• Winnie-the-Pooh Translated into Sinhalese

    From samhsloan@gmail.com@21:1/5 to All on Sat Oct 21 09:36:53 2017
    Winnie-the-Pooh is the most popular children's book in the world. This is the first translation of Winnie-the-Pooh into Sinhalese, the language of Sri Lanka.
    We believe the reason Winnie-the-Pooh has not caught on in Sri Lanka is there are no bears in Sri Lanka. Winnie-the-Pooh is most popular in countries where there are a lot of bears, such as Russia.
    Sinhalesé is a language spoken by 18 million people. Sinhalese is also called Singhala, Singhalese and Cingalese. It belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages.
    Sinhalese is written using the Sinhalese script, which is one of the Brahmic scripts, a descendant of the ancient Indian Brahmi script closely related to the Kadamba alphabet.
    Sinhalese is one of the official and national languages of Sri Lanka. Sinhalese played a major role in the development of Theravada Buddhist literature.
    Sinhalese is only spoken in Sri Lanka. However, a million Sinhalese speakers have gone to Middle Eastern countries such as Dubai and Saudi Arabia as workers. This may have an impact. One of my daughters is a fluent speaker of Sinhalese because she
    learned it from our domestic servants while she was a child.
    If you want to hear Sinhalese spoken, go to the movies “Elephant Walk” starring Elizabeth Taylor and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”. There you can also see lots of Sri Lankan elephants, which are larger than Indian elephants with a head
    with bumps shaped differently than Indian elephants. It is believed that elephants came to Sri Lanka before humans did.
    The oldest Sinhalese Prakrit inscriptions found are from the third to second century BCE following the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, the oldest extant literary works date from the ninth century. The closest relative of Sinhalese is the Maldivian
    The purpose of this book is to help Sinhalesé speakers learn English and to help English speakers learn Sinhalesé. To have a translation as close as possible to the original is the most useful.
    Ishi Press has reprinted translations of Winnie-the-Pooh into 39 languages thus far. We have published it in Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Cebuano, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Esperanto, Finnish, French, German,
    Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Sinhalese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Yiddish, Hindi, Urdu, Vietnamese, Khowar, Kalasha and Latin. We have six more languages lined up.
    This translation into Sinhalesé is part of project to translate Winnie-the-Pooh into other languages. The idea is children need to learn to read at an early age and the best way to teach them to read is to provide reading materials that they find
    interesting. Children around the world laugh when they see Winnie-the-Pooh saying and doing silly things. Since Winnie-the-Pooh is the most popular children's book world-wide, translating this book into the different languages of the world will be
    conducive to teaching children to read in those languages.
    Translations are always difficult. A word in any language will almost never have exactly the same meaning in another language. For example, at the beginning of the English Language original of Winnie-the-Pooh, on the third page there is the following
    sentence, “He came to a sandy bank and in the bank was a large hole.”
    Now you may be wondering, “Was that because somebody has robbed the bank?” Of course, you know the answer. The bank has not been robbed. But if your translator is somebody not familiar with the banking system, he may not provide the proper
    translation to this sentence.
    We are not translating the entire book. We are only translating Chapter 2, which is the most interesting, most popular and shortest chapter. Winnie-the-Pooh is based on the most popular children's character in the world. Part of the reason for this is
    Winnie-the-Pooh was based on an actual living bear in the London Zoo named Winnie. Christopher Robin is the name of a real person who was the son of the original author, A. A. Milne. The son had a teddy bear he liked to carry around with him he named
    Winnie-the-Pooh is perhaps unique for a children's book in that it is based on real people and historical events. Christopher Robin was a real person. As a child, he had a teddy bear he named “Winnie-the-Pooh”. The bear was named after a real bear in
    the London Zoo named Winnie. Winnie had been found in the forest near Winnipeg, Canada. His owner had brought him to England and eventually had donated him to the London Zoo.
    Because this book is about real people and events, this places the book in a different legal position than other children's books with cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck which are purely the inventions of their creators. The real
    original Winnie-the-Pooh teddy bear is now on display at the New York Public Library Children's Room on 42nd Street at Fifth Avenue. Elvis cannot be copyrighted because Elvis was a real person, so anybody can write their own stories about Elvis, although
    you cannot copy somebody else's story. This has helped spread the popularity of Winnie-the-Pooh.

    Sam Sloan
    Bronx, New York
    October 21, 2017

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