Dickens with a Twist at Hounslow Library

Part of regular series of events


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The Charles Dickens classic, Oliver Twist was brought to new audiences today (Wednesday 4 April) through readings of the novel in Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu at Hounslow Library.

Pictured: Gulshan Iqbal (seated) with colleagues who translated the text into the various languages, (l-r) Beant Sachar, Kamaljit Bedi and Aruna Shah.

Part of the London-wide Cityread programme for Dickens 2012 - an international celebration to mark the bicentenary of the author’s birth - the initiative included providing resources to read the novel in different languages, with translations in Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil and Urdu.

The readings were arranged by the Asian Librarians & Advisers Group (ALAG), which aims to promote library services to Asian communities, and took place at the monthly Asian Women's reading group on Wednesday 4th April from 1pm - 3pm.

The actual translation is a list of characters, background about Dickens, setting of the story and a summary of all the chapters, in order to stimulate a lively discussion for the reading group.

Gulshan Iqbal, who works at Hounslow Library, is the chair of the ALAG and has been involved in translating the Urdu version of the masterpiece.

“I believe very passionately in making literature accessible to all members of our community, whatever their language, and this is a wonderful opportunity to introduce this classic story to a new audience.

“I have been a member of the ALAG for the last 26 years, and have always taken an active part in its work.  Doing the translation of this great novel into Urdu has been a real labour of love, and I hope that we can make this more widely available to the Asian community in the future.”

Judith Pettersen, Hounslow’s Director of Children’s Services and Lifelong Learning, said:

“This is a wonderful initiative, and providing translations of key information about the story in different languages will give the Asian community the opportunity to truly appreciate this well-loved piece of English literature.”

Hounslow libraries are running a series of events and activities to celebrate the Dickens bicentenary.  For more information, or to find out what else is going on in the borough, visit www.hounslow.info/arts/HounslowInfoEvents.htm.


April 5, 2012

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