Language and Culture: a Translator's Perspective


  • Marian Maddem


I first met Soumyen Mukherjee about a quarter of a century ago. I was then doing postgraduate work, in the Indian Studies Department that Melbourne University used to have, on the nature of Bengali and the process of literary translation from it into English. Dr Mukherjee was looking for a translator for a project he had in mind: a collection of essays by the great nineteenth-century Bengali novelist and essayist Bankim Chandra Chatterjee. My teacher and supervisor, Professor Sibnarayan Ray, thinking that I might be interested in such a project (as I was), introduced me to Dr Mukherjee-and off and on we have been collaborating ever since: first on that initial project, and more recently on translating a volume of three short novels by Bankim Chandra.