As part of an expression of my obsession with Access, I am trying to translate articles/pieces from a popular Mizo website called mi(sual).com into English. Why translation? For two reasons.
One, there are quite a few people like me brought up on the fringes of or outside Zo culture. Some of us barely know the language, but still wish to be a part of our culture and claim our heritage. Others know the language, but are slow readers and much more fluent in English. Still others are not the most interested because of the language acting as a barrier in getting to know Zo culture better. Most importantly, then, these translations are for ‘us’.
Second, much of the writing (in English) about the Zo tribes has been by others, from the early British missionaries and colonialists to more contemporary journalists in Indian papers like The Telegraph and Tehelka. While I would not deny the immense good these writings have done (the missionaries gave us writing) I believe we should also represent ourselves. While many bloggers are already doing this, my particular concern is with the opinions, ideas and information in the Mizo language and therefore not accessible to the larger world.
Having said that, the choice of articles to translate is fairly arbitrary, and are influenced by my personal interests (culture, art etc.), length of the piece (my own Mizo skills are minimal) and the time I have available. I would welcome more help with translating more pieces, maybe eventually in the form of a Wiki. Please also feel free to correct my translation where you feel it is inadequate.
Disclaimer: I do not necessarily agree (or disagree) with the opinions of those I try to translate, though I find the piece interesting. As far as possible, I will edit only to illustrate/explain what the author is talking about. This may mean there is a stiffness of language I apologise in advance for; the fault is with me, not the author.