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The Saga of Burnt Njáll translated into one of India’s many official languages

By Staff

  • The Njála tapestry Njálssaga, known as The Story of Burnt Njáll in English, is being translated into Marathi, one of India’s many official languages. Photo/M. Bengtsson

Njálssaga, known as The Story of Burnt Njáll in English, will soon be available in Marathi, one of India’s many official languages. Indian academic Shrikris­hna D. Pandit is currently translating the saga into Marathi.

According to Morgunblaðið, the translation project began last year when Pandit contacted the Árni Magnússon Institute of Icelandic Studies (Árnastofnun), where the saga is preserved and housed, requesting assistance. Árnastofnun ministers documents and notes that will assist Pandit in his ambitious work.

Read more: Investigating the Manuscripts: The Saga of Burnt Njáll

Njálssaga is a 13th century Icelandic saga. Its main characters are Njáll Þorgeirsson, a lawyer, and Gunnar Hámundarson, one of Iceland’s most beloved heroes. The saga deals with feuds and revenge and how honour caused minor disputes spiralling into destructive bloodshed.

Svanhildur Óskarsdóttir, a researcher at Árnastofnun, believes the saga appeals to non-Icelanders partly because it connects to the geography and history of other countries. “Also the characters are wonderfully vivid, and there are many very memorable one-liners, and a lot of elegantly and succinctly phrased sentences. There’s quite a lot there to admire and keep people interested,” she told Iceland Magazine.  

The Marathi language is an Indo-Aryan language and the official language of the Maharashtra and Goa states of Western India. In 2001, it was the first language of 73 million people and the 19th most spoken language in the world. 

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