Wednesday, December 03, 2008

V S Achuthanandan’s Press Conference - Lost in Translation?

A major controversy is going on in India after the Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan visited Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s house and his subsequent press conference in Bangalore. The entire North Indian press has projected it as “a proof of a politician insulting a great son of India who laid down his life for our country”. After the Mumbai blast the selling point for the media has been blasting the politicians and the Kerala Chief Minister has been caught in it. 

I have seen the entire news conference again and again. I don’t see anything so insulting that V S Achuthanandan made in that press conference. The translation that comes in the right hand side of the screen is the problem. It is completely wrong and looks like Google translation. They translated word by word literally and if you go by that what Kerala Chief Minister said was very bad and there lies the problem. 


Here is what he told – first in Malayalam “സന്ദീപിന്റെ വീടല്ലെങ്കില്ഒരു പട്ടി തിരിഞ്ഞു നോക്കുമോ അവിടെ?”. 

For those who cannot read Malayalam but can understand Malayalam here is what he told in Manglish “sandeepinte veedallaenkil oru PATTI THIRINJU NOKKUMOO AVIDE?” 

“PATTI THIRINJU NOKKUMOO AVIDE” is slang in Malayalam that means “NO ONE WOULD HAVE TURNED UP”. So what was the translation given by TV channel?  “IF IT HAD NOT BEEN FOR SANDEEP’S HOUSE, NOT EVEN A DOG WOULD HAVE GLANCED THAT WAY” 

I remember a story. Once a person who didn’t know English well was writing a letter in English. He wanted to write “I am well and hope you are also well”. But he was doing a word by word translation and he ended up like this “I am well and hope you are also in the well”. Just see how the addition of two words and the rearrangement of words changed the meaning of the sentence. This is exactly what has happened here. 

So what is this controversy all about? Those who have seen and heard the speeches/press conferences of Kerala Chief Minister know that whenever he talks, usages like this are so common. Media and opposition parties were quick to make a big noise out of it that I believe was a translational error. If you have read my blogs you may be aware that I have blasted V S Achuthanandan several times in my blog. But this time I feel he is being bombarded for something he may have not even meant in his dreams. 

It is high time we stop making non issues a major issue and instead concentrate on the serious issues we face as a nation.

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34 Comments:

Blogger AJ said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 03, 2008 6:43 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

Everyone knows Kerala CM yells out all the crap one can think of. Its very evident that this was not the way the chief minister of a state should have responded. I feel ashamed that our state is ruled by a dumbass like him.
I cannot agree with you completely, when u say media tried to make sensation(by a wrong translation) out of this. His comment was so rude that even a layman would not say towards a family mourning in the loss of their beloved son. And we should not forget the person who died is a martyr who gave up his life for the nation that too at a terrific situation. Whatever be the circumstances the CM faced he should have controlled his emotions and should not have behaved like a third right party worker. I extend my pity for him that he such an idiot who cannot judge and talk sensibly. Thereby what media has done is a very good job. I admit the word to word translation has distorted the actual meaning what he intended. But what he said is more important than what he has intended since it hurt the feelings of a vast majority of people.

December 03, 2008 6:45 AM  
Blogger keralafarmer said...

Another seen telecasted by the media about the action against the CM's visit. Some mistake happened there was not a good thing for us. The words of Prakshkarat's was reasonable.

December 03, 2008 7:06 AM  
Blogger ശ്രീ @ ശ്രേയസ് said...

It seems you don't know Malayalam well.

You said "“PATTI THIRINJU NOKKUMOO AVIDE” is slang in Malayalam that means “NO ONE WOULD HAVE TURNED UP”"

It is not used by persons with some dignity, and of course should not be used while talking to the public/media.

There are a lot of slangs in all languages, I don't think people with common sense is supposed to use it for public talks. The words used by Achu means exactly what it means. There is no point in trying to belittle it. We can't simply blame the media always to escape from our mistakes.

December 03, 2008 7:22 AM  
Blogger keralafarmer said...

Chief Minister VS Achuthanadan has finally rendered his apology to slain major Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s family. “I deeply regret my comments,” he said.

“If my comments have hurt Major Unnikrishnan’s family, I’m sorry,” he added. However, Chief Minister did not forget to lash out against the Opposition leader Oommen Chandy he said, the Opposition leader was trying to misquote his statements.

Earlier today, Achuthanandan spoke before the Kerala Assembly amidst immense pressure to quit for his comments. He said that his comments were misinterpreted and that he was quoted out of context.
Cortesy : Kerala Online

December 03, 2008 8:23 AM  
Blogger scorpiogenius said...

Lost in translation?? is it as simple as that? You've chosen to darraign for this cruel comments?

These are many many layman's usages in local languages which are hardly parliamentary. Is this the way a state leader is expected to behave in front of a TV camera and that too while referring to a martyr's family?

VS is no Oxford, but there is a line to obscenity and insensitivity which he crossed by miles. He is a total disgrace to the entire state of Kerala and even the state secretary has chosen to criticize the comment.
And some desperate commie souls have found an explanation in folk language and usages, which sadly you also have chosen to tune in..

"ammaye thalliyalum randabhiprayam ulla nadu", thats Kerala.

December 03, 2008 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Mani Karthik said...

Sony,

I agree with you that the channel has blown it up to odd proprtions by translating it word by word.

Even then I don't think this is an acceptable remark from Mr. Achutanandan ONLY because he is the CM.

Two things to be noted here.

1 - Mr. Unnikrishnan behaved in a very violent way when CM visited his house. He even said - "Oru patteem varanda" (No dog need come here). This was not highlighted by the media.

I believe this comment might have flamed Mr. CM. But this is natural for a dad who lost his son to behave that way. He wouldn't even care if its the CM or not. (lets not debate if he was hurt because CM did not visit earlier.)

2. The situation when the nation is under rage against the irresponsibility of politicians. I think Mr.Cm should have sensed that pulse from the people. And remained silent even if Mr.Unni Krishnan said something outrageous.

I think it is not right for a CM to comment such careless remarks particularly in such situations, and on record. The people would expect much from them.

I don't think the CM will earn any respect from this incident even if the action was not intentional but natural.

There's quite a bit we all expect from them. They simply fail there.

But again, the media is responsible for blowing this up. But today I don't think it's a surprise.

December 03, 2008 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not lost in translation...Ofcourse CM should not have entered Majors house via back door... If Major's dad said "no" CM should have simply left...

December 03, 2008 11:00 AM  
Blogger ഒറ്റയാന്‍ | Loner said...

This has nothing to do with the translation. It was just another stupidity from our great C.M. We all know what's exactly meant by his comment. In fact we all were really shocked to hear his comments. The media was looking for a chance and jumped at the opportunity right away. We cannot forget the fact that the CM was driven by shear emotion at that point of time. But the fact is that such an experienced leader should not be controlled by his emotion.

December 03, 2008 11:17 AM  
Blogger Kavita said...

Brijesh, I am surprised that in ur dictionary PATTI means NO ONE!!!!! What a shame we have such a CM using all vulgar languages that too for such a family who has lost their son for the country. Is this the language a CM is supposed to use?

December 03, 2008 12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know what you are trying to do is having a communist propaganda of saving VS. Let me ask you if any of his or fellow party leaders serve in indian armed services?.. Did any of them get killed. Saakhav VS could tell what he wants just because he is in INDIA where no person's rights are harmed. he has the freedom of expresssion. Try this at communist china about one of them, you will be send to jail forever.. All I can say to this political bigot is F*CK YOU VS ACHUTHANANDAN. F*CK YOUR NASTY sTINKING MOUTH by the same dog you were referring to.

December 03, 2008 1:33 PM  
Blogger Senu Eapen Thomas, Poovathoor said...

നമ്മള്‍ കഥ അറിയാതെ ആട്ടം കണ്ടവര്‍... ഇന്ന് മുഖ്യമന്ത്രിയും, മേജര്‍ സന്ദീപ്‌ ഉണ്ണികൃഷണനു വേണ്ടി രാജീവ്‌ എന്ന ഒരു ബന്ധുവും ക്ഷമ പറഞ്ഞു. അതില്‍ ഒരു പത്രക്കാരന്‍ മുഖ്യമന്ത്രിയോട്‌ ചോദിച്ച ചോദ്യം, ഇവിടെക്ക്‌ ഒരു പട്ടിയും വരേണ്ട എന്ന ചോദ്യത്തിനു താങ്കള്‍ എങ്ങനെ മറുപടി പറയുമെന്ന് ചോദിച്ചപ്പോള്‍, അത്‌ മേജര്‍ സന്ദീപ്‌ ഉണ്ണികൃഷനന്റെ വീടല്ലെങ്കില്‍ ഒരു പട്ടിയും പോകില്ലായിരുന്നുവെന്നാണു പറഞ്ഞത്‌.

ഈ പ്രശ്നത്തില്‍ രണ്ട്‌ പേരും മാപ്പ്‌ പറഞ്ഞ സ്ഥിതിക്ക്‌ ഇനി എന്തിനു ഇത്‌ ഇങ്ങനെ ഇനി ഊതി പെരുപ്പിക്കണം.

നമ്മള്‍ക്ക്‌ ഈ പ്രശ്നം ഇവിടെ അവസാനിപ്പിക്കുന്നതല്ലേ നല്ലത്‌..

സസ്നേഹം,
പഴമ്പുരാണംസ്‌.

December 03, 2008 2:17 PM  
Blogger deepak said...

the problem with this entire incident is that the indian media that criticised him dont know him well.. we know, from the 50 odd years he has been in public life that he did not mean any insult.. we know him and we cannot find fault with this remark because we know him too well.. am sure that he lost no respect among malayalees by means of that comment.. but, the critics dont know him well.. how the hell who has lived such a distinguished life as a politician could be criticised like this? people like antony and VS are those whose intentions can never be suspiciously viewed.. but, i guess, we still respect VS as much as we did before.. and VS doesnt care about the attittude of non-malayalees towards him.. so, all is well between us.. the national media just did some nonsense reporting and wasted their time..

December 03, 2008 2:20 PM  
Blogger deepak said...

about this criticism that "patti" doesnt mean "no one", of course it does not.. but, "oru patti polum pokumo avide" probably means, "it is not significant enough a visit".. of course, such a slang could have been avoided because the channel that asked the question did not know malayalam.. and the word "patti" is of course unparliamentary

December 03, 2008 2:23 PM  
Blogger keralafarmer said...

സത്യം മലപോലെ വ്യക്തം

December 03, 2008 2:26 PM  
Blogger മാര്‍ജാരന്‍ said...

അന്നെന്നെ സഹായിക്കാന്‍ ഒരു പട്ടിയും ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നില്ല.നീയൊക്കെ വീണു പോയാല്‍ ഒരു പട്ടിയും തിരിഞ്ഞു നോക്കില്ല...........എന്നിങ്ങനെയുള്ള പട്ടി പരാമര്‍ശങ്ങള്‍ വാമൊഴി വഴക്കമാണ്.ഇതിനിത്ര കോലാഹലത്തിന്റെ ആവശ്യമില്ല.ഇതൊക്കെ ഊതി വീര്‍പ്പിച്ച് കച്ചവടമാക്കുന്നവരെ ഈ പട്ടികള്‍ക്കൊന്നും വേറെ പണിയൊന്നും ഇല്ലെ എന്നും നമുക്ക് പറയേണ്ടി വരും.ജോലിക്കിടയിലെ ഒരപകടമരണം മാത്രമാണ് സന്ദിപ് ഉണ്ണികൃഷ്ണന്റെത്.അതിനെ ഉദാത്തവല്‍ക്കരിച്ച് ലോകം മുഴുവന്‍ അതില്‍ അഭിമാനംകൊള്ളണമെന്ന് പറയുന്നതിലെ അനൌചിത്യവും ചര്‍ച്ച ചെയ്യപ്പെടേണ്ടതാണ്.

December 03, 2008 2:41 PM  
Blogger Vinod/Kakka said...

The comment by a common person is different from one that is made by a Chief Minister. I guess people like V.S. and Sudhakaran have brought disrespect to the office.

I work with a lot of my friends, and I report to one of them. When we meet casually, we make fun of each other, and "patti" would be the cleanest word we would call each other. But never in office.

Whatever Sandeeps father said is as a private citizen. V.S. is not responding as a private citizen, is he?

And this is not stupidity: This is HUBRIS pure and simple. And VS seems to be one of the most arrogant people around right now.

December 03, 2008 4:29 PM  
Blogger Prasanth. R Krishna said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 03, 2008 4:54 PM  
Blogger ശ്രീ @ ശ്രേയസ് said...

to add more to my previous comment,

അനുവാദം കൂടാതെ പിന്‍വാതിലിലൂടെ വീട്ടില്‍ അതിക്രമിച്ചു കയറി, ഗൃഹനാഥനെ പുറത്താക്കി, വാതില്‍ കുറ്റിയിട്ട്, ഗൃഹനാഥയെ ആശ്വസിപ്പിക്കുന്ന, ഒരു സംസ്ഥാന മുഖ്യനെ പട്ടി എന്ന് വിളിച്ചാലും തെറ്റുണ്ടോ? നമ്മുടെ ആരുടെയെങ്കിലും വീട്ടില്‍ അതിക്രമിച്ചു കടക്കുന്നവനെ ബഹുമാനിക്കണോ, അയാള്‍ ആരായാലും? കരണക്കുറ്റിക്ക് ഒരു അടി കൂടി കൊടുക്കാമായിരുന്നു, അല്ലെങ്കില്‍ അതിക്രമിച്ചു കയറ്റത്തിന് മിനിമം ഒരു പോലീസ്കേസ് എങ്കിലും!

പൗരുഷമുള്ള ഏത് ഗൃഹനാഥനും അത്രയെങ്കിലും ചെയ്തുപോകും.

ഒരാള്‍ കാണണ്ട എന്ന് പറഞ്ഞാല്‍ ഇടിച്ചു കയറി കണ്ടാല്‍ മാത്രമെ അടങ്ങൂ എന്നുള്ള വാശിയും ഒരു മുഖ്യന് ചേര്‍ന്നതല്ലല്ലോ. ഇത്തരം മാനുഷികകാര്യങ്ങളില്‍ വിപ്ലവം നടക്കില്ലല്ലോ.

വീയെസ്സിനോട് മുന്‍പുണ്ടായിരുന്ന എല്ലാ ബഹുമാനങ്ങള്‍ക്കൊപ്പം ഇപ്പോള്‍ അദ്ദേഹത്തിന് ഒരു അനുശോചനം അര്‍പ്പിക്കട്ടെ.

എന്തായാലും ആകെ കുളമായി! യഥാര്‍ത്ഥ കേരള സുരക്ഷാ പ്രശ്നങ്ങള്‍ ഇതില്‍ മുങ്ങിപ്പോകുകയും ചെയ്തു.

December 03, 2008 5:03 PM  
Blogger Prasanth. R Krishna said...

The Blogger you are trying to convince the public V.S Achuthanandan was not wrong. Look, its true we all using that slang only to our very close friends, not even we will not use that infront of our brothers or parents. More over even a sweeper or a last grade servant will not use it in their official life such kind of slangs. V.S is not just a person he is our Chief Minister, the representative of more than 5 crore peoples. Its not the first time he made this kind of comments, one eg. the comment on Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam. മുകളിലേക്ക് വാണം വിടാന്‍ മാത്രമറിയാവുന്ന ഒരു വാണം വിടീലുകാരന്‍ ആണ് കലാം എന്ന കമന്റ്.Is this all are the common slang in Malayalam? That time it was in Kerala and no media was criticized him except Malayalamanorama. But he made this statement in Kerala but this time it happened in Bangalore thats why he was not able to made any political hold and it come in the media.

Secondly why he made back door entry to the Brave Soldier Major. Sandeep Unnikrishnan's home even his father opposed him? Is that also good for a CM? Not even a common person will not do such cheap things.

Are you not getting ashamed to justify VS?

December 03, 2008 5:08 PM  
Blogger Karthikeyan said...

Going by the number of comments this post has brought in such a short time, you can understand why media wants to beat this dead horse (is it dead yet?!). Even if we all accept its a non-issue, I feel, it just sounds so insensitive. Insult might have been a stretch, but it was inappropriate.

December 03, 2008 10:54 PM  
Blogger അബ്ദുണ്ണി said...

Yesterday ANs media report reveals a fact: The news reporter asked VS - What is your response to UK's comment "Oru pattiyunm ente veetil varneda.." . The response of VS was natural. "Sandeepinte veetallayirunnenkil oru pattiyum thirinju nokillayirunnu." The media covered the first part and projected the answer only. There no controversy in his answer, in my opinion..

December 04, 2008 3:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dogs like VS is disgrace for malayalis, I am surprised that you are defending his language. It is a shame.

December 04, 2008 4:57 AM  
Blogger bindhu said...

Hi brijesh,
How can you justify VS Achuthanadan. It is so sad. I am staying in Mumbai for the last 6 years. I know what is happening in the city. Each and every day the person is moving with fear. Where what happens never knows. This particular incident, no politicians were there any were at the locations at least to give a moral support. On the other hand they can talk any thing to person and his family who protect us. You won”t understand the sentiments of the people unless you really face this situation. First time I feel that the media has done a very good job. If these incidents are not highlighted by media at least by this time the explosion will continue all over India.

December 04, 2008 5:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two dogs who represented Keralites went to Unnikrishnan's house. Both were insulted by the brave, symbol of Indian martyrdom, Sri. Unnikrishnan. One wagged his tail in acceptance (hoping future prosperities) and returned. Another, for his soul and for the proud Keralites, barked at him. Whom side you stand, if you are not a dog?

December 05, 2008 4:53 AM  
Blogger Brijesh Nair said...

Thanks everyone who has posted their comments. Many of you have radically different opinion about the whole issue. I still believe the media has blown this out of proportion. Yes, as CM of a state he should have used it words more appropriately. But this was the way he was for the last 85 odd years.

December 06, 2008 9:36 AM  
Blogger Giby said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 06, 2008 2:42 PM  
Blogger Giby said...

To Brijesh's last comment.. VS Kerala CM allayirunnenkil oru patti polum angere paranjathine vila kodukkillayirunnu.. pretty much like his 81 out of 85 years on this planet..

Next.. I am shocked and surprised by this stupid guy Marjaran's (blogger.com/profile/00287560761865354806) comment.. Wondering why Brijesh didn't bother to respond strongly to such insensitive comments (shouldn't delete his comment -- freedm of expression and proof of his stupidity, but should have whip lashed that dumba*s).

Marjaran says the death of a soldier is "just an on the job accident" and need not be glorified. What an ass (literally) and an ass'ol' (literally).. His comment is even worse than what VS said.. Reading his comment, I am thinking "ivane pole ulla pattikalude thala adiche polikkan nammude naattil aalilley??"

I wonder how many times this "stupid guy" marjaran volunteered to take a bullet to his chest inorder to protect someone else. Wonder how many times he was "shot at" from a machine gun while at work? The only time he "took a shot" was probably when he was "fired from" his last job for his stupidity..

Idiot marjaran, you can sit at your &@%^%-ing desk feeling safe and carefree typing-in all the bullshit you think up, raise a family and have a life (If you have one) only because there is someone else sacrificing their life, their family, their time, their energy for you, protecting your stinking ass..

-- GS

December 06, 2008 2:44 PM  
Blogger K.C.SASIKUMAR said...

“എല്ലാ പട്ടിക്കും ഒരു ദിവസം വരും” അങ്ങനെ സമാധാനിക്കൂ സഹോദരാ..
എന്ന്
കെ.സി. ശശികുമാര്‍

December 07, 2008 5:01 AM  
Blogger Sreejith Kumar said...

Well, this post softens what he said.

1. It was not befitting the chief minister of a state to pass a comment like that.

2. He also said that there is no rule like the Kerala and Karnataka CMs should visit the place together. This was his arrogance.

3. He regretted over the incident.

From these, it is evident that what he said was absolutely wrong. You may want to read my latest post on this too. :-)

December 08, 2008 2:45 PM  
Blogger Sreejith Kumar said...

Additionally, he entered the Major's house when other took the Major's dad away from there. Why would he do that?

Also, he said the incidents happened there was part of an organised drama. Why would he say that?

December 08, 2008 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what Sir VS done is wrong..but it doenst seem that it require this much political concern...i think that the opposition is the sole reason who who it a big isssue.
its a shame for the whole Kerala.
even Mr. VS hadnt visited and given any condolense letter to the martyr's family unless he was ccompelled by the opposition..
may b its time for a change..
let people speak with dignity n elegance and mutual respect,evn if bot a martyr's family or so..

December 10, 2008 1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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November 26, 2009 4:37 AM  
Anonymous Ruksar said...

The Marxist party has always struck a contrast from rest of the political parties in that similar feuds within the party had always been subjected to strict review without bias. It is not the sapience of a single leader, but the collective wisdom of the party which has always prevailed in putting the house in order. As in the past, the party, now under fire, will traverse through the trying circumstances and come out with head high.

May 12, 2012 6:42 PM  

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