PESHAWAR: Speakers at a national conference here on Saturday asked writers to enrich Pashto by improving skills to translate the world literature to the language.

The two-day event titled ‘promotion of Pashto through translation- a way forward’ was organised by the Pashto Academy, University of Peshawar, at the Pashtun Cultural Museum, where poets, writers and research scholars from Balochistan, Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa showed up in large numbers.

The organisers said the conference was held to highlight the need for better translation skills and inclusion of a separate exam paper for translation at different levels of higher education.

Researchers read out papers on different aspects of translation, its significance and need.

Published by the Pashto Academy, more than a dozen new Pashto titles written on various topics were also launched.

Event held to advocate promotion of Pashto through translation

A Pashto mushaira on ‘Charbeta and Rubai’ was held with 33 poets participating in it with a classic genre of Pashto poetry.

The speakers said Pashto writers had mostly translated Urdu, Arabic and Persian literature but their works didn’t cover English, Russian, German and French literature for not understanding those languages.

They said translating literature of other language into own language inspired a new way of creative thought among writers.

Prof Nasrullah Jan Wazir, director of Pashto Academy, said writers were required to give attention to develop skills for enriching Pashto through translation.

He said no substantive work had been done in the world literature’s translation to Pashto.

He said the Pashto Academy had done great work but still a lot needed to be done to translate world literary treasure trove, scientific terminologies and developments in different fields to Pashto.

Prof Mirajul Islam, dean of the Islamic and Oriental Studies, said translation from other advanced languages of the world would improve understanding of writers and students.

He said writers should develop a taste for translation not only to understand traditions and cultures of other advanced nations but also to learn creative thought and research methods and inspiring new ideas.

Dr Sadiq Zarrak, a scholar from Balochistan, presented a paper on ‘Pashto translations of Russian literature’ and said Russian writers had produced the best fiction over the last few centuries.

“We need to focus our attention on this particular area for promotion and enriching Pashto,” he said.

Prof Gulzar Jalal Yousafzai said translation was an art and knowledge of the language being translated and the target lingo should be acquired.

He said fine translation of the works of classic Pashto writers Rahman Baba, Khushal Khan Khattak and Ghani Khan was available but it still required refinement.

Prof Gulzar said one had to understand the culture and way of life before translating a literary masterpiece.

Dr Yar Mohammad Maghmoom, Akbar Hoti, Bushra Khatoon, and Dr Yousaf Khan Jazaab also spoke on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2019