|Wayne Hammond told Jason Fisher that while writing their Tolkien Companion and Guide, he and Christina Scull contacted Tolkien’s British publisher, HarperCollins, to inquire about the existence of the rumored Marathi translations, and they were told that there was no record of an agreement for any such translation. If this translation really existed, it can only be a pirate edition, and even HarperCollins had only heard of its alleged existence from a third party source. So far no collector has ever seen a copy and the HarperCollins website was the sole public source attesting the existence of a Marathi translation, and like me, they’re inclined to doubt its existence. Goog news... this will soon be all over!
As we can read in the Indian express, Shruti Nambiar writes that there will soon be released an official translation of The Hobbit in Marathi. The Hobbit was first published in 1937 and has never gone out of publication since then, selling over 100 million copies worldwide and has been translated in 60 languages and two partial translations of about one page (Latin and Silesian) - as far as I can tell that is. The first of two films on the book, The Hobbit: An Unexpexted Journey directed by Peter Jackson, is set for release next year in December.
D.G. Pashte of Pune-based Diamond Publications was aware of all this when he and his son Nilesh set out to secure the copyright for translating The Hobbit into Marathi six months ago. Today, the translated version is ready for a formal launch, making it the first one in any Indian language.
Pashte writes “The Hobbit has quite a niche audience, unlike the Harry Potter series. The middle class in this country isn’t aware of this book much. We wanted to propagate this book, and the idea of adventure that it contains, to a much wider audience,”. And we can be sure this book will sell good in India as will it attract many Tolkien collectors who will want to have a copy as well.
Pashte says the idea for a Marathi translation came about when he realised a critical fact about Marathi readers. “They have a taste for adventure stories; for works of fantasy.”
The publishing house, after securing the royalties arrangement, roped in Pune-based writer Mina Kinikar for the textual translation, and now plan to go all out with the promotional efforts. “We are trying to get in touch with all forms of media to spread the word. We decided to go with an initial print of 5,000 copies, which is quite unusual.” I for one thing will try and obtain a copy of the 1st printing! This is history in the making... an edition rumored to be in existence for so long will finally become reality!
Diamand Publication Pune
Diamond is a general trade publisher based in Pune, Maharashtra. Founded in April 2005, Diamond publication has published more than 500 books in Marathi and English. Area of focus includes academic reference books, encyclopedias, dictionaries on various subjects like History, social sciences, management etc.
50 books covering various aspects of history and culture of Maharashtra were published on the occasion of Golden jubilee year of state of Maharashtra. Diamond covers the full spectrum of general fiction and non-fiction books including academic books, children's books, literature, management etc. and now has decided to publish The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien in Marathi!
More Indian translations?
At the blog of the Hobbit hunter we can read that a translator, called Aniruddha, has been making a Bengali translation of The Hobbit, but has so far not found a publication house to get his book released. More on that as soon as I find out more about it. I might try and get something in motion, just like I did for the Frisian translation of The Hobbit... a small push in the right direction can cause things to get moving!
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