Prolific Malayalam writer calls for an increase in literary translations

After recently celebrating his 84th birthday, renowned Indian author M.T. Vasudevan Nair stressed the urgency to have more books translated from his native language of Malayalam into English – and indeed other languages – so that a wider range of these Indian literary works could be opened up for global enjoyment.

The highly popular Indian author, screenplay writer and film director – more commonly known as MT – spoke out after presenting the V. Abdulla memorial prize for the translation of fellow Malayalam author Sudhash Chandran’s 2010 novel, ‘Manushyanu Oru Aamugham’ (The Preface of The Man) earlier this month.

MT said that despite there being 38 million speakers of the Malayalam language across the globe, mainly in areas such as South West India, Malaysia, Singapore and the UAE, he felt saddened that it had been such a difficult task for his talented counterparts to have their literary works translated in the past.

However, he was greatly encouraged that it was becoming more commonplace for Malayalam novels, screenplays and films to undergo translation since it meant that these fantastic works, crafted by his fellow country people, would soon be enjoyed by a much wider audience.

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