Spanish, Hungarian, Bangla, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Oriya, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi Rajasthan,i Sanskrit, Saurashtra and Telugu .It needs to be translated to all languages in the world,however fallible the translation could be ,because these couplets guide people from a spiritual perspective over a wide range of topics, on the virtues of life, materialistic life and pleasures of life. The Tamil posterity can indeed feel proud about their rich cultural heritage.