From Urdu to English: Translator Musharraf Ali Farooqi chronicles his journey
parking meter definition: 1. a device at the side of the road that you put money into The parking meter scheme does not meet the need of the professional man. Urdu is often contrasted with Hindi, another standardized form of Hindustani. . different nuances of meaning and usage than they do in Arabic. . I am happy to meet you, اپ سے مل کر خوشی ہوئی, āp se mil kar . There are no specifications for a Sehra except that it should rhyme and be of the same meter. Define meter. meter synonyms, meter pronunciation, meter translation, English dictionary definition of meter. n. 1. a. The measured arrangement of words in.
I had an advantage because Afzal and I were close friends and we spent a lot of time together. All this helped me to become a better translator of his poetry.
Suppose the poet whose work you are translating is dead? He suggested I get rid of the rather heavy punctuation, such as semi-colons, which I had seen in other classical translations. He also suggested better words than those I had chosen in some places. All these revisions made the translation better and more fluid.
Do you find poetry more difficult to translate or prose, from the point of view of form, syntax, etc.? It depends on the kind of language used in a work, its genre and the period. I have avoided translating from the ghazal genre because it has a tendency to offer a plurality of meaning because of its characteristic maaniafreeni — plurality of meaning — in a particular word or phrase. The poetic tradition in which the source text is composed is semantically complex, and that complexity is a source of pride for that poetic tradition.
And this applies to almost every ghazal poet in the Urdu canon. It makes it impossible to pull it off in English.
Then how does one approach the translation of ghazals? This is also not to say that metric translations from Urdu poetry are impossible. I have played a small part in what I think is a very successful translation from metric verse.
From that prose, artist and translator Michelle Farooq made a metric translation into English, which I think is miraculously wonderful. It is titled Mouse Pickle and goes: Once more does the marketplace beckon In a lust for mouse pickle, I reckon. I set out my salver with mice in a row Then pounding wee heads and paws as I go I stir up a dish of minced rodents so nice How simply delicious — my pickle of mice!
What a whimsical title! Is it a contemporary poem? And Mouse Pickle was based on an actual event. The poet Nazir Akbarabadi, was very fond of achaar. One day, he sent his servant to the market to buy some. When the servant returned with the merchandise, the poet discovered a mouse pickled along with the vegetables.
That inspired him to write the piece. But to return to our main theme. Because the masnavi is a narrative genre, I thought it could be successfully translated into prose. This method has been successfully used in translations in other languages. Prose translations of Beowulf, Odyssey, and Iliad are good examples of this approach. An excerpt from my current draft, the translation follows: In some land, there was a king titled the Protector of the World.
This king, Malak Shah of name, was angel-like in his disposition.
Invested with much grandeur, prestige, lands and riches; his armies had covered him in great glory. Many a sovereign paid him vassalage; he received from Scythia and Tartary the tribute.
Those who beheld his armies called them the waves of the sea of existence. Even the humblest ass in his stable was shod in red gold. All the renegades of the environs prostrated their heads before the king. This does not mean that only advanced students should study poetry.
From Urdu to English: Translator Musharraf Ali Farooqi chronicles his journey
But the poetry chosen for study should be suited to the student's background. The student who cannot recognize and pronounce most of the words of a poem, and cannot generally understand their grammar, cannot properly scan that poem.
No method can enable him to do so, and certainly not ours.
Such a student needs a good dictionary, a good teacher, or an easier poem; he must generally understand the poem's words in order to correctly evaluate its meter. Another sort of student who can profitably use our method is the native speaker of Urdu or the Hindi-speaker who has learned Urdu script who has a serious interest in recitation or composition, but finds traditional Urdu poetics intimidating.
Urdu - New World Encyclopedia
Virtually all existing accounts of Urdu meter start with the elaborate metrical systems of Arabic and Persian poetic theory. These systems are complex enough in themselves, and must be further modified to suit a language for which they were not originally intended. Our method differs from traditional accounts in being completely descriptive and practical; it is designed to meet the immediate needs of the student, rather than to explicate the orthodox system or to develop any other comprehensive theory.
Our method starts with the poetry as actually encountered, and explains its scansion in what we think is the simplest and most efficient way. The native speaker who prefers poetry to poetic theory will find our handbook convenient.
Finally, we hope that our work will be of interest to those fully conversant with traditional Urdu poetic theory. Dialects of this vernacular are spoken today in cities and villages throughout Pakistan and northern India. Cities with a particularly strong tradition of Urdu include Hyderabad, KarachiLucknow, and Lahore. The word Urdu itself comes from a Turkic word ordu, "tent" or "army," from which English also gets the word "horde.
Hence, Urdu was the language chosen to address the soldiers, as it abridged several languages. Wherever Muslim soldiers and officials settled, they carried Urdu with them. Urdu enjoyed a commanding status in the literary courts of late Muslim rulers and Nawabs, and flourished under their patronage, partially displacing Persian as the language of elite in the Indian society of that time.
Urdu continued as one of many languages in Northwest India. InUrdu was established as the national language of Pakistan, in the hope that this move would unite and homogenize the various ethnic groups of the new nation. Urdu suddenly went from the language of a minority to the language of the majority. It also became the official language of some of the various states of India. Today, Urdu is taught throughout Pakistani schools and spoken in government positions, and it is also common in much of Northern India.
Urdu's sister language, Hindi, is the official language of India. Urdu and Hindi Because of their great similarities of grammar and core vocabularies, many linguists do not distinguish between Hindi and Urdu as separate languages, at least not in reference to the informal spoken registers.
For them, ordinary informal Urdu and Hindi can be seen as variants of the same language Hindustani with the difference being that Urdu is supplemented with a Perso-Arabic vocabulary and Hindi a Sanskritic vocabulary. Additionally, there is the convention of Urdu being written in Perso-Arabic script, and Hindi in Devanagari.
The standard, "proper" grammars of both languages are based on Khariboli grammar, the dialect of the Delhi region. So, with respect to grammar, the languages are mutually intelligible when spoken, and can be thought of as the same language. Despite their similar grammars, however, Standard Urdu and Standard Hindi are distinct languages in regard to their very different vocabularies, their writing systems, and their political and sociolinguistic connotations.
Put simply, in the context of everyday casual speech, Hindi and Urdu can be considered dialects of the same language. In terms of their mutual intelligibility in their formal or "proper" registers, however, they are much less mutually intelligible and can be considered separate languages—they have basically the same grammar but very different vocabularies.
There are two fundamental distinctions between them: The source of vocabulary borrowed from Persian or inherited from Sanskrit: In colloquial situations in much of the Indian subcontinent, where neither learned vocabulary nor writing is used, the distinction between the Urdu and Hindi is very small. The most important distinction at this level is in the script: Since the Partition of India, the formal registers used in education and the media in India have become increasingly divergent from Urdu in their vocabulary.
Where there is no colloquial word for a concept, Standard Urdu uses Perso-Arabic vocabulary, while Standard Hindi uses Sanskrit vocabulary. This results in the official languages being heavily Sanskritized or Persianized, and unintelligible to speakers educated in the formal vocabulary of the other standard. Hindustani is the name often given to the language as it developed over hundreds of years throughout India which formerly included what is now Pakistan.
In the same way that the core vocabulary of English evolved from Old English Anglo-Saxon but includes a large number of words borrowed from French and other languages whose pronunciations often changed naturally so as to become easier for speakers of English to pronouncewhat may be called Hindustani can be said to have evolved from Sanskrit while borrowing many Persian and Arabic words over the years, and changing the pronunciations and often even the meanings of those words to make them easier for Hindustani speakers to pronounce.
Therefore, Hindustani is the language as it evolved organically. Linguistically speaking, Standard Hindi is a form of colloquial Hindustani, with lesser use of Persian and Arabic loanwords, which inherited its formal vocabulary from Sanskrit; Standard Urdu is also a form of Hindustani, de-Sanskritized, with a significant part of its formal vocabulary consisting of loanwords from Persian and Arabic.
The difference is thus in the vocabulary, and not the structure of the language. The difference is also sociolinguistic: