Saturday, November 19, 2005


Italian author Umberto Eco visited India to chair a roundtable on 'Strategies for Acquiring Mutual Knowledge'. During the session he spoke at length about the care one must take while translating texts. He said that while translating, specially from one culture to another, extreme care should be taken in making the text accessible to the language it is being translated into.
The organisation that brought Eco to India, Transcultura, has been campaigning for alternative anthropology and "is constructed on the principles of reciprocal knowledge, respect and mutual enrichment, it develops metho-dologies of transcultural analysis applicable to different situations and intercultural contexts". The Italian semiotician feels such anthropological studies remove counter-positions of Us and Them. Most ethnic conflicts, therefore, have their foundations in the baggage of prior knowledge that comes with what we have read and seen on television and cinema. The basis for understanding all cultures is to make the correct translations, the right adaptations. Manoj Nair The Times of India Nov 19'05

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