Monday, January 03, 2011

Nemo - Punjabi Style

It occurred to me that translating some contemporary English text into Punjabi might give me some practice in my written Punjabi. When I came across this post on Nemo by SK on her blog, this was just what was needed to spur me into action. I really do think there is an immense shortage of Punjabi literature which children can relate to and really enjoy, and translations of popular novels might be a good start. Here's the result of my little effort:

12/7/05

22 comments:

S.K. said...

Msingh, that was hilarious! Right on--if they can translate Harry Potter into Hindi, why not Punjabi?
:)

Dr Savi Arora said...

Its an interesting point. I agree, we need more books that at as a 'bridge' to help. I'm reading an old pamplet type book called 'Punjabi Teacher through English Medium'. Its a great way to get to understand Punjabi. From a wider perspective, there needs to be more education at Gurdwara's that can help address a wider age group. I'm not happy the way that Punjabi is branded / stereotype / generalised into being a rough language as compared to Hindi. Punjabi is sweet and poetic. Whats even worse is travelling to India, attempting to speak in Punjabi and then getting a response in English - Maybe those respondees think that they are being sophisticated - I don't think so - maybe just hung-up on the colonalistic past.

msingh said...

s.k. I think it's really possible (obviously not by me), maybe start with translations of some short stories. Incidentally, this could be a really good project for one of the Punjabi business people - all they need to do is employ a suitable person, allocate funds and manage the project.

dr savi, re. Punjabi being seen as a rough language, many years ago I remember watching an old black and white Punjabi film where the spoken Punjabi had a really sweet and sophisticated sound to it. It's possible that with time we have made the spoken language rougher. Before you ask, I can't remember the name of the film, but it was nothing like the stuff they churn out nowadays.

Waheguru

ਿੲਕ ਿਸੰਘ said...

one of our projects was to create punjabi stories, after talking to vendors in india it went no where. it's still there just in case i run into someone that's willing to do it for third-world income. hopefully something will fall into place in punjab. and i would never give to any org that works as a non-profit and employs someone from the West(for these kinda projects) to do these things. not to be cynical but i see this happen on gurdwara projects...you're basically taking my money and lining the pockets of your friends. and you wonder why everyone wants to be on the gurdwara committees. who's doing who a seva? *sorry for the tangent*.

yes, punjabi is a sweet language. have you ever heard harbhajan maan and gurdas maan talk in punjabi? i couldn't even understand HM...

gtg...she's balling!

ss said...

"maybe just hung-up on the colonalistic past."

I'm not so sure about this. I suspect it's more to do with the whole "all things Western" are best attitude. So it's just another aspect of the desire to ape everything Western that seems to be paramount in the minds of everyone I meet from the Asian subcontinent. Hence the onward march of Coke Cola, McDonalds etc etc into these markets at the same time these very products are being fingered as part of the various health problems affecting Western societies.

In the case of tobacco companies; they see their only growth areas in Asia (esp China) and that is where their marketing efforts are concentrated.

Interestingly, and the point is no doubt debatable; but I think the desire to hold onto our heritage (and in this context I'm referring to my Sikh Heritage in particular) is stronger from those abroad than those native. Allowing for notable exceptions of course.

ਿੲਕ ਿਸੰਘ said...

dr. savi, what's worse is when you're speaking in punjabi to them and they respond to you in HINDI!!! when i was 19 i went back to punjab and i told everyone i'm not going to speak in english to them...only punjabi. guess what? they started doubting that i knew english!!! LOL! my cousins made me sing along an english song to prove to them that i could speak and understand english. i was sorta flattered but mad at the same time.

yes, we in the west are much prouder than most of the people in india. and no, it's not a colonial thing anymore. colonial generation is almost all gone. it's funny how hardly anyone in punjab knows that Dera Baba Nanak was connected to Pakistan...

as far as hindi being softer than punjabi...that's a huge misconception also. people think that the language being spoken in hindi songs and movies is hindi. it's actually urdu. i've heard hindi and it sounds much more like other indian languages like gujrati than hindi that we're used to. my hindu friend failed the hindi exam given to him by the airlines...(and he knew and spoke "hindi" very well because he was kinda old when he came from india)...

ਿੲਕ ਿਸੰਘ said...

and i've also noticed that people fresh off the boat here are much much less likely to teach their kids punjabi, and they're more than happy that they don't know punjabi...actually they're proud of that fact.

Anonymous said...

nice try msingh

try guru nanak public school

;P

Dr Savi Arora said...

m-singh went to my site (no its not an advert for my blog - http://drsavi.blogspot.com) and commented - Thx. I wrote a blog on the lack of ethnics or respect for religion by the BBC - The issue of language is I believe related - Take for example, when someone is speaking in a particular ethnic tongue, why do they always put someone with an accent on when its an Indian (from India)speaking. There appears to be a hidden agenda by the Beep - or maybe I'm being paranoid.
It appears that the 'black' community seemed to be positioned in a different light - more integrated and the 'one of us'.

Dr Savi Arora said...

I forgot to mention - checkout Rabbi Shergill's album a great fusion of sounds with Sufi elements and wonderful punjabi. I'm a big jazz fan & not to crazy about Bhangra but Rabbi's album is fresh and gutsy with some gr8 guitar work - all by Rabbi himself. You should also see his video which is presented as a montage of images from all over India and a really cool Sikh guy leading the track - Rabbi himself.

satvinder said...

Ha haa!! MS Veer ji that's brilliant. LOL "Kiddaahn Dood!"

It's obviously spun off a really interesting conversation about language and ownership, but I'm not doing serious today.

Dr Savi... Jazz?!! "bohat excellent dood!" Have heard alot about this Rabbi singh veer ji guy... will have to check out his tunes...

sat (",) (in "Bill and Ted" mode)

S.K. said...

Rabbi Shergill is fantastic! I went out and actually bought the cd, he deserves what little money I paid for it. He is talented and very expressive, an important step forward for Sikh musicians :)

Dr Savi Arora said...

Sorry another advert - but proving that not everyone like Bhangra as sometimes I feel that people like bhangra because they feel aligned to a culture- like a con.
Rabbi's CD shows an example of world fusion!
By the way you can hear our jazz review podcast at:
http://smoothgroovers.blogspot.com
or listen online at:
http://www.podfeed.net/category_item.asp?id=3118#

Next week we will be featuring a review/mention of the Rabbi CD.
In addition, coming soon another new podcast...

Anonymous said...

why do punjabis spell "P" with "BH"?
-ik singh

msingh said...

must get around to having a listen to Rabbi Shergill. dr savi and ss, the topic about our 'colonial past' is an interesting one, perhaps we can discuss it more when one of us decides to do a post on it.

anon, can you give some examples?

Anonymous said...

In your translations, don't you mean ਓਹ & ਓਏ instead of ੳਹ & ੳਏ? :D Try pressing ੳ and then ੋafter!

ਿੲਕ ਿਸੰਘ said...

msingh, pindera(n) wala is constantly spelt bhinderan wala but pronounced always with a "P"...

it's Paaji not Bhaji

do you know the roots of this spelling culture?

Anonymous said...

IK singh,
Question about P and B?
See in Malwa region ( near Bhathinda area) people say Beer ( brother ) istead of Veer. So, I am assuming it has to do with dialect.
probably varies from region to reigon.

Anoop

msingh said...

ik singh I'm no expert, the confusion may arise when trying to translate the sound of the letter "ਭ", since there is no english letter or combination of letters that wil produce the same sound as "ਭ". Some might opt for using "p", whilst others may use "bh" oe even "b".

Waheguru

ਿੲਕ ਿਸੰਘ said...

thanks msingh! that's the best explanantion i've heard so far. the controversy is my last name. my dad and i don't agree...he wants BH and i want "P"...he feels hurt that i chose P and not BH for my daughter...just trying to make things easier for her that's all.

KKAur said...

just a late little comment...

my cousins from punjab came a few years ago to visit me here in canada, and they only spoke hindi! they were only being taught hindi in school and so they spoke it at home etc. i knew more punjabi than they did (which isnt very much!). my point to ponder is if this is actually true, perhaps the only punjabi speaking peoples will be OUTSIDE punjab...pockets in vanc, TO, england...in the near future.

so is it true or is it just *my* cousins/family?

Anonymous said...

Or just create our Own Bal Literature like this attempt by me...

http://www.5abi.com/kahani/kahani2008/024-vikaas-roop-dhillon-090610.htm