A book on the history of Lithuania has been translated and published in Hindi, a language spoken by some 400 million people in India. Several translators had turned down the job because they didn’t know how to translate many Lithuanian place names.
The translation and publication of ‘History of Lithuania’, written by historians Alfonsas Eidintas, Alfredas Bumblauskas, Antanas Kulakauskas and Mindaugas Tamošaitis, was taken up by the Lithuanian embassy in India.
The biggest challenge, they say, was to find a translator for the job. Some would start and give up several days later, saying they couldn’t render most of Lithuanian toponymy – names of geographical places – into Hindi which has its own writing system. Many of the place names mentioned in the book had never been used in Hindi.
‘History of Lithuania’, first published in 2014, has been translated into 15 languages, including English.
India has a population of over 1.3 billion people and 22 constitutionally recognised languages. However, only Hindu and English are official throughout the country.