• Zia Khoshsirat

Gilaki Translation of Animal Farm

Cool! Right? He is young, amazing, energetic guy, who is working on Gilaki for years. I know him from our Gilaki world. We've never met, but I feel he is my friend. A polite guy, Soheil, is a freelance Gilaki activist who does not boast like many scholars in some universities, but his action talks for him. Soheil, I think, started to translate George Orwell book Animal Farm in Gilaki 3 years ago. When he sent us the cover I was so excited. Wow! That's a thing!

When I asked Soheil why did you translate it, the answer was just simply the best, "because I love my mother tongue", Soheil said. He continues in Gilaki, "You know, it's a hobby for me, you might find it funny, I would like to go among people, listen to their words and learn more Gilaki." I asked myself what does he mean? Soheil answered my unuttered question, "I say more, because, unfortunately when we were kid they didn't talk to us in Gilaki, and in school they didn't teach us Gilaki, and we didn't learn Gilaki as we were supposed to".

Soheil is not alone. We, Gilaki speakers, from Gorgan to moutains of Tehran, have had difficulties in learning this language. Humiliation, mocking, and stereotypes were parts of our childhood. Soheil said he translated this book 1. to learn more Gilaki, 2. to prove niceties and beauties of Gilaki as a language, and 3. Animal Farm is a good choice for translation. It was difficult for him to translate the book but sweet and as we don't have education in Gilaki everything was harder for him to do.

Soheil said he believes in the power of Gilaki language and the final result proves it. At the end of our conversation Soheil wanted to thank his friends who helped him a lot in this way, Damoon and Farhang, wonderful guys whom I know for almost 3 years.

Feels amazing when I see how speakers are participating in the process of reversing language shift. No matter what they do, they are planting seeds of this language everywhere. We will wait for the time they burgeon. P.S. This is the cover, mäl sərɛ 'Animal farm'.

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