Ashutosh Mitra is an English <> Hindi translator based in Allahabad, in India. He joined Translators without Borders (TWB) in August 2011 and, with 39,000 words donated, he’s the top TwB translator for English to Hindi. He’s also the language lead for Hindi in the WikiProject Medicine.
Hi, Ashutosh! Tell us a bit about yourself as a translator.
I was in marketing for nine years, but was dissatisfied. I come from a literary family — both my parents are Sanskrit and Hindi authors and teachers, so my passion for languages was calling. In 2002 I took the plunge and started writing and translating stories for children and neo-literates. I started working in the medical field and other domains in 2005.
What made you volunteer for Translators without Borders?
I had the urge to give back to society, so I decided to grab the offer placed by Enrique Cavalitto. He is the reason I joined and he’s very supportive… a big THANKS to him.
Any particular memorable TWB project or anecdote?
I have not contributed much (around 39,000 words only), but each project that I do is a challenge, as in our profession you have a new job almost every day, which need not be from common fields.
What challenges, if any, are you facing or did you face as a Translator without Borders?
Unlike many other languages, few Hindi translators are coming forward to contribute to the cause at Translators without Borders. Hence, most of the time, being busy with other projects, these projects get delayed from my side or from other contributors. Though I try to translate at least 200-300 words a day for the project, time management becomes critical. Content is always a challenge, and if it is missing… then translating will be like any other monotonous job.
You’re the top Translator without Borders in your language pair (English to Hindi). Tell us a bit about TwB Hindi projects?
My major contribution is for the WikiProject Medicine (almost 90%). In India, literacy and health care are major issues. Hindi is spoken and understood across the country, so any information available in Hindi will certainly reach masses. The other project is the “HealthPhone healthcare project”. In India, mobile phones have reached even uneducated people, so these healthcare-related audio and visual materials, if made available with cheap phones, will be a big help for these populations.
When you are not translating for TWB, what do you enjoy doing to take a break from translation?
Rejuvenation is very important. I take breaks and spend few full days with my family, especially with my children.