Translation Masterclass with Arunava Sinha

Translation Masterclass

Discover the art of translating and master the technique of retelling great stories in our Translation Masterclass with Arunava Sinha

This year, Daisy Rockwell and Geetanjali Shree created history by winning the Booker for Tomb of Sand (originally published in Hindi as Ret Samadhi).

In a country where 23 official languages are still spoken, India is the fourth most linguistically diverse country in the world with close to 14 extinct languages. Can you imagine the number of writers in each of these languages in the last decade only?

Translations help in making stories more accessible. The Booker Prize win has brought global audiences to Geetanjali Shree’s works. At Himalayan Writing Retreat, we believe translation is not just a matter of words. It is an art that transforms stories and yet nothing changes.

“The word ‘translation’ comes, etymologically, from the Latin for ‘bearing across’. Having been borne across the world, we are translated men. It is normally supposed that something always gets lost in translation; I cling, obstinately to the notion that something can also be gained.”

Salman Rushdie

We are proud to host a Translation Masterclass with award-winning translator Arunava Sinha in September at our retreat.

The Translation Masterclass is meant to introduce the elements of literary translations to potential practitioners. Through a series of workshops, we will learn how to read a text for translating it, how to get started, what to focus on, how to solve problems, and how to revise. The focus will be on doing, editing, reviewing, and learning.

  • When: September 22nd- 26th, 2022

Arrive anytime on September 22nd, 2022. Attend the workshop with other participants on September 23rd, 24th, and 25th with other participants from 9 AM – 5 PM (IST) on each of the three days. Leave on September 26th, 2022. (If you are not staying after) 

While you’re here, walk in the wilderness, Bask in the fire, and gaze at the stars. Your eyes feast on the magnificent Himalayan dusks and dawns, your ears on the live birdsong concert, your lungs on clean crisp mountain air, and your taste buds on the delectable, homely fare.

The Himalayan Workshop sessions are held in the open or in the book lounge (Picture below).  Most meals are served here too, and the wood-burning Bukhari keeps you warm in Winter. 

Translation Masterclass
Book Lounge – Himalayan Writing Retreat

Our workshops are rated  5/5 on Google, and our venue, ‘The Quiet Place’ is rated 5/5 on TripAdvisor.

(Please note: RTPCR tests / COVID vaccination is mandatory for all participants opting for the physical workshop held at the retreat.)

  • For whom: Writers with a keen interest in translations.
  • Where: The Himalayan Writing Retreat, Satkhol Village. Uttarakhand – 263138. Venue Details & how to reach here. (This venue and its programs are 5-star rated on both Google and Facebook.)
  • Who: Award-winning translator Arunava Sinha. A detailed profile of Arunava Sinha has been shared below.
  • How much: INR 36,000. This includes 3 days, 4 nights of learning, twin-sharing stay, food, and taxes. Early bird discount available for all registrations done till 5th September 2022. The discounted price will be INR 32k.

Single occupancy rooms are charged INR 12000 extra and are provided only on availability. Please mention it in the form if you are requesting one due for any reason.

A non-participant can stay for an extra charge of INR 16k which includes food, stay, and taxes.

Click here for our Cancellation Policy.

Translation Masterclass
Actual Image from the Himalayan Writing Retreat, Satkhol

We only accept a total of ten applicants for the Translation Masterclass with Arunava Sinha on a first-come-first-served basis. To apply, please click the blue button below and fill out the application. If accepted, you can pay the fees to secure your spot. 

How the Translation Masterclass works

  • Participant limit: 10 
  • Pre-work: All participants are assigned some pre-work (short stories) to read.

This Translation Masterclass is spread over three days. We will work every day 9 AM-5 PM IST. We write, share our writing, and get feedback from the group.  

A detailed, day-wise break-up is shared below.

About the Instructor

Arunava Sinha translates classic, modern, and contemporary Bengali fiction and nonfiction into English. Seventy-one of his translations have been published so far. Twice the winner of the Crossword translation award, for Sankar’s Chowringhee (2007) and Anita Agnihotri’s Seventeen (2011), respectively, and the winner of the Muse India translation award (2013) for Buddhadeva Bose’s When The Time Is Right. He has also been shortlisted for The Independent Foreign Fiction prize (2009) for his translation of Chowringhee and for the Global Literature in Libraries Initiative Translated YA Book Prize for his translation of Md Zafar Iqbal’s Rasha, and longlisted for the Best Translated Book award, USA, 2018 for his translation of Bhaskar Chakravarti’s Things That Happen and Other Poems.

In 2021, his translation of Taslima Nasrin’s Shameless was shortlisted for the National Translation Award in the USA. Besides India, his translations have been published in the UK and the US in English, and in several European and Asian countries through further translation. He is an associate professor of practice in the Creative Writing department at Ashoka University, and Co-Director, of the Ashoka Centre of Translation. 

Content outline for the Translation Masterclass

Day 1
First half
– Elements of a translated text: how is it different from a text in the original language
– Reading for translation
– First steps

Second half
–  How to translate dialogue
–  How to translate voice
–  How to translate ‘difficult’ words

Day 2
First half
– Translating a short text (100-200 words)
– Problem-identification and arriving at solutions

— Revising and editing

Second half
– Translating a full text (500-1000 words)

Day 3
– Reading and extensive workshopping of each of the translated texts, with feedback and suggestions
– AMA: A translator’s life and what it involves, including:

  – How to pick a text

        – Copyright and legal issues

        – Getting published

        – Publishing agreements


About HWR

  1. Why should I choose HWR Physical / Online Writing Workshop?   
  • Personal Attention: We don’t take more than 10 students in a class. You get a lot of personal attention and feedback. No classrooms of 20-30 people or one-way pre-recorded videos here.
  • Class Quality: For most courses, we filter our participants. You can’t just pay and sign up. We need to see a writing sample (in our application form) to ensure the class is of a uniform standard.
  • Cost per hour: Our courses are long and intense. As an example, the Creative Writing course is 18000 for 24 contact hours (3 days, 8 hours each day). The cost per hour = 750 / hour. That is comparable to many of the “cheaper” courses.
  • Quality of faculty: No lightweights here. Many of our faculty are award-winners. All are experts and great teachers. We don’t settle for average.
  • Feedback scores: Across courses, we are rated 4.5/5, or higher. You can read our reviews HERE.
  1. Do I get a certificate of participation?

Yes, certificates are available on request.

  1. Any discounts for students / other categories?

At the Himalayan Writing Retreat, we follow a strict No-Discount policy.

  1. Is the workshop fee refundable?

Our cancellation policy is as follows:

  • Online Writing Workshop: 100% refund if cancellation 2 weeks before the event start date, 50% if cancellation one week before the start date, 0% if less than one week before the start date.
  • Creative Writing Workshop at the Himalayas: 100% refund if cancellation 4 weeks before the event start date, 50% if cancellation two weeks before the start date, 0% if less than two weeks before the start date.
  1. Is the Himalayan Writing Retreat a business or an NGO?

The Himalayan Writing Retreat is a social enterprise. It works closely and actively with two local NGOs in its community work initiatives: Chirag and Alaap. In 2020, HWR raised INR 6.1 Lakhs to support the Chirag School. 

Have questions?

Feel free to write to us at or connect with us at +91 73035 16665 (Call/ WA/Signal).

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