Interview With Sougand Akbarian, An Iranian Bestseller Translator and Author of Sougan Dilli

Sougand Akbarian is an interpreter and translator of the English and Persian language. She recently debuted in the writing world with her book SouganDilli: An incomplete Indo-Iranian story in July 2020.

She holds a Master’s degree in Translation Studies from Iran and has presented numerous articles and papers at international conferences. A well-known member of the Iranian Translators and Interpreters Association (ITIA) who works as an English teacher, a translator, and an interpreter for businesses. She is highly interested in Indian culture as an international translator.

Quillopia had a great time interacting with Sougand Akhbarian and delving deep into her creative life journey.

A translator should not be a word-for-word translator, but the translator of soul, feelings, content, and culture, Sougand quips.

Would you like to talk about your journey of being an International translator?

I believe a translator is a traveler of countries and cultures, and I am one of them. I am fond of Indian culture and literature. My main focus as an Iranian translator is to translate books from Indian authors and Indian literature as I have already worked before and still working on a project of translating from Indian literature into Farsi in Iran. And that is my unending beautiful journey as an international translator.

Being a translator, which genre of writing fascinates you more? Do you have a textual preference when it comes to translating any text?

Obviously, yes, because as a translator, you are bound to have some style of your own. As my readers know me, I am a translator of Indian literature, and my preferences mostly lie in the romance genre. It is mainly because love and romance are an inseparable part of anyone’s life regardless of age, nationality, language, or religion. Readers will also know about the literature worldwide; they will know the translator, the authors, and their translated books.

Your first book SouganDilli: An incomplete Indo-Iranian story, came out recently. What was your inspiration behind writing it?

The main and the most important inspiration behind SouganDilli is my God on the earth, i.e., my mom. Because after my first trip to India: Dilli (Delhi), I came across this idea to become an author next to being a translator to share my experience and feelings I gained at Dilli. When I shared this idea with my mom, who always supports me unconditionally in my life and career, she encouraged me to write.

I would also like to thank my dear Indian publisher, Damick Publications, by Chandra Kant Jaisansaria. Even in a pandemic where everyone was in quarantine and, he trusted SouganDilli and published my dream. I also extend my humble gratitude to my dear readers worldwide, who made Slogan Dilli a bestseller with their love and support.

Would you like to discuss your point of view about the future of translation and its importance?

Translators are an invisible wings of cultural communications in this age of technology.

With the new normal of social distancing, I can say the future of translation is really bright and successful. As you can see, technology has made a globe into a small city, everyone is in touch with each other and connected by the internet and translators and translations have contributed to this cause greatly. As the day passes, I am hopeful that more and more translation will connect people from all over the world. Also, translation has an important role in our lives and careers to be up to date and build an international perspective.

How would you suggest one can translate a text without losing its value and hurting its intensity as a translator?

I would suggest a translator should not be a word-for-word translator, but the translator of soul, feelings, content, and culture. When a translator conveys the content of the context as the source, readers truly understand that. Hence, the translation must have the same essence in the target language to convey its same feeling to the target readers. That makes a translation valuable and loyal, without losing its value and hurting its intensity.

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Interviewed by Arolina Bhubaneswari