Language Politics, Education and Translation in India
BCLT Research Seminar with Mohini Gupta

Wednesday 28 February 2024
4–5.30pm (GMT)
Online, Free

Registration closes 1 hr prior to the event.

Register to attend online here

This talk aims to provide an overview of language politics and education in India. It will cover the impact of language policy, curriculum decisions and teaching practices on the attitudes of the urban youth towards the language(s) they speak, especially their mother tongues. The talk will analyse national language-in-education policy documents as well as language textbooks, to contextualise the complex language debate within the country.

The main focus of the talk will be to examine the construction of ‘postcolonial shame’ associated with regional languages, an ideology that is still being perpetuated through educational institutions. The aim of the talk is also to understand the complex position of Hindi as a language that is being promoted politically as the ‘national language’ of the country, but at the same time loses out socially and economically to the language of aspiration and globalisation, English.

This talk will include a cross-cultural comparison of the language pedagogy model in Wales. The Welsh language revitalisation project provides an important perspective on language-in-education policies and curriculum decisions and can serve as a useful contrast to the Indian language and education landscape.

The aim of the talk will also be to share how the speaker’s experience as a product of the same education eco-system that she is studying in India impacts her own commitment towards translating children’s literature from English to Hindi.


Mohini Gupta is a DPhil Candidate in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Oxford. In 2017 she was the Charles Wallace India Trust Translator-Writer Fellow at Aberystwyth University, hosted by Literature Across Frontiers. She has recently co-edited Rethinking Education in the Context of Post-Pandemic South Asia: Challenges and Possibilities (Routledge, 2023) and The Hindu Bard: The Poetry of Dorothy Bonarjee (Honno Press, 2023). An alumna of SOAS University of London, she was a Research Fellow at Sarai, CSDS (Delhi), and a translator-in-residence at the Sangam House international writers’ residency in Bangalore. She has written on languages, literature and translation for publications such as The Caravan magazine, Huffington Post,, and the WorldKidLit blog. Her English-Hindi translations have been published by Tulika Publishers.


Active Listening – Music and Translation 
BCLT Research Seminar – Kari Dickson

Wednesday 24 April 2024
4.00–5.30pm (BST)

Registration closes 1 hr prior to the event.


Register to attend here


Current BCLT Translator in Residence Kari Dickson will be sharing her journey so far in using music and improvisation to better understand rhythm and mood in language and translation.  “Musing on the question of why we always talk about the rhythm of a text and translation, I was inspired to think about the possibility of running a workshop where we use live improvisation to explore the coincidence and variance of rhythm in an original text and translation – to play what we hear when we read.  As this would by necessity mean reading out loud, it has led me to consider the shape of language, how we acquire it, how we listen, why we listen, and communication.  And the search for material and a methodology to underpin my musings.”

Kari Dickson is a translator who specialises in translating works of Norwegian literature into English.  She has a BA in Scandinavian Studies from UCL and an MA in Translation from the University of Surrey.  Her portfolio includes literary fiction, crime, non-fiction, and plays, especially the work of Rune Christiansen, Thomas Enger, Erika Fatland, Karin Fossum and Gunnhild Øyehaug.  Her translation of Roslund & Hellström’s Three Seconds won the CWA International Dagger in 2011, and her translation of the children’s book Brown by Øvreås & Torseter won the American Library Association’s Mildred L. Batchelder Award in 2020.  Kari teaches Norwegian language, literature and translation in the Scandinavian Studies department at the University of Edinburgh.  She is currently Translator in Residence at BCLT and former workshop leader at the BCLT Summer School. 

More online events to be announced soon.

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A black and white image of a hand holding a pen. Text that reads 'in-person workshops at UEA Norwich'.

BCLT Literary Translation Workshops

  • Pick your battles: Getting heard in the editing process with BCLT Translator in Residence Nariman Youssef - Wednesday 1 May 2024, 5.30-7pm

In this workshop, we'll reflect on how we define our place in and between the languages we work with and how that carries through into the editing stage. 

  • Playing Translation with BCLT Translator in Residence Kari Dickson and musician Haftor Medbøe - Wednesday 15 May 2024, 5.30-7pm

In the workshop, together with improvising musician Haftor Medbøe, we will explore the journey of rhythm in language and text from the original to the translation.


Register to attend in-person workshops here



Watch on Demand

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