RE: Arrogance, Ego Battles and BhartRhari

Ramarao, Ram (Ram_Ramarao@tri.sbc.com)
Fri, 31 Oct 1997 12:44:25 -0600


My personal opinion when comparing multiple translations of a common
source in Sanskrit is that generally none is uniformly better or worse
than another. Each has parts that are better than their counterparts.
But if one has to choose only one of them for whatever reason as the
winner then it can be very subjective because there is single no
objective universal test you could apply. Some possible factors that
could be used, in spite of this lack of a single "standard" measure are:
a) the closeness to the original, b) how natural the translation is in
the target language, c) the poetic expression, d) not losing any special
qualities the original had, e) bringing out any delicacies hiding in the
original in a more explicit form. There may be others. But my view is
that, how much weight a critic gives to each of the factors generally
determines the outcome. Thus, while tedious, a way to compare the
different translations that Sri Turumella has posted is to look at each
of the factors and compare them with respect to that factor independent
of the others. I'll do this very briefly here.

1. Closeness to the original: In my opinion, the original talks about a
serious "parakRUta nikRUti" whether intended or not and that "tEjasvee
purushaH" cannot tolerate it. Enugu's version makes it "Satru kRUtam"
and also "tiraskAram" to "abhimAnavaMtuDu"; Elakooci's version talks
about "tiraskAram" by anybody to "tEjanvulou janulu"; Pushpagiri's
version refers to "parulu pooni yonarcu navajnalu" to "canDa tEjamun
borasina poorushulu". Turumella's version refers to "avamAnamu jaripina
vAru" to "mAnyulu". Of these the third in my view is closest to the
original. (In the remaining, I'll just use numbers - 1st, 2nd, .. to
refer to the same order)
2. Translation quality - natural to the target language? 1st: mostly
Sanskrit words but not too remote; 2nd: balanced between Sanskit and
Telugu but long useless makuTam; 3rd: lot of Telugu but uses almost
three lines to say a simple thing; 4th: mostly Telugu and colloquial;
clearly the 4th is the most natural translation (one may counter this by
saying that the author had access to al others and also the timeframes
make it unfair; granted, but if the question is which is natural, the
answer stands).
3. Poetic expression: very subjective factor. Hard for two people to
agree on. I rank them as: 1st, 4th, 2nd, and 3rd from best to lowest.
You take your pick.
4. Special qualities of original preserved? Special qualities in the
original to me are the words "pAdam", "tEjasvi", "nikRUti". They show
that the deed has to be a serious one, not necessarily intentional, the
target is a "bright person", and the deed is a cynical one. 1st changed
most of these by making the deed simply 'tiraskAram" and further
diluting by making it from an enemy; 2nd also almost does the same but
here the doer is not an enemy; 3rd makes the deed intentional, by
anybody, and only an "avajna"; 4th makes the deed very simple - "pAdam"
is gone, it is "avamAnam" that is done, the person is a respectable one.
So in my view, they all fail in this respect.
5. Any nuances not obvious in the original? I haven't found any in any
of them.


K.V.S. Ramarao

>-----Original Message-----
>From:	mturumella@memrb.com.cy [SMTP:mturumella@memrb.com.cy]
>Sent:	Friday, October 31, 1997 2:30 AM
>To:	telusa@cs.wisc.edu
>Subject:	RE: Arrogance, Ego Battles and BhartRhari
>
>
>SlO: yadacEtanOpi pAdaiH spRUshTaH prajvalati saviturina kAntaH
>     tattEjasvee purushaH parakRUta nikRUtiM kadhaM sahatE?     (29)
>
>
>Translation by Enugu LakshMaNakavi:
>-----------------------------------
>arka kAMta macEtanaM bayyu savitRU
>pAdamulu sOkinaMtane prajvarillu
>gAna nabhimAnavaMtuDeMdaina SatRU
>kRUta tiraskAra meTlu sahiMpanErcu?
>
>Translation by Sri Elakooci bAla Saraswati:
>-------------------------------------------
>tanapai nayya raviMda bAMdhavuDu pAdaM booninapDE yacE
>tana mayyu nvaDi joopu maMTa lina kAMtaM; boura tEjanvulou
>janu lEreeti sahiMtu ranyuDu tiraskAraM bonarpa nivSA
>lanaya Sreejita bhArgavA surabhimallA neeti vAcaspatee?
>
>Translation by Sri pushpagiri timmakavi:
>----------------------------------------
>karamu brakASamoMdu ravikAMta ma cEtana mayyu joocitE
>yora parikaMbu kOpamoka yiMcuka bhAnuDu pAda moodinan
>gaRakaRi jeMdinaTTu ladika tvaramaMDeDu, jaMDa tEjamun
>borasina poorushul parulu pooni yonarcu navajna lOrturE?
>
>
>
>
>A.ve: soorya kAMta *Silalu surasurA maMDunA
>      sooryudoKKamAru sOkagAne;
>      mAnyu laTuda makava mAnamu jaripina
>      vAri nOrci vaDali vEya galare?
>
>(*"Sila" aMTE acEtanamanE ardhaMgAbaTTi pratyEkiMci "acEtanaM" vADalEdu)
>
>
>Regards, Madhava
>
>P.S: Comments are most welcome...