Problems to be Addressed

Coordination and cooperation with a variety of organizations like the Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology (CSTT), National Council for Educational and Research Training (NCERT), National Book Trust (NBT), University Grants Commission (UGC), Sahitya Akademi, Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore, Granth Academies, Public Library Networks etc. would be needed for avoiding overlapping and duplication. Similar linkage would be needed with publishers, newspaper/media, corporate houses, booksellers. The point is to engage in strategic interventions building on and developing synergies with existing public institutions and private agents.

To elaborate all the major issues to be addressed by the NTM, the following is listed:


The multilingual situation being present in India, there is a plenty of scope for the easy flow of translation from one language into another without the creation of hierarchies among the languages, provided we find ways and means of facilitating this free flow.
One crying need in the translation of knowledge texts will be the standardization of terminology as also disallowing the use of non-standard terms and slang words, as well as conceptual formulations so that the movement between languages is made easier. This remains one of the major problems to be addressed through NTM.


Translation itself is a specialised activity and may require further specialisation when it comes to the question of translating texts in specific disciplines. The Mission can take initiative in the area of translator education by
1. Organising short-term training programmes for specific purposes like interpretation, subtitling, translation of law, pure sciences, applied sciences, social sciences etc involving scholars/experts in the areas concerned;
2. Producing course modules and packages for translators that could be incorporated into language teaching programmes across the country or run as special courses during vacations, post-work or post-class hours etc;
3. Encouraging, supporting and assisting in the development of specialised courses in translation technology and related areas in universities and other institutions;
4. Encouraging research projects, including student research, intended specifically for making available good translations of identified texts as examples and generating resources that could also serve pedagogic purposes;
5. Instituting Fellowship programmes that would allow exchange of scholars between institutions with special emphasis on translation between Indian languages;
6. Organising workshops taking up specific texts as examples where experts and trainees come together and discuss and solve specific issues relating to the text in terms of knowledge content, terminology, cultural and linguistic context etc. and,
7. Organising workshops in vetting, editing and copy-editing translations.


The knowledge about the available translation capabilities in the country is still inadequate as there is no single source where such information is available. This is particularly true about language translators as English translators enjoy greater visibility on a pan-Indian plane.

The Mission can address this difficulty in acessing texts in translation and finding out about available skill in the following ways:
1. Creating a data repository of translators in different disciplines and areas with diverse skills and qualifications;
2. Producing an on line bibliography of existing translations of different works in all the Indian languages as also Indian works in English and other foreign languages, with search facilities based on disciplines, languages and areas as also facilities for users to have in-puts. Both these should be constantly updated through linkages with Universities, Publishers, National Libraries, Akademies, the National Book Trust and Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology (CSTT) etc.

Sahitya Akademi has put together a bibliography of translations in literature which is already available on the Anukriti website of the CIIL. Sahitya Akademi has also published a Translators’ Register that lists many translators in the Indian languages, which could also be put on the NTM web-site. Both these need to be updated as well as expanded to include the newly recognized languages of India. As these are confined to literature, lists of translators and translations in other areas need to be developed afresh for which NTM may engage collectors and editors from different parts of India.


Translation and translators need to be more visible. This has also something to do with the translators’ remuneration levels, which need to be looked into afresh. Since we are now thinking of translation as a profession so that India eventually has a ‘Translation Industry’, we need to create a circumstance in which the translators can make a decent living out of translation alone, whatever is their specific area.

It is also possible to evolve a mechanism to get translators in different areas registered with NTM so that there is quality control as well as recognition for merit. Experts from the concerned disciplines, scholars in the original and target languages and enlightened readers can constitute these evaluation boards which will look at the quality of the translation and decide whether a translator is worthy of being registered and taken into the national pool. They could also be given the benefit of accreditation or certification and their names can be displayed on the NTM website.


Some other means to promote and make visible translations are:
1. Organising book launches for translations;
2. Instituting Translation prizes and fellowships;
3. Organising regional Festivals of Translation (Anuvaad Melaa) with readings, discussions, book exhibitions, honoring translators of the area etc;
4. Linking up with library networks in order to ensure an initial market for quality translations;
5. Buyback arrangements under the NTM-Grants-in-Aid Scheme based on applications from publishers, authors and translators;
6. Subsidies to translators and publishing houses out of NTM-GIA to encourage the activity of translation;
7. Downloading facilities for translated pedagogic material, preferably from an open source site or by paying publishers a nominal fee per download as may be decided;
8. Providing an interface between translators, university departments offering specializations in translation, publishers interested in bringing out more and more translations, public as well as private sectors, and most importantly – the buyers, or the consumers of translation;
9. Grants-in-Aid subsidies for publication of the journals in English and Indian languages with a focus on translation, or to those journals that are engaged in bringing out e-contents in translation, or in publishing, in print, versions of important professional journals or serial publications in English in diverse disciplines into regional languages;
10. Suggesting and persuading to get translated material incorporated into the National/Regional Curriculum Framework – and into the syllabi of schools, colleges and universities;
11. Helping to set up language resource centres and book nooks/book corners dealing in translated books in educational institutions at all levels;
12. Projecting the importance of bilingual/multi-lingual skills by pointing out the areas of its use and application, including examinations and job tests; and
13. Linking up with public and civil society organisations to ensure greater access to translated materials especially in smaller towns and villages of India.