Virtual Reading Room of the Russian State Library

Lecture of the RSL Centre of Oriental Literature “About problems of translating ‘Ramayana’”

The Russian State Library continues its series of lectures on the culture of the peoples of Asia and Africa. The new meeting devoted to the difficulties in translating “Ramayana” was presented by two speakers at a time. Marcys Ghasuns, secretary of the Society of Sanskrit Adherents, candidate of Philology, described the overall concept of translating works from Sanskrit. Then Maksim Leonov, Korean historian who had been practising translations from ancient languages for over 15 years, reported the workflows. It turned out to be rather hard to translate “Ramayana” which seemed to him one of the most poetic works he had ever dealt with. Motives of that poem could be traced in lots of other lyrical poems in Sanskrit which were to follow.

Just try to imagine: there exist two “Ramayanas” which are known to the researchers – one being from the south and the other from the north of India. What is the difference? And what exactly are the problems the translator has to overcome when working with the text of the poem? What is going to be the final result the reader will see? In what manner is it going to be different from the already known pieces, for instance, from the translation performed by Ms Vera Potapova? All that and even more information you will get having watched the lecture itself.

Come and enjoy it over here.