The Hindi translation of French cartoon series “Asterix” was declared the winner of the 3rd Romain Rolland Prize for Translation at the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF).
“Dipa Chaudhury and Puneet Gupta of Om Books, who have translated the first three volumes of the 1953 comics series are awarded this year’s Romain Rolland prize for translation,” said French Ambassador Emmanuel Lenain on Thursday.
The comics series tells the story of a French village in 50 BC with two of the main characters – Asterix and Obelix – using their brain and brawn to keep the Roman Republic from taking the village.
The first three albums – “Asterix series: Asterix and the Golden Sickle”, “Asterix and the Goths” and “Asterix the Gladiator” have been translated to “Asterix: Sone ki Darati”, “Asterix: Asterix aur Gawthwasi”, and “Asterix: Asterix Talwarbaz” respectively.
“This is a cartoon but it is also a serious character. It caters to all audiences, young and old. It’s about regional identity and European identity, about the way we see others and project ourselves.
“I understand that the translation of Asterix was not easy, the names of the characters being products of word play with references to French terms. The translators have indeed done an exceptional work of contextualising some of these names while staying true to its original meaning,” the ambassador said.
The award, this year, had received seven entries — two in English, two in Hindi, one in Tamil, Malayalam and Bangla each.
The prize has previously been won by Monica Singh in 2018 for her Hindi translation of “Rue des boutiques obscures” by Patrick Modiano, and SR Kichenamourty in 2019 for his Tamil translation of Andrei Makine’s “La vie d’un homme inconnu”.
It consists of an invitation to the Paris Book Fair 2020 in March for the publisher of the work, and an invitation for the translator to attend a one month residency in France.