Sunday, April 21, 2013

Not till today

"I've not forgotten his words till today. Even you shouldn't." That's what Yash Raichand tells his son Rahul in Kabhi Kushi, Kabhie Gham.

Or at least that's how the subtitles put it.

A better translation would be "I've not forgotten his words since then. And you shouldn't either." Or "I remember his words still today. And you should, too."

I mentioned once before that bhi means both "even" and "also, too", and that the same problem occurs for translators from Russian - saying "even you" instead of "you, too". This "till" (तक tak) also has a parallel in Russian - пока (poka) - and my students are always giving me "not till now" when the Russian really means "up till now".

Russian uses пока не (poka ne, that is poka + not) to mean "while", too: "while something isn't happening" means "until it does happen". I only have a little bit of Hindi, so I don't know if there's a construction with tak that works the same, but I wouldn't be surprised - especially given the prevalence of subtitles like (from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai): "Till Mrs Malhotra was alive, I used to wear fancy dress for her sometimes" or these excellent examples (from Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman) "You have taken the right decision. Until you don't get a job as per your qualification, take up this job." and "You mean a bribe? That won't happen until I am here!"

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