Laments of Madurai Women
(180 Oppari Songs)
Translated from Tamil to English with Phonemic Transcription.
Formerly Professor & Head, Department of Folklore, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, India
This volume is an earnest attempt of translation of the beautiful laments sung by Tamil women living in and around Madurai, an ancient city in South India, to English; these songs were collected by the author 40 years ago. The words, phrases and expressions have been carefully chosen while translating to give the exact meaning of the text.
This is a difficult task which has the original text of laments of the Madurai women, secondly the transliteration, rather phonemic transcription of the text, thirdly a free translation of it and fourthly brief notes on the content of the text, for each song. Translation works in the field of folklore are not frequent; Indian folk tales were translated by several authors and were published as “Folk tales of India “ by the University of Chicago, in 1987. Another collection of tales was also translated by Sujatha Vijayaraghavan and published by Orient BlackSwan, New Delhi. “A classified collection of Tamil Proverb by Rev. Percival and Rev. Herman Jensen is a classic study and translation of proverbs; following it “ Konku proverbs A study “ - a beautiful translation work appeared in 1984. A translation of a ballad on ‘ Cantana Tevan ‘ was published by the Institute of Asian Studies in 1993.
Now, folk songs, especially laments have been taken up for translation into English for the first time, with phonemic transcription and brief notes on the songs to understand the nuances of the culture. It is hoped those who are interested in folklore, especially Indian folklore and researchers from the fields of Linguistics, Sociology and Psychology will be benefited by this book.
IBSN 9783969390641. LINCOM Studies in Language and Literature 26. 314pp. 2021.