Amitabh Vikram Dwivedi is assistant professor of linguistics at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, India. His research interests include language documentation, writing descriptive grammars, and the preservation of rare and endangered languages in South Asia. His most recent books are A Grammar of Hadoti (Lincom: Munich, 2012), A Grammar of Bhadarwahi (Lincom: Munich, 2013), and a poetry collection titled Chinaar kaa Sukhaa Pattaa (2015) in Hindi. As a poet, he has published more than 100 poems in different anthologies, journals and magazines worldwide.
Below is the 6th and final in a series of installments of Poetry in Translation from lesser known Indo-Aryan languages—namely, Hadoti, Bhadarwahi, and Dogri for Visitant.
Dogri is an Indo-Aryan, Western Pahari language chiefly spoken in the State of Jammu & Kashmir, India. In an oral tradition, the Dogri speakers employ norms from lived experience and depicted lifestyles in prevailing narratives. A primary feature of proverbs is the lack of a standard text and author. Proverbs combine the human and non-human world of animals, birds, natural landscape, spiritual forces and climatic influences with the same vividness employed to depict human life and interactions. In this article, I present a sample of the Dogri proverbs using animals as their agents to employ human meaningfulness.
The following proverbs are in three term labels: tier one is for the Dogri proverb in the Devanagari script and in the Roman alphabet. The middle tier provides linear translation, and the final tier gives the meaning of the proverb.
- ऊंट दे गल टल्ल बन्नना (unT de gal tal banna)
camel of neck cloth to tie
- पिस्सू पेई जाने (pissU pei jaane)
bedbugs found to go
To have doubts in mind.
- तितर होई जाना (titar hoi jaanaa)
pheasant to be to go
To run very swiftly.
- चिड़ियाँ मिन्दनियां (chiDiyan mindniyaN)
To oppress powerless people.
- घोड़ा बनाना (ghoDaa banaanaa)
horse to make
To be submissive.
- खच्चर बेचियै सौना (khacchar bechiyai souna)
mule sell to sleep
To become carefree.
- कुत्ते दी नाड़ होना (kutte di naaR honaa)
dog of veins to have
To be insolent like a dog.