Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Getting Translated!

I've just received word from a fellow poet who wants to translate 6 examples of my work into his language of Bengali.

This is exciting news for me! :)

Bengal, which comprises present day Bangladesh and West Bengal has nearly 230 million total speakers, making Bengali is one of the most spoken languages (ranking fifth or sixth in the world). Bengali is the primary language spoken in Bangladesh and is the second most spoken language in India.

With its long and rich literary tradition, Bengali serves to bind together a culturally diverse region.

The Shaheed Minar (Bengali: শহীদ মিনার Shohid Minar) is a national monument in Dhaka, Bangladesh, established to commemorate the martyrs of the Language Movement of 1952.

On February 21, 1952, dozens of students and political activists were killed when the Pakistani police force opened fire on Bengali protesters who were demanding equal status to their native tongue, Bangla. The massacre occurred near Dhaka Medical College and Ramna Park in Dhaka.

A makeshift monument was erected on February 23 by students of University of Dhaka and other educational institutions, but soon demolished on February 26 by the Pakistani police force.

To commemorate the martyrs, the Shaheed Minar was designed and built by Hamidur Rahman, a Bangladeshi sculptor. The monument stood until the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, when it was demolished completely during Operation Searchlight, a genocide carried out by the Pakistani Army resulting in an estimated 50,000 civilian deaths. After Bangladesh gained independence, it was rebuilt.

Today, the Shaheed Minar is the centre of cultural activities in Dhaka. Every year, the Language Movement is remembered at the monument.

I look forward to seeing the results.

Individual poems of mine have been translated into French, German, Austrian and Spanish.

And I have reason to believe at least one or two Japanese and Chinese examples exist, but I've never seen these.

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