Othello Thou art Translated: Examining Equivalence in Othello in the Folk culture of Uttarakhand
Keywords:translation, adaptation, culture, Source language, target language, target audience, formal equivalence, dynamic equivalence.
Translation as an activity involving two languages and two cultures poses severe challenges for a translator aiming to produce a cultural equivalent of the source text. This negotiation between the source and the target texts consumes most of the time dedicated to the translation activity. This study makes a contribution to the exposure of local culture of Uttarakhand (India) into the larger field of translation studies. Though much study has been conducted in the field of equivalence in translation with respect to known languages, the concept needs to be explored in the regional and vernacular translations. This paper aims to examine a stage adaptation of Othello- the landmark tragedy of Elizabethan age, aiming to understand the use of equivalence to mitigate the cultural difference between ST and TT. The study undertakes a close reading of Othello by Shakespeare and its Garhwali version Rumelo, critical works based on translation studies, and the recordings of stage performances of the play in Garhwali. An interview with the translator (Bijalwan) and director (Dobhal) aided in understanding the significance of cultural and linguistic elements introduced by the translator and the dramatist for the target audience. The study involving domestication of a text of global significance asserts the universal value of Shakespeare’s plays transcending time, culture and geographical boundaries, and furthermore emphasizes the importance of translation, and equivalence in translation, in making the source text more audience-friendly and comprehensible.