[Mirabai and Vidyapati]

Yashwant Malaiya malaiya at CS.COLOSTATE.EDU
Sat Dec 2 00:56:59 UTC 2000

Jogesh Panda <jogeshpanda at NETSCAPE.NET> wrote:

>There are at least a dozen translations of Mirabai's poems into English. I
>not remember if any of these has the original as well except for the
>translation [not always reliable] by S. Futehally which contains a
>text. I have seen the translations of Pritish Nandi [a dear friend, but a
>creative translator],

S. Futehally's "translation" is really interpretation. It is not clear if
she understood many of the words.

Mirabai's original language is not easily understood. It is in a
Rajasthani dialect. Popular version of her padas are closer to
standard Hindi, but not the original version. I would not trust a
translation by anyone not well versed in old Hindi dialects.

Unfortunately the generation that understood old Hindi dialects
is gradually dying out. Soon Indians will know Mirabai only through English
translations, the only Indian language english-medium-educated Indians
today are comfortable with. Futehally's and Pritish Nandi's "translations"
will prevail.


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