Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Importance of Folktales
Every society has its own folktales which are handed over from generation to generation by oral tradition. For the same reason we find many versions of the same tale because oral transmissions are never the same. It is not that every tale has many versions, but still many have. In this process many times the original version is lost and is not traceable at all until it is found in some kind of written format.

Folktales are an essential part of any society and thus constitute the important part of its literature. As the prose, poetry, drama, sayings are the parts of a body of any society's literature, in the same way folktales, fairy tales etc are also its parts.

About five to six centuries before the writings were very scarce and not available freely, as there was no modern paper and no modern printing press. But after that it has become much easier to record many things. And today there are many more means than ever to record anything. Now it has become a necessity to record everything and keep it for future reference and spread widely around.

Difficulties in Maintaining and Spreading Local Folktales
There are some difficulties in maintaining and spreading such literature -
(1) Keeping their any kind of literature for future reference is easier for educated societies, but it is not easy for those societies which have low literacy rate and little facilities for printing and storing. Thus even their own folktales are not preserved for their own children for their future.
(2) Then comes the language. It is big barrier to learn about other societies' literature. To break this barrier translation is the only answer. A good translation is only possible when the person knows the two languages very well. With the limitation of other translation problems, it is necessary to understand both languages and sometimes the society.
(3) It is very difficult to collect, translate and then publish folktales from Third World countries, especially from those countries whose language is less known.

There are still many societies whose folktales are still not available in written form. It is very difficult to collect those tales.

Folktales Translated  in Hindi Language
Keeping these problems in mind I decided to translate some folktales from African countries for our Indian children. I have translated more than 300 folktales in Hindi language from various written, unwritten and printed sources of African countries.

These folktales are mostly from Nigeria, Ethiopia and Tanzania including some from America, Canada, and Europe (Ireland).

I was fascinated with Raven's Tales, so I have collected them separately. They are also about 40 in number.
They all are waiting to be published......
The collection is still growing.....

Objective of This Translation
The objectives of the translation of these tales in Hindi are --
(1) to give these very less known tales to our Hindi knowing children who cannot procure those societies' folk literature in any case, even in English
(2) to build a body of translated foreign folktale literature in Hindi language
(3) to help social researchers in conducting research in these areas

Hopefully these translated stories in Hindi language will soon find their way into the hands of our Indian Hindi speaking children and into the body of our Hindi literature.

Folktales of Various Countries-1
Folktales of Various Countries-2
Touch Read Project

Sushma Gupta

1 comment:

  1. very interesting work for our HINDI speaking children to know about the other cultures; She must publish these stories for wider circulation through a reputed publisher.